Monday, 13 January 2020

Quick black bean quesadillas

I have a week of summer holidays left before I am back to working 9 to 5.  After weeks of lots of sleeping and rest, I am seeing the light at the end of the tunnel and starting lists of things to accomplish before the holidays finish.  There is a lot to do.  I want to do lots of cooking while not exhausted after work but there is so much else on my list.  So some simple quesadillas did the trick on the weekend.

I had hoped to share a recipe for a tahini rice bubble slice today but it was a total failure!  We were baking for a bushfire fundraising cake stall on Saturday.  Luckily we had aimed high.  Sylvia made grubs and honey joys and I had also made vegan cupcakes.  So the slice went to the bin while the rest of our contributions went to the cake stall.  The stall raised about 3 times as much as the school normally makes from a cake stall.

It feels like our politicians are letting us down on the bushfires but the community is showing amazing spirit.  Everyone around here seems to be be doing something for the bushfire funds whether it is donating the takings of a cafe, busking, holding a garage sale, setting up a go fund me page or even marching in the street.

And the bushfires will have far reaching effects whether it be with wild life, accessible roads, drinking water or food availability.  So I am feeling even more than usual that I should be responsible and avoid food waste.  Above is a photo of some strawberries and tomatoes from the garden.  I haven't given the garden quite as much attention as it needs but I am keeping my plants alive.  My cherry tomato plants look quite spindly compared to my mum's lush green tomato plants.  So I just am grateful for any produce.

The quesadillas originally were inspired by Jamie Oliver's gnarly black bean tacos in his new cookbook Veg: Easy and Delicious Meals.  I quite like Jamie Oliver and promised myself  I would buy one of his cookbooks if he ever wrote a vegetarian cookbook.  Finally last year he did.  I bought a copy I saw on sale (forgetting I had requested it for Christmas but I ended up with a book voucher that was great fun to spend).  I am trying to use the cookbook despite not doing much cooking from cookbooks lately. 

Jamie's gnarly recipe looked simple and a good way to use up some tortillas.  Yet I could not quite get my head around cooking the tortillas on the frypan and pressing the tortillas on top.  I predicted a big mess in my kitchen and changed tack!  And I wanted to use up some of the stuff in my fridge: half a tomato, some avocado dip, some old yoghurt, an open jar of salsa, wilting baby spinach and of course my cherry tomatoes.  I listed 1 tomato in the recipe as I don't expect everyone to have half a tomato and a few cherry tomatoes to use up!

I was happy with how these quesadillas turned out.  They were delicious and good easy casual eating that didn't distract too much from my work in sorting out papers, books and clothes around the house.  I had quesadillas as in the recipe the first night and on the second night I was still sorting out stuff and stopped long enough to grill some leftover black beans, salsa and grated cheese on a couple of slices of sourdough toast.  Perfect food for busy times!

More Tex Mex meals on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
Kale, cheese and mole quesadillas (v)
Mexican nacholada casserole (gf, v) 
Super easy vegie layered tortilla casserole
Tex Mex vegan bowl (gf, v)
Tex Mex Pizza with sourdough base (v) 

Quick black bean quesadillas
Serves 2

400g tin o f black beans, rinsed and drained
1 handful baby spinach,  chopped
1 tomato, diced
1 tsp vinegar
1/2 tsp ground cumin
4 tortillas
2 handfuls of grated cheese
Butter for frying
To serve: yoghurt, salsa, guacamole, finely sliced red cabbage

Mash black beans and mix in spinach, tomato, vinegar and cumin.  Spread on half four tortillas.  Spread with grated cheese.  Fold tortilla over and cut in half.  Heat frypan and melt a small knob of butter over medium high.  Carefully place quesadillas into pan (I cook 4 quarters at a time).  Fry a few minutes until golden on one side.  Very carefully turn, melt another small knob of butter in the pan and remove once golden brown on the other side. (I don't time these but I look and smell and sometimes turn the first one a bit too early but it can be flipped back over if needed.)  Serve with yoghurt, salsa, guacamole and cabbage arranged on top.

On the Stereo:
Ruby: Killjoys


  1. Good to see the fundraising for the victims of the fires. Restoring the affected communities appears to be a gigantic job, which can't even start until the fires are controlled. Not wasting food has always been important in my life: for one thing, my parents had lived through the Great Depression and that meant you never wasted anything. We grew up before they invented expiry dates, so it meant nothing was thrown away until it was obviously dangerous. Looks as if that's back now!

    Have a good year in blogging and in general... mae at

  2. Half a world away here in the US, I can tell you that the Australian bushfires are on everyone's mind. What a devastating situation. Quesadillas, tacos and grilled cheese are my go to for using up bits and bobs from the fridge- your version looks excellent!

  3. The politicians have definitely let us down. It's amazing how badly really. Thankfully people and communities have shown themselves to be more adept at well everything!

  4. These look delicious. I love using black beans in cooking and these look simple but delicious. A great idea to try, thank you .

  5. These look terrific. Sophie Dahl made similar quesadillas on TV on the weekend so I searched for the recipe and sent it to myself.

  6. Black bean and spinach quesadillas are one of my favourites (with cashew cheese!) I need to make some again soon. The news cycle means we're getting little news on the bushfires any more. It's great to hear that the community are helping fill the vacuum the politicians left.


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