Sweet Potato and Bean Quesadillas

Here is another super-quick Mexican inspired recipe to make when you don’t have much time – or ingredients on hand. It uses 3 basic ingredients and is very inexpensive and easy to make (your teenager could easily make it!). Make a dang quesadilla, Napoleon!

Sweet Potato & Bean Quesadilla

Ingredients:

  • 2 medium sweet potatoes
  • 4 whole-wheat tortillas (8 inch)
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (or cheddar if you aren’t vegan)
  • 3/4 cup of salsa
  • 1 Avocado (for slicing or guacamole)

Directions:

  1. Scrub sweet potatoes: pierce several times with a fork. Place on a microwave-safe plate and microwave, uncovered, on high for 7 – 9 minutes (or use your “baked potato” auto cook button)
  2. When cool enough to handle, cut each potato lengthwise in half. Scoop out pulp and spread onto one half of each tortilla. Top with beans and cheese (if using). Fold other half of tortilla over filling. I like to sprinkle a little bit of seasoning over the beans – like garlic salt or greek seasoning.
  3. Heat a griddle or a skillet over medium heat. Cook 2 – 3 minutes on each side or until golden brown and cheese is melted.
  4. Serve with your choice of toppings: sliced avocado/guacamole, shredded lettuce, salsa, sour cream.

Nutritional info: 306 cal. 8 g fat (3g sat. fat – if using cheese), 15 mg cool., 531 sodium, 46g carb, 6g fiber 11 g pro.

Quick Burrito Bowls

Who doesn’t like to get a quick bite at Chipotle for some yummy Mexican? I was looking for more ways to use my 49 cent avocados from Aldi and I thought – how about a burrito bowl? We really enjoy their burrito bowls with beans, rice, lettuce and chorizo (plant-based protein). I’ve run across a few recipes that are really delicious and quick to make when we are craving Mexican. Our new favorite is the vegan burrito bowl, taken from Forks over Knives. I’ve added some of our customizations in italics.

Vegan Burrito Bowl

Vegan Burrito Bowl

By Heather McDougall. Serves 2 – 4 Ready in 30 minutes or less (depending on the use of pre-cooked beans, grains and chips).

Ingredients:

  • Baked tortilla chips (see notes)
  • 2 – 4 cups of cooked grains (see notes)
  • 2 – 4 cups chopped romain lettuce or steamed kale
  • 2 – 4 chopped tomatoes
  • 1 – 2 chopped green onions (opt.)
  • 1 – 2 cups corn kernels (see notes)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Fresh salsa (our favorite is Newman’s Own Peach Salsa)
  • Vegan sour cream (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Break a handful of the chips into pieces in the bottom of each serving bowl.
  2. Spoon some of the cooked grains over the chips followed by some of beans, then layer on the rest of the toppings: lettuce or kale, tomatoes, onions (if using), corn, and avocado. Top with the salsa and a spoon full of vegan sour cream if desired.

Notes:

Chips: Read labels carefully to find baked chips without added fat, or make your own chips from soft corn tortillas: Cut them into wedges, spritz with water, and bake at 300 degrees until crisp.

We found some great healthy chips like these Veggie and Flaxseed Corn Tortilla chips from Aldi (right). We also really like the organic blue corn chips from Meijer. You can find a variety of options in the health health food aisle of your local grocery store. Make sure to check the nutrition label for added sodium and fat.

Grains: If you have leftover cooked grains and beans in your refrigerator, this can be a really fast meal. We like to use the Simply Nature Seven Grain pre-cooked blend from Aldi or the Birdseye Protein Blends Southwest Style (does contain a small amount of skim milk – see packages ingredients below).

Beans: You can slow-cook your own beans, cook them in a pressure cooker in a fraction of the time, or use canned beans (we like organic black beans from Aldi).

Chorizo: We found this Loma Linda Chorizo (plant based protein) at our local grocery store and gave it a try (see below). It isn’t bad – but it was saltier and not as light as Chipotle. Give a try if you want the feel of meat in your burrito bowl.

Burrito Bowl with Chorizo

Corn: I usually use frozen organic corn kernels thawed under cold running water until tender and then drained well.

Vegan Sour Cream: We found that we liked Tofutti vegan sour cream as a toping (pictured below) – available from Whole Food and some other food stores.

This recipe is very flexible and may be different every time you make it depending on the ingredients you have on hand. Enjoy experimenting with it and let your kids pick and choose what they want in their burrito bowl.