Since I started working at the Pantry, I noticed that beans are always available. Beans of all shapes and sizes–black beans, pinto beans, kidney beans, bean beans, dry beans…the list is endless. The abundance of beans, along with Bean Day (you don’t celebrate?), inspired me to come up with a quick and easy recipe using beans.
Our PEAS committee arrived at what I found to be the greatest quesadilla ever. Don’t believe me? Well, you can find the recipe below and Take it to the Kitchen yourself.
Quesadillas make for a delicious and affordable meal that can please a 3 year old or even the most advanced foodie. A win-win!
Take it to the Kitchen
Thanks to one of the Pantry’s all star volunteers, I was able to make these quesadillas using a quesadilla maker! Classy, I know. This recipe instructs you to cook them over the stove, which is perfect if you don’t have a quesadilla maker.
The recipe is simple and more nutritious value than your OQ (original quesadilla)–cheese. I used a smaller tortilla than what the recipe calls for, for two reasons. First, I wanted to provide as many samples as I could try. The Guerrero tortillas come in a pack of 80 and cost just under $3.00–very affordable! Secondly, these tortillas are gluten free, so people with gluten allergies or sensitivities could enjoy the recipe and make it at home.
The cheese is the glue of any good quesadilla. Since the recipe doesn’t specify what cheese to use, I used mild cheddar.
Thanks to our partnership with Frontier Natural Products Co-op, we were able to use their delicious taco seasoning, which I used as the “quesadilla seasoning”. I must say, the seasoning really made the quesadillas pop! Their spice line (Simply Organic) is available at the Pantry and most local grocery stores.
Anyhow, to start I threw together all the ingredients into one bowl and mixed it with my (clean) hands. Less clean up. I’m all about less clean up! Make sure that the seasoning and other ingredients are distributed evenly throughout the mixture so that each quesadilla will taste the same.
Next, I took a tortilla and put about ½ cup of mixture on it then placed another tortilla on top, making a sandwich because tortillas were too small to fold in half as the recipe calls for.
I placed the quesadillas into the preheated quesadilla maker and shut the lid as it sizzled and popped. In a short few seconds an aroma of cheese and spices filled the room. I knew this was going to be delicious just from the smells. If you’re lucky, a bit of the cheese from your quesadilla will ooze out the sides and brown up creating some serious flavor.
I was surprised when I opened the maker and found that it had cooked the quesadilla and cut it into triangles! Technology…who knew?
After I took them off the quesadilla maker, I let them cool for a moment to hardened up enough to be served.
All in all, Pantry shoppers were pleased with the quesadillas and all the pre-made ingredient packages (25) went home with families. On top of it all, I was able to finally show off my new toy…a sampling stand! We were lucky enough to purchase this stand thanks to Theisen’s More For Your Community Grant we were awarded.
*To freeze for later, place uncooked quesadillas on a baking sheet and freeze for 1 hour to allow to solidify, then transfer to freezer bag. To reheat, either microwave (for soft quesadillas) or cook in skillet over low heat (make sure to use low heat so the filling has time to thaw and melt before the outside burns).
Author: Steven Williams