BLACK BEAN QUESADILLAS

This meal has become a favorite in our house. It's a yummy way to get greens into dinner. I find quesadillas very adaptable to substitutions. This one works best with swiss chard, but I think spinach would work well too (I've tried it with kale and didn't like it as much). This week I used the swiss chard from my CSA - the leaves were huge! Sweet potato could be subbed for a cup of cooked butternut squash, and the black beans could be subbed for grilled chicken or pinto beans. Technically, they probably shouldn't be called quesadillas because there is no cheese in them (but they're good, trust me!). The sweet potato balances the earthy flavors of the beans + swiss chard, and the avocado adds a creaminess + fat factor.

Black bean sweet potato swiss chard quesadilla
Black bean sweet potato swiss chard quesadilla
Black bean quesadilla close up
Black bean quesadilla close up

(Ignore the dog-bum in the background of the closeup photo!)

Black Bean Sweet Potato Swiss Chard Quesadillas Serves 2-4 (2 if you're having nothing else; 4 if you serve with a side like a corn mango salad) 

1 sweet potato, cooked and peeled (I usually poke each side a few times with a fork and microwave for about 5 minutes each side)
1 bunch swiss chard, washed and patted dry
15 oz black beans (rinsed if canned or presoked if using dried)
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or 1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 small onion, diced or 1 T onion powder
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp cumin
1/2 tsp chili powder (more or less, depending on how spicy you like it!)
1 T olive oil
1/3-1/2 C water
4 tortillas (I usually use wheat, but you could use corn or gluten-free)
hot sauce, optional
1 avocado
salt, pepper to taste

  1. Prepare swiss chard by folding each leaf in half, and cutting off the thick veins. Then stack a few leaves on top of each other, roll up, then cut the roll into thinn-ish slices (you'll end up with ribbons of swiss chard).
  2. In a medium-large pan, heat olive oil and if using fresh, add garlic and onion, until fragrant and glassy (if using garlic + onion powders, wait until after beans are in pan).
  3. Mix in black beans and other spices (including garlic + onion powders, if using). Once beans are warm, mash lightly with a fork so they're not quite "bean-shaped" anymore, and let flavors cook together for about 5-8 minutes, adding water occasionally so that the beans don't fully dry out.
  4. Mix in the cooked sweet potato and swiss chard ribbons; cook about 3-5 minutes, until they wilt, and turn off/remove from heat.
  5. Put a quarter of the mixture on 1 tortilla, add a few dashes of hot sauce and fold in half. Spread the mixture around a bit so it's even in the tortilla. Repeat 3 times.
  6. One at a time (or two, if you have a big pan), put the folded tortilla in a medium pan on medium heat until the bottom side is starting to brown; then flip until the other side starts to brown. Repeat 3 more times. Slice each quesadilla into 4 triangles.
  7. While quesadillas are toasting, peel and mash the avocado, adding salt + pepper to taste. For serving, I plop half the avo in the middle of the plate, then put the quesadilla slices around it like a sun :)

Take a deep breath and appreciate what you’ve just made and are about to enjoy!

What's your favorite quesadilla combo? 

Do you dread dinnertime because your love or kid will moan and yell about eating green veggies? Email me to set up a chat – I can help make dinner fight-free!