As a vegetarian, I often have to find fun and creative ways to achieve a balanced nutrition. This is normally important, but is more important in our household because of my husband’s active lifestyle through playing intensive Squash sessions and running more recently. Having joined him on his running sessions, I have realized how important a balanced nutrition is important to keep the metabolism active and to supplement the workout sessions.
So, I always keep Sweet Potatoes and Black Beans in my pantry. One has complex carbohydrates and the other is packed with protein and fiber. I am always looking for different ways to use both these items. What better way than mashing them together and using it as a stuffing for a delicious Quesadilla?
Sweet Potatoes cook very quickly and take up any flavor that you add to them, so that works great. Black beans from a can just need to be mixed in and mashed. So for a quick weeknight dinner, this is a great option. The spices can be modified to your liking, but for something like this, I like to keep it simple, yet lip-smacking with the Tex-Mex flavors.
Now, the part that I struggle with is finding healthy Tortillas to make the Quesadilla. There are too many flour and corn ones out there with little to no health benefit. But, I was able to find a Sprouted Whole Wheat Tortilla with Spinach at a Sprouts Farmers Market. The light green colored tortilla is not only tasty and healthy but is also pleasing to the eye.
Of course, like any Quesadilla, I served this one up with some Avocado sauce (similar to a chutney, and is not Guacamole). I was going for the same concept as eating a Kathi Roll dipped in Chutney, but here we will dip the Quesadilla dipped in the Avocado Sauce.
In just 30 minutes, you can put together a weeknight dinner which can make for an especially balanced and nutritious meal post a long run. Any leftovers cans be individually wrapped in foil and re-heated to enjoy the following day.
|Prep time||10 minutes|
|Cook time||20 minutes|
- Avocado – 1 large
- Garlic – 1 clove
- Cilantro – A handful
- Salt – As per taste
- Lime Juice – From half a lime
- Onions – 1 medium, diced
- Jalapeno – 2, thinly sliced
- Sweet Potato – 1 large or 2 medium, finely chopped or grated
- Black Beans – 1 15oz can
- Grated Pepperjack Cheese – 1-2 cups (use any other cheese of choice or omit if vegan)
- Tortilla of choice (8″ size) – 4
Spices and Flavors
- Cumin Powder – 1 tsp
- Coriander Powder – 1 tsp
- Red Chili Powder – 2 tsp (Adjust as per your taste preference)
- Salt – As per taste
- Garlic – 1.5 tsp (Ground) or 3 cloves, finely chopped
- 2 tbsp + some extra to brush on the Quesadilla while cooking
- Warm 2 tbsp oil in a pan on medium-high heat. To this, add the garlic and allow it to lightly brown. To this, add the onions and cook them until they are transluscent
- Next, add the sweet potatoes and cook them for 5 minutes until they are slightly tender. At this point, add salt and cook for an additional 5 minutes until they sweet potatoes are completely tender
- Add the black beans and mash them in (or mix them in for a chunky texture). Add the seasonings, mix and let it cook for an additional 5 minutes. Take it off the heat and allow it to cool down
- In the meanwhile, prepare the avocado sauce by adding all ingredients to a blender to make a creamy sauce. Chill in the refrigerator until it is ready to be served
- To prepare the Quesadilla:
- Warm a grill plan and brush some oil onto it
- Place a tortilla on a flat surface
- Start by placing a generous amount of the sweet potato-black bean mixture on one half of the circular tortilla
- On this, place some slices of jalapenos
- Then add some cheese and fold the other half of the tortilla on top
- Carefully place on an oiled grill pan and brush the top with some oil
- After 1 minute, the underside of the quesadilla should be golden and crispy with the cheese oozing on the sides. At this point, flip the quesadilla to cook the other side to golden crispiness
- Repeat with the other 3 tortillas
- Slice the quesadillas into 2 wedges and serve immediately with the cool avocado sauce
- The quesadilla can be served with a salsa of your choice
- Replace 1 tsp of chili powder with 1 tsp of smoked paprika for a smoky flavor with the sweet potato-black bean mixture
- For an extra kick of spice, add some chopped jalapenos to the avocado sauce
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