Thursday, March 3, 2011

Black Bean, Plantain and Spinach Quesadillas

Black Bean, Plantain and Spinach Quesadilla

I've been eating an inordinate amount of black beans lately. I go to Chipotle or Moe's pretty much every weekend. I've made black bean burritos, beans and rice, and chili with kidney and black beans all in the past week and a half. Now I'm adding these quesadillas to my list.

Sometimes it's just easier to break open a can of beans than it is to cook some chicken or steak. Not only that, but they're filling, nutritious and cheap! Makes me feel smart, eating beans. It suuure do.

These quesadillas have a great mix of flavors going for them. Spicy, sweet, cheesy, creamy. Pick out some nice, ripe plantains - ones that are heavily spotted with brown - to get the most sweetness.

Black Bean, Plantain and Spinach Quesadillas
(makes 2-4 servings depending on how hungry you are!)

2 Tbsp olive oil, divided
1 tsp butter
2 very ripe plantains, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
1/2 red bell pepper, diced
1 small onion, chopped
1 jalapeno pepper, minced (ribs and seeds removed if you'd like it on the mild side)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 tsp cumin
2 oz cream cheese, cubed
1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
4 10 inch flour tortillas
1 cup sharp cheddar or cheddar jack, shredded
3/4 cup (packed) fresh spinach, torn into bite sized pieces
salt to taste

1. Heat a medium skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 Tbsp olive oil, butter and cubed plantains. Cook until plantains soften and begin to caramelize, stirring occassionally, 5-7 minutes. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Reduce heat to medium and add the remaining olive oil. Add onion, red pepper, jalapeno and garlic and cook until they begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Stir in black beans, cumin and cooked plantain and cook for an additional 3 minutes, stirring occassionally.

3. Add the cream cheese to the pan and stir until melted and evenly distributed, 1-2 minutes. Stir in lime juice and taste for salt.

4. Set your oven on broil. Place 2 tortillas on a large baking sheet sprayed lightly with cooking oil. Divide half the cheddar cheese between the tortillas, spreading it evenly. Divide the black bean mixture between the two torillas and spread it around. Top with the spinach and remaining cheddar cheese and cover with the other 2 tortillas.

5. Bake under the broiler until crispy, flipping once, about 5-7 minutes total. Enjoy with avocado, salsa, sour cream or whatever you like!


  1. Wow, this sounds amazing!! I never thought to put quesadillas under the broiler. What a great idea! I've got a question on the tortillas - in the photo it doesn't look like plain jane flour tortillas. They look much more interesting in the photo... like you've got some whole wheat flax seed goodness going on. What brand did you use?

  2. @Natalie - You're right, these weren't just plain ol' flour tortillas! They were some whole grain tortillas and do have flaxseed in them. I can't remember what brand they are, and threw away the package, but I did find them in the refrigerated section of my grocery store. They might have been "Maria and Ricardo's" brand

  3. Wow! I can't wait to try this!!