I’ve been hearing rumors that this winter is going to be even worse than last year. It’s kind of hard to believe, isn’t it? We got so much snow that our roof started leaking in two places, and it seemed like once a week Owen’s daycare was cancelled and either Alex or I had to stay home from work to take care of him.
One of the only things to do when you are snowbound is cook, obviously. What better time is there to actually use that waffle machine, or make homemade bread, or perfect your chocolate chip cookie recipe? During Snowmageddon, my friend Jess taught herself how to make soup dumplings like a pro.
During one of our biggest snowstorms last year, I finally got around to making a recipe I had saved from Cook’s Country months earlier. It caught my eye because I knew Alex would love it, and because it seemed sort of genius: all the flavors of a Cuban sandwich toasted up in a quesadilla. It ended up being one of Alex’s favorite things I have ever made, and it quickly earned a spot in our regular weeknight rotation.
The original recipe is made with sliced ham and turkey, which aren’t exactly the pinnacle of healthfulness. Recently, I decided to see if I could adapt it as a vegetarian recipe. In place of the deli meat I used black beans, and I traded the white flour tortillas for whole wheat. I also used (gasp!) low fat mayonnaise. Usually I would turn up my nose, but it this case there are so many other flavors going on that you don’t notice, so why not save the calories?
These Cuban black bean quesadillas are the first recipe in a new category I’ll be featuring on my blog: Weeknight. I work two days a week in Manhattan, leaving our house at 7:30am and not returning until close to 7pm. The recipes in this category will be ones that I legitimately make on those nights—extra quick and simple, and using only basic ingredients. I hope you enjoy them. If I can do it, you can do it!
- 3/4 cup finely chopped dill pickles
- 1/3 cup pickled banana pepper rings, patted dry and finely chopped
- 1/3 cup yellow mustard
- 3 tablespoons low-fat mayonnaise
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 6 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- 1 (15-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained
- 6 thick slices deli Swiss cheese
- 2-3 tablespoons vegetable oil
- Combine the pickles, banana peppers, mustard, mayonnaise, and pepper in a small bowl.
- Spread about 1 1/2 tablespoons of relish over half of each tortilla, leaving 1/2-inch boarder around the edge. Top the relish side of each tortilla with about 1/3 cup black beans and one slice of cheese (tear the cheese as needed to make it fit). Fold the tortilla over the filling and press to seal.
- Heat 1 tablespoons of the oil in a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat until shimmering. Add 2 quesadillas and cook until golden brown and crispy, about 2 minutes per side. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate. Repeat with remaining oil and tortillas.
- Cut the tortillas into wedges and serve with the remaining relish.