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Black Bean Quesadillas with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

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These tasty quesadillas are easy to transport, very filling, and totally appetizing hot or cold. They are perfect for an on-the-go snack or lunch, and a quick vegetarian dinner option, too!

This is a really busy time of year for everyone. It seems to be parties, church events, and travel keeping me busy this year. A couple years ago I was on the road for work every day between Thanksgiving and Christmas. It is not so simple for people on a gluten free diet to stop by the drive thru for lunch in the midst of shopping for Christmas gifts or eat your fills worth at a holiday party. There is more planning required.

I love these quesadillas for busy days. Once you’ve made the black bean mixture and the sauce it takes just a couple of minutes to cook them. Since they are self contained, kind of like a tortilla sandwich, they travel so easily. You don’t need to remember to bring a fork with you, or even need to heat these up in the microwave. Sometimes I cook the whole batch of these all at one time and keep them on hand in the fridge for a really quick and easy meal to bring with me when I will be out all day. Other times, I make the bean mixture ahead of time and then cook 3 or 4 tortillas worth of quesadillas at a time.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Have I mentioned how filling these are? Something about black beans always fills me up really quickly – anyone else experience that? I find that feeling full is GREAT when I am at a party or somewhere else with tons of food that I cannot eat. It helps me not feel so bad about missing out on all of that great food!

The quesadillas are good on their own, but even more excellent with this spicy dipping sauce. As a former Taco Bell employee I am very familiar with the different sauce. The Baja sauce is my favorite, but their quesadilla sauce is a close second. When I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest I knew I had to try it. I made a few modifications (mainly swapping out the sour cream for greek yogurt), and ended up with a healthier version of that yummy Taco Bell Quesadilla sauce. Yum!

Next time you need to bring a meal with you give this a try! A few of these quesadillas packed up with a dollop of this spicy sauce will keep you full and satisfied!

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P.S. My eBook is now available on Kindle! You can also purchase it for $1 off the Kindle price here. Check it out for your holiday baking!

Black Bean Quesadilla with Spicy Yogurt Sauce

Ingredients (makes 12 quesadillas and 1/2 c of sauce)

 

For the Spicy Yogurt Sauce

  • 1/2 c plain greek yogurt
  • 1 Tbs jalapeno, roughly chopped (more or less, to taste)
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 4 shakes cayenne pepper (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

For the Quesadillas

  • 15.5 oz can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 small onions, finely chopped (about 1/2 c)
  • 1/3 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 Tbs lime juice
  • 1/2 c shredded mexican cheese blend
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • cooking spray
  • salt
 
  1. In a blender or food processor combine all of the sauce ingredients and mix until smooth and well combined.
  2. In a medium sized bowl mix the first eight quesadilla ingredients.
  3. Heat a skillet over medium heat. When it is warm, spray with cooking spray and place a tortilla flat in the pan. Spray the tortillas with cooking spray and sprinkle with salt. Flip the tortillas over using a spatula. Scoop about two tablespoons of the bean mixture onto on half of the tortilla. The amount of mixture you use for each tortilla may be more or less, depending on how large your tortillas are. Using the spatula, fold the tortilla in half over top of the bean mixture and preww the top down with a spatula.
  4. Let the quesadilla cook for a minute or two, until the bottom is brown (just light the edge up a little bit with a spatula to check), then flip and let the other side brown.
  5. Repeat steps 3 and 4 with the remaining tortillas.
  6. Serve with the spicy yogurt sauce.

How To: Make GF Corn Tortillas (that are soft and pliable!)

Tortillas are just so darn useful. Tacos have always held a special place in my heart and stomach, but there are so many more uses for tortillas than just Mexican food. I know I’m not the only one out there who makes breakfast wraps and burritos! I love to take boring leftovers and re-purpose them as quesadillas (Once, we had 2 pounds of Korean BBQ Beef leftover from a party. I re-purposed that into some pretty weird popovers and some pretty good quesadillas).

And then there’s taquitos.  Crispy outside, creamy inside, full of whatever flavor you want. A perfect match for the corn tortilla. I guarantee you that I won’t be able to have this blog for too much longer without a taquito recipe appearing.

