Thursday, March 14, 2013

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Quesadillas are normally not healthy because they are loaded with cheese.  If you instead fill them with black beans, mashed sweet potatoes, kale, green onions, spices and only a bit of cheese, they're actually pretty healthy!  This was a fun way to satisfy a quesadilla craving with some of our favorite flavors.

I made these quesadillas with whole wheat flour tortillas.  I have made my own tortillas in the past a bunch of times.  I'll be sure to post the recipe at some point!  But this time I knew I wouldn't have the time to make the tortillas, so I used store bought.  One thing to watch out for with tortillas  (as well as a lot of bread) is the sodium content.  Most of the tortillas I found at the store had 25% of the recommended daily value of sodium in just one tortilla!  I was luckily able to find one package where each tortilla only had 6% of the recommended daily value.  It definitely reminded me about why it's nice to make food from scratch!  You have so much more control!

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

I served these quesadillas with kale chips on the side.  I had kale left over after adding it to the quesadillas, so I sprayed it with olive oil spray, sprinkled with salt and pepper, and baked it at 425F for about 10 minutes, turning half way through.  Yum!

You'll notice that in the recipe I say this serves 4-8.  This really depends on how hungry you are and what you are having on the side.  This recipe makes 8 semi-circle quesadillas.  For dinner, I had 1 (and a lot of kale chips) and Mark had between 1 and 2.  We'll have these for another dinner and then for lunches too! 

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

Sweet Potato and Black Bean Quesadillas

serves: 4-8 (Depending on what you have on the side and how hungry you are!  Halve the recipe if desired.)

  • 3 medium sweet potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle chili powder (or regular chili powder)
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 3 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, minced
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 cups chopped kale (bake any additional kale in a 425F oven to have on the side!)
  • 5 green onions, sliced
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed (or 1 3/4 cups cooked black beans)
  • 8 whole wheat flour tortillas (look at the sodium content-- pick one with as low a sodium content as possible!)
  • 1-2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • for serving: sriracha (my favorite!), salsa, hot sauce, greek yogurt or sour cream (optional)


1)  Pierce the sweet potatoes all over with a fork and put on a plate.  Microwave for 15-20 minutes until cooked (if you have a potato setting, use that!).  Once cooked, carefully remove the sweet potatoes from the microwave (don't burn your hands!).  Slice open each sweet potato and scoop the insides into the bowl of a stand mixer.  Add salt, cumin, chili powder, oregano, and chipotle peppers.  Set aside.

2)  Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet.  Add the kale and green onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is bright green and a little wilted, about 5 minutes.  The kale will not be completely wilted.    Add the kale and green onions to the bowl with the sweet potatoes and spices.

3)  Mix the sweet potato mixture in the stand mixer on medium speed with the paddle attachment until thoroughly combined and the potatoes are smooth.  If you don't have a stand mixer, you can do this by hand!  Add in the black beans and mix with a spatula or wooden spoon until combined.

4)  Lay out tortillas on a flat surface.  Divide mixture between the tortillas. You will have about 1/2 cup of the sweet potato mixture on each tortilla (the exact amount will depend on how big your sweet potatoes are).  With a spatula, spread the mixture over each tortilla.  Top half of each tortilla with cheese (2-4 tablespoons per tortilla).  Fold each tortilla in half to make a semicircle.

5)  Heat a griddle over medium heat (or reheat the skillet).  Place half of the assembled tortillas on the griddle and cook, flipping once halfway through, until both sides are browned and cheese is melted.  Repeat with remaining tortillas.

6)  Cut as desired and serve with sriracha or other toppings.

(recipe adapted from Cookie Monster Cooking)


  1. I have been noticing that a lot lately with the sodium! I guess I just never paid attention before. I eat a small bagel almost every morning--how easy it is to make bagels/could you post about it?


    1. I know-- bread isn't one of the things you automatically think of as being "salty", but salt is a key ingredient in all breads. Bagels aren't too hard to make, and you can make a big batch and then keep them in the freezer. I will definitely post about that!


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