Thursday, January 19, 2012

Black Bean Corn Quesadillas

When I was younger, my favorite after school snack was a flour tortilla and juice (my, I loved my carbs back then, too!).  At some point, I realized that there was a concoction called a "quesadilla" which involved yummy melted cheese folded in between said tortilla, and I was set.  In my opinion, cheese tastes so much better when melted, and added to the yummy that is a warm tortilla, I had my perfect snack.  Now of course, I try to avoid such heavy things as snacks (seriously, where was the fresh fruit in my youth?).  But lately I've been loving the black bean, corn and bell pepper combination and I thought that putting that all together in quesadilla form wouldn't be a bad idea.  I searched the internet for some ideas and found this recipe from allrecipes that I used as a base for proportions, but changed it quite a bit using my own ideas and one of the comments regarding oven baking and still getting crispy/gooey results.  I originally intended to add chicken, but honestly, just ran out of room on the tortilla and found I didn't miss it at all.  This is a great way to enjoy quesadillas as a main meal.  The beans are so creamy that you don't need to add nearly as much cheese, and the spices, plus the crunchy sweetness of the bell pepper and corn add up to a perfect combination of flavors and textures.  This is actually going on the meal plan again in the next week!

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas (inspired by allrecipes)
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 of small onion, finely chopped
1/2 of  1 (15.5 ounce) can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground oregano
4 soft taco size (8 inch) flour tortillas
2/3 cups shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
Cooking Spray

Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  In a skillet or saute pan, heat oil over medium high heat.  Add onion and cook until soft.  Add peppers and cook until onions start to carmelize.  Add beans, corn and spices and heat until warmed through, about 3 minutes.  On a pizza stone or cookie sheet sprayed with cooking spray, lay out two tortillas.  Top with warm veggie mixture and 1/3 cup cheese each, then top with the remaining tortillas.  Spray tops of tortillas with cooking spray.  Bake in oven for 10 minutes or until cheese is melted and tops reach desired golden brown color.  Enjoy with sour cream, salsa and/or guacamole.  Makes 2 quesadillas.

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