So why make your own tortillas when you can buy a bag of 100 at the grocery store for $3? Well, just try out homemade tortillas and I think you will realize why! Unlike the store bought corn tortillas, fresh tortillas bend and fold around your food without splitting and cracking. Homemade tortillas have a whopping three ingredients in them. The packaged versions aren’t awful, but definitely have some extra chemicals and preservatives in them. Making tortillas is also super simple!

The ingredients

The three simple ingredients you’ll need to homemade tortillas are corn flour (also called masa or masa harina), water, and salt. I bought my corn flour in a 5lb bag at the grocery store on the international foods aisle. I’ve also seen it at the Hispanic food market in town (but it is more expensive there).

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I store my corn flour in an airtight container with the directions taped to it for quick and easy access.

The Tools

The traditional tools used for making tortillas are a tortilla press and warmer. However, these are also simple to improvise. The tortillas press evenly flattens the dough ball into the tortillas shape. The warmer keeps tortillas warm and soft until they are eaten. A heavy skillet can sub in for a tortillas press and any container with a lid that flat tortillas will fit in can be a tortillas warmer.

How To Make Tortillas

My tortillas press & tortillas warmer were among some of my favorite wedding gifts 🙂

The Process

First, mix your dough. I’ve included measurements below for five tortillas. Your bag of masa will probably have measurements and directions for making different amounts of tortillas. There’s no special procedure for mixing the dough, just dump your ingredients in the bowl and stir it up!

How To Make Tortillas

The mixed dough – it will be a bit crumbly.

Next, roll the dough into balls. Your dough may be a little crumbly, but the balls should stay together. These balls DO NOT need to be perfect – they are only going to get flattened, after all.

(Imperfect) Dough balls

Once your dough balls are done get out your tortilla press. Put a piece of plastic wrap over each side of the open press, and then put a dough ball right in the middle of the bottom plate of the press. Fold the top over and use the lever to firmly press the plates together. It just takes a second or two of pressing. When you lift the lever and top plate you’ll see that the dough ball is now flattened. If you’re a perfectionist, like me, you can shift the tortilla 90 degrees or 180 degrees and press again to help get a perfectly circular shape. You’ll see, though, that it will be pretty darn close to perfect the first time.

If you don’t have a frying pan, try just using your counter top and a large skillet. Place the a dough ball in between two pieces of plastic wrap, set the bottom of the skillet on top of the dough ball, and press down firmly with you palm flat on the inside of the skillet. You should still end up with a pretty round, flat, tortilla!

Once the dough is flattened it looks more like a tortilla.

After your dough balls are pressed, heat a nonstick skillet over medium high heat. When it’s warm, lay a tortilla in the pan. After 60 seconds, flip it.

This is what the tortilla will look like after it is flipped, just a little brown.

Let the tortilla cook another minute, and then take it out of the pan and put it in your tortilla warmer while you cook the other tortillas.

In the tortillas warmer, ready to eat!

Other notes

These tortillas are best used fresh. If you have leftovers, or want to make them in advance, store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator. When you are ready to use the tortillas, just microwave them for a few seconds. The heat will make them pliable again.

These tortillas will work for any baked dishes, like enchiladas or taquitos. Just to be clear, you still have to cook them in the skillet first, even if you are going to bake them!

Once you have some experience, you can expedite the tortilla making process by creating a sort of “assembly line”. While one tortillas is in the pan you can be rolling and pressing another dough ball. Personally, I always like to roll all of the dough balls before I move forward, just so I can make sure they are all uniformly sized.

How To: Make GF Corn Tortillas

Ingredients
  • 3/4c corn flour/masa
  • 1/3c + 3 Tbs water
  • 1/2 tsp salt
Cooking Directions
  1. Mix all ingredients together.
  2. Roll dough into 5 equally sized balls
  3. Press each ball with a tortilla press (or use your counter top and heavy frying pan) to flatten the dough balls.
  4. Cook each tortilla in a skillet over medium-high heat for 1 minute on each side.
  5. Keep your cooked tortillas in a tortilla warmer until all are cooked, or store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
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