VeganMoFo: Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas

Avocados were on sale at my local store for something like 2/$1. When they get that cheap, I get really excited. So excited – I buy too much. It happens. I’m not complaining. It could have been worse.

So this quick dinner, like most dinners, was brought on by necessity. But it’s amazing what necessity delivered! This dinner worked out perfectly. I wish I had thought of this meal before!
Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas
1 tbsp. vegetable oil
1 onion, chopped
3 garlic cloves, chopped
3 tsp. cumin
2 tsp. salt
3 tsp. pepper
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
2 tbsp. water
1/2 tbsp. vegetable oil
1-2 avocados
1/2 lime
Daiya Cheese (optional)
Heat oil in medium saute pan.
Add the onions to the pan. Cook for 3-4 minutes on medium high. Add in the garlic cloves and the spices. Cook a couple of more minutes. Add in the drained black beans. Cook for several minutes. Add the extra water if the mixture seems a bit dry. After about 7 minutes, mash some of the beans.  Remove from heat.
Cube up your avocado and sprinkle with lime juice and a tiny bit of salt.
Take a tortilla and spread some of the bean mixture over one half. Layer on top some of the cubed avocado and the optional cheese.  Fold tortilla over.
Heat 1/2 tablespoon of oil in a second pan.
Place folded and stuffed tortilla in pan. Cook for a couple minutes on each side.
Repeat with rest of mixture and tortillas.
Black Bean and Avocado Quesadillas

Meatless Monday: Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas

As you all know, I love easy recipes. I also demand tasty recipes. Emphasis on the flavor. Anything that works out well that my kids will eat is extra special in my book. I have two daughters, and as far as eating habits go – they are night and day. One kid is extremely adventurous, and the other one is very limited. It can get frustrating…for me. I have two rules when it comes to dinner time. One is that the food must be tasted. Even if it’s “weird” and “funny looking.” We often have surprise hits with the picky kid. The second rule, is that the food must be balanced. Dinner is not just the pasta. There has to be a veggie and a protein included in the meal.

One meal that works in our house are quesadillas. I always have tortillas and cheese lying around. It is one of those meals that can be a “build-your-own.” There is no right or wrong recipe for this. Use whatever is lying around the house. The kids like it because they can pick what they want to go in to their quesadilla. My daughter might choose a totally tame one made up of just egg and cheese, and us adults will opt for a more sophisticated variety.

I whipped up a veggie and cheese quesadilla tonight, with a bit of soy sausage thrown in for protein. Fast, easy, and tasty! Hope you like it.

Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas (serves 4)

2 tsp. olive oil or vegetable oil
1 small onion
4 cloves of garlic
1/4 cup chopped red pepper
1/4 cup chopped green pepper
5 baby bella mushrooms, chopped
1/2 ground soy sausage or 1/2 cup black beans (use what you have)
2 tsp. cumin
salt (to taste)
1.5 cups of shredded monterey jack/cheddar blend
4 tortillas

In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook for a few minutes.

Add in the rest of the veggies and beans or soy sausage. Cook for 5 minutes. Add in the salt and the cumin. Do a taste test. Cook veggie mixture until veggies are softened.

Remove the mixture to a bowl and wipe out the pan

Back in the saute pan, heat a drop of oil or spray the pan with the oil spray.

In a tortilla, place some of the cheese over half of the tortilla. Put 1/4 of the mixture on top and sprinkle with more cheese. The cheese works like a glue. Fold the tortilla over and transfer to the hot pan. Cook for a few minutes and then flip. Cook on the other side for a couple minutes or until desired crispness. Cut into wedges and serve.

We devoured ours with some rice and veggies. Enjoy!


Tortilla – Quesadilla Fest

I feel this rush to get all my chametz out of the kitchen. I feel embarassment by the amount of stuff I have left. My freezer is full, as is my pantry. I don’t know where I will put the Passover products that I need to buy. There are eight bottles of Passover wine living in the guest room, if that tells you anything.

In my freezer, sat 2 1/2 lonely cups of all-purpose flour. I rarely use AP flour, unless I have some event I need to bake for. Bread flour gets used, but not the “all purpose” kind. I thought about cookies or brownies or something similar, but I am not eating sweets lately, and I have imposed my baking adventures on my colleagues enough this month. They have probably reached their cookie and cupcake quota for March.

So as not to pester my coworkers with any more baking leftovers, I pondered other uses for flour. I had two cups too much flour for any gravy or sauce. Too little flour for anything that I would normally find use for. While scouring uses for flour, I came across an idea I always shoved aside – tortillas! Really, who makes tortillas? I have a few budget conscious friends who make them. I have always relied on the yummy handmade tortillas at Trader Joe’s and I am not a huge fan of anything that could be deemed a patchke – a bother. I have a fear of rolling pins. Really! Still, I had just enough flour, and all the ingredients. Even without a tortilla press, it can’t be too complicated, right? Well it is a patchke, and it is one of those things that requires some amount of practice. I could still see myself making these again, as the finished product was pretty good, and once I got the hang of it, it was pretty easy.

I made an evening out of this adventure. Got people over here. It’s easy when there is beer (also chametz) to be used up. Turned the fresh tortillas into quesadillas, with a slew of yummy toppings and a great salad. It was a good night.

Flour Tortillas

2 cups all-purpose flour
1.5 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. salt

2 tsp. vegetable oil
3/4 warm water

Mix the dry ingredients together in a medium mixing bowl.

Mix the water and oil in a separate container.

Make a well in your flour mixture. Slowly pour the water mixture into the dry ingredients, bit by bit. Use a fork to mix up the dough. The dough will be sticky.

Once all the water is incorporated into the flour, turn the dough onto a floured board.

Knead the dough for a few minutes until the dough is nice and smooth and can be shaped into a ball.

Put the big ball of dough back into the mixing bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel for 20 minutes. Use this time to prep your other dinner ingredients, mingle, have a beer, clean up a spilled beer, etc.

Take the big ball of dough out, and pinch of pieces of dough and roll them into little balls of dough. Place the dozen or so dough balls onto a plate and cover with a damp towel. Let it sit for 10 minutes.

Preheat your skillet on medium/high heat. A cast-iron skillet is recommended, but any large heavy skillet will do.

Re-flour your cutting board. Lightly flatten the doughball out on the board to a circle.

Roll out the dough with your rolling pin. It should be around 1/8 inch thick.

Once you have rolled out the tortilla, place it on the skillet. No oil is needed. Cook the tortilla for about 30 seconds a side.You will notice brown spots all over your tortilla. Flip it over and cook an additional 30 seconds.

Don’t over cook. The first tortilla came out a little too well-done and too crispy. Cover the tortillas on a plate while you cook the rest.

We ate the tortillas as bean and cheese quesadillas…slathered with salads and sour cream. It was a yummy dinner adventure!

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