Thursday, July 18, 2013

Sweet Potato, Black Bean & Kale Quesadillas with Easy Salsa

This is one of our family favorite fun summer dinners!  I know the title says quesadillas, and while there is actually no cheese needed to make these babies taste amazing, you don't even have to eat them as quesadillas!  We eat them as wraps more times than not, just so I don't have to turn the stove on.

This recipe was born out of desperation.  A warm day, a desire to not cook what was on the menu for the night, and sweet potatoes that needed to be used.  I had no idea if the dish would turn out, but it did and it has since been a staple in our house come summertime.

The sweetness from the apples really balances out the kale, and if you have regular jarred salsa on hand, fine. BUT, if by chance you don't, DO NOT -- I repeat: DO NOT -- go to the store to buy some. Instead, check your pantry and make some instead and know exactly what's in it!

We usually enjoy this meal with one of the many gazpachos I make, or with just a side of green veggies, like broccoli or grilled asparagus.

Sweet Potato, Kale & Black Bean Quesadillas
Serves 4 big portions  (1 1/4 cup/serving)
Active time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

What you'll need:
  • 1 TBLS olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cup thinly sliced sweet onion
  • 4-6 cups ½ inch cubes of sweet potatoes - washed well and skins on
  • 2 cups cored and chopped apples
  • 2 packed cups finely chopped kale OR collard greens OR fresh spinach
  • 1-2 14oz can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 8  6-in whole wheat tortillas (on the thinner side, like you would use for burritos)
  • Shredded cheese (optional)
  • Salsa (optional, and recipe below)

What you'll do:
  • Put cut sweet potatoes and apples in a glass microwave safe dish with lid and cook for 6-8 minutes until soft.
  • Meanwhile, heat oil in a large skillet and saute onion 5 minutes until soft and transparent.
  • Once sweet potatoes and apples are done, mash in glass bowl until smooth.  Try to mix in the greens as best you can and then microwave again for about 3 minutes to let the greens wilt all the way.
  • Once done, stir until greens are nicely mixed in.  Transfer to a mixing bowl.
  • Add the onions and black beans to mixing bowl and stir until combined.
  • Take 1 1/4 cup of the sweet potato mixture and spread it on a tortilla, place another tortilla on top.  
  • Cook on a griddle or pan on medium heat, flipping after 3-4 minutes once the tortilla has started to get crispy.
  • Serve with shredded cheese on top or salsa if desired.

And now, for the salsa recipe!  It's so easy, flexible, and versatile, you may never buy the jarred variety again!

Easy Salsa
Serves : 4 cups
Active time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: n/a
Total time: 10 minutes

What you'll need:
  • 2, 14.5 oz cans diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1, 4oz can diced green chiles (more for more spice)
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • 1 TBLS dry cilantro
  • 1 TBLS lime juice
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 1 tsp sugar OR other sweetener (honey, agave)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • Salt, to taste (if your tomatoes come with salt, you may not need to add any extra.  Always taste-test before adding!)
  • cayenne pepper OR hot sauce of choice, to taste

What you'll do:
  • Place all ingredients in a food processor or blender and blend until almost pureed.  
  • If you like a chunkier salsa, puree all ingredients except tomatoes and then add tomatoes in and pulse until desired texture.

1 comment:

  1. I really like the sound of this recipe! And I completely get why you would make it: leftover sweeties, too hot to cook, wanting something wholesome and hearty. Yum! You're an adventurous and creative cook, and I'm happy to have found you.

    I share so many of these traits. And with two girls heading off to soccer practice or basketball tournaments or chess club, who has time to cook, even though we want delicious healthful meals? I always want to, but sometimes don't have time to.

    And I love sweet potatoes so much! So I started a specialty food company based on sweet potatoes, with the goal of making it easier for everyone to eat them every day. It's called Yummy Yammy, and I have five different Sweet Potato Salsas. Just thought I'd mention it, in case it's of use to you and your readers for those days when you don't even have it in you to charge up the microwave!

    Best to you,