It used to be a standing joke at our house – Friday night would come and someone would say “What should we have for dinner?” and I would say “Black Bean Quesadillas”, which always meant Black Bean Chèvre Quesadillas from Bonnie Stern’s Simply Heart Smart Cooking recipe book. It was published over 20 years ago now (!) but the recipes are still amongst our favourites. Even though her website says that it’s out of print, it still seems to be available on Amazon. She also published a whole book of Friday Night Dinners – check it out on her website.
Black Bean Quesadillas are quick, easy and full of flavour. We almost always used chèvre but you could substitute whatever cheese you have on hand. Another option is to use the filling as a salad/side for almost anything (chicken breast, fish, mac and cheese, etc). Whatever option you choose, it makes a great Friday (or any) night dinner. Bonnie suggests barbecuing them for extra flavour or making them open faced like a pizza. They can also be made ahead and reheated, and leftovers are great for lunches.
Black Bean Chèvre Quesadillas adapted from Simply HeartSmart Cooking
Serves 6 – Serving Size: 1 tortilla
1 cup (250 mL) black beans
1 tomato, chopped and drained
1 sweet red pepper, preferably roasted, peeled and chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
½ cup (125 mL) cilantro
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh chives or green onions
2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh basil
1 ½ cups (375 mL) grated light Monterey Jack or Cheddar cheese
½ cup (125 mL) chèvre (soft goat cheese) or feta cheese
6 10 inch (25 cm) flour tortillas
1. Preheat barbecue or heat oven to 400oF (200oC).
2. Combine black beans, tomato, red pepper, jalapeno, garlic, cilantro, chives, basil, Monterey Jack and chèvre.
3. Place tortillas on counter in a single layer. Spread filling evenly over one half of each tortilla.
4. Fold unfilled half over filled side and press together gently.
5. Place in a single layer on heated grill on the barbecue or on a baking sheet or pizza stone in the oven. Bake for 7 – 10 minutes until the filling is heated and the cheese has melted.
Nutritional Analysis (per serving): 340 kcal, 11 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 43 g carbohydrates, 4 g fibre, 18 g protein.