Quesadillas – Black bean, Guacamole & Cheese


eat free Monday at its best. There is a trend here for  meat free Monday success and I think its black beans.  They have such delicious properties – high in protein and they give you that ‘meaty’ savoury taste that you may want in your dishes if you’re a die hard carnivore. I just love their depth of flavour and ability to handle heaps of smoked paprika!

I love quesadillas but I’ve never actually made them quite shamefully. A bit like making pancakes or pizzas, all the effort is in getting your toppings/filling ingredients ready! You can go wild here with what you choose to put inside.

Portion size – My fiancee would say that its 1 x Q each with a side salad. I’d say I could only manage 1/2 – they are quite filling! My quantities below made 3 annoyingly. That said, if you’re not keen to just invite the better half of your favourite couple for dinner, these can be shared OR just pad them out with a few more of your favourite Mexican ingredients to make more: a tangy tomatoes salsa would be in mine next time!

Makes 3

  • 6 wholemeal tortilla wraps
  • 2 x cans black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1-2 lime
  • 2 x avocado’s
  • 1 big bunch corainder
  • 1 large red onion
  • Strong, mature cheddar cheese, grated (not putting measurements here, cheese is cheese)
  • Tabasco (or your favourite hot sauce)
  • Side salad – I made a simple one using chopped gem lettuce, some baby toms, handful of sweetcorn and some mustard cress! Topped with a mustardy dressing for punch.
  1. Prep all your fillings. Start with the beans. Put the drained beans, paprika, cumin, a pinch of salt and the juice of half the lime and some seasoning in a food processor. Pulse, adding a splash of hot water, until a paste – don’t make it too smooth OR wet but it needs to be spreadable. Taste and adjust with lime if needed.
  2. Mash the avocados in a bowl with some salt and pepper and the juice of the other half a lime. Set aside
  3. Chopped the red onion really finely and add to a bowl. Chop the coriander and add to the onion. Set aside.
  4. Heat a large non stick frying pan on a medium high heat. Add a tsp of sunflower/rapeseed oil.
  5. While it is heating – assemble Q number 1!
  6. On a board/work surface, take 1/3 of the beans and smooth evenly and thinly over one of the wraps making sure to work right up to the edge.
  7. Do the same with 1/3 of the avocado.
  8. Scatter over 1/3 of the onion/coriander mix. If you want it hot, add some generous splashes of hot sauce, as much as you dare but I recommend you add some to give a bit of a kick.
  9. Scatter over enough cheese for your liking – be generous. Top with another wrap and push down gently.
  10. Fry the Q in the pan for about 3-4 minutes until you’re confident it had developed a nice golden crust underneath – I can only suggest you use a spatula to have a little peak. When its nearly done, give it a gentle push to make sure the top and bottom and nicely welted together with molten cheese.
  11. Now – with some wishful thinking and dexterity, use a few spatulas if needed to flip the Q onto the other side without it going everywhere! Continue to cook and crisp the other side for a few minutes giving it a nice little push now and again to melt everything together.
  12. Once done, slide the Q out onto a nice big chopping board and leave it to cool slightly for 2 minutes. Once not so molten, chop into quarters.
  13. Repeat with the other 2 Q’s and then serve dipped in yet more hot sauce!