Remember how I once said that cooking in a new kitchen is like having a new boyfriend? It takes some time to get used to new idiosyncrasies and quirks, to decide what you can live with and what you might want to work on changing.
Well, if there was one thing I could change about my kitchen (besides making it bigger, an oven that fully opens and a dishwasher) I would give it a window. When I turn the oven on, it seems like it heats my entire apartment by twenty degrees. Lovely in the winter, not so lovely in the spring and summer.
Until I can afford the kitchen of my dreams, I’m making it work by getting creative on the stove top. Since the majority of starter house or apartment kitchens are, well, not large, I suspect that some of you might have a similar problem.
Quesadillas are a Mexican-inspired dish that literally translate to “cheesy tortilla.” Fun fact: the word ‘quesadilla’ is often mistaken for the word “Quesada.” In Mexico, “quesada” means “cheesecake.”
Some variations have chicken, beef or shrimp inside but others rely on beans and vegetables for taste, texture and nutrition. I’m not a big meat eater so for me, this black bean and avocado concoction that I pulled together on the fly is a perfect quick dinner fix.
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- ¼ small onion, finely diced
- 1 cup canned black beans
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 large or 2 small whole-wheat tortillas (I like La Tortilla Factory)
- 1 medium avocado, diced
- ¼ cups grated sharp cheddar (you can use more cheese, depending on your preference)
- In a small saute or frying pan, heat diced onion over medium-high heat. Cook 4-5 minutes or until onion is translucent and tender. Add black beans and cook for another 4-5 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Transfer black bean mixture to the bowl of a food processor, such as a Cuisinart 4-cup Mini-Prep. Add fresh lemon juice and pulse until mixture is a smooth consistency and black beans/onions are combined.
- Top half of the tortilla with the black bean mixture (you may have some left over). Layer the cheese and avocado over the back beans and fold tortilla in half.
- With a large spatula, move the quesadilla to the heated pan that you used to cook the onion and beans. Cook for 3 minutes, until the bottom tortilla is lightly browned and the cheese on the bottom begins to melt. Flip the quesadilla, and cook 2-3 minutes, until the bottom tortilla is lightly browned. Since you can't see the bottom, you can estimate based on when the cheese inside has melted.
- Remove quesadilla from the heat and let it sit until cool enough to handle. With a large, very sharp knife, cut the quesadilla into wedges, and serve with your favorite salsa and sour cream, if desired.