I’ve really been doing my best lately to cook with what I have on hand. I have a bad habit of getting carried away at the grocery store every week — it’s a natural result of my nonstop quest for new recipes and dishes. This week though, I think I’m doing well. I poked around my kitchen and made these black bean and cheese quesadillas. They’re just the thing for a Meatless Monday when you’re feeling lazy. The ingredient list is short and sweet, filled with things you probably have in your pantry already: black beans, cheese, and tortillas. That’s pretty much it.
A lot of people prefer to make quesadillas with flour tortillas, but I always use corn tortillas whenever I’m cooking Mexican-inspired dishes. Corn tortillas are usually the better choice. They’re much lower in calories, fat, and sodium than flour tortillas (although I should note that flour tortillas are higher in fiber and protein). Low-sodium canned black beans make life easy — no need to soak them overnight, and no need to worry about consuming a ton of salt. I used fat-free cream cheese to bind everything together, but as always, you should feel free to substitute with whatever cheese you like. Use what you have!
These black bean and cheese quesadillas are great for lunch on the go. You can prepare the bean filling in advance, and warm the tortillas in the office microwave for a satisfying mid-day meal. At home, they cook up on the stove in a matter of minutes — ideal for those nights when you don’t have the time or energy to make anything fussy. Serve it with salsa and a green salad to round out your dinner.
Quick, easy, and guilt-free. That’s what it’s all about.
12 corn tortillas
1 15.5-oz can low-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 teaspoon cilantro
1/4 cup fat-free cream cheese
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
Combine all of the ingredients except for the tortillas in a bowl. Gently mash the black bean with the back of a spoon and mix everything together well. Adjust to taste. Divide the bean mixture into six equal portions and spread each portion onto a tortilla. Top with the remaining six tortillas.
Grill the quesadillas in a pan over medium heat, lightly misted with nonstick spray. Cook until the tortillas soften and turn golden — about two to three minutes per side. Serve warm, topping with salsa and sour cream if you like.
Servings: 6 / Calories: 182 / Total Fat: 1.5 g / Trans Fat: 0.0 g / Cholesterol: 1 mg / Sodium: 173 mg / Total Carbohydrates: 34.2 g / Dietary Fiber: 8.2 g / Sugars: 1.1 g / Protein: 8.7 g