Monday, July 27, 2015

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas

Happy Monday, everyone, and welcome back, RWA Conference attendees! I hope your week is starting out well.

Mine? Well, not so good. My computer died yesterday. I'm thankful for an external hard drive and multiple backups of files on USB sticks, so I haven't lost any important files.

I'm also thankful for the tablet I bought a few months ago...because I knew my computer was at the end of its life span. But it just isn't the same. So its time to shop for a new computer!

But nothing will stop this Yankee Belle post!

Today's recipe is an easy-peasy-lemon-squeezy do-ahead lunch. It has a lot of protein from the black beans and cheese, so it will keep you going all afternoon.

Okay, here we go:

Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas


2 Tablespoons oil, divided (I use coconut oil)
1/2 cup frozen corn
2 cloves garlic, pressed
1 Tablespoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon each (optional - mix and match): cumin, cilantro (fresh or dried)
a dash of cayenne pepper
1 can (about 16 oz) black beans, rinsed and drained
1-2 Tablespoons lime juice
Shredded cheese (cheddar, fiesta blend, Monterrey Jack - your choice
Fajita size (6 inch) flour tortillas

Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in a large skillet for a minute or so, then add the 1/2 cup frozen corn. Cook, stirring often, for about 3 minutes, or until the corn is popping and browning.

Remove the corn from the skillet and set aside.

Pour the second Tablespoon of oil into the skillet, and add the onion, garlic, chili powder and other spices. Saute until the onion is soft - about 2 minutes.

Stir in the rinsed and drained beans and heat through, mashing the beans slightly as you heat them up.

Return the corn to the skillet and toss to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a bowl, stir in the lime juice and salt to taste (I usually don't add any salt).

Now you can refrigerate the mixture in a covered bowl, or use some immediately. 

When you want to make your quesadillas, lay one tortilla in your pan over medium heat (you can use the same pan you used before - if you're making your quesadillas immediately, just wipe out the pan with a paper towel).

On the bottom tortilla, spread about 1/6 of the bean mixture. Sprinkle with cheese, then top with a second tortilla.

Heat thoroughly, until the bottom tortilla is a bit crisp, but not browned, then flip (carefully) the quesadilla over and brown the other side. 

Cut the quesadilla into wedges and enjoy!

One thing I love about this recipe is that I can make all six quesadillas at once on the griddle for a family dinner, or I can make one at a time for my own lunch.

You can also substitute shredded chicken for the beans if you'd rather make chicken quesadillas. I think I'd add a can of green chilies, too.

There's no limit to the combinations you can try.

Do you like "make ahead" lunches? For me, it saves a lot of time and thinking at lunch time when I have a deadline looming!


  1. Huge sympathy for stupid computer woes! #hateit But lovin' on the recipe because Beth and Jon love corn and black bean combos. We tried Morning Stars black bean burgers a few weeks back and I was amazed at how good they were. Not as a burger...


    But what a great appetizer or side dish!

    Jan, I'm a coward, and I'm going to share my cowardice with the entire world. I scoured the Internet for a Windows 7 for my last two laptops because I refuse to re-teach myself on Windows 8. There are only so many hours in a day, and I want to write... So me and Word 13 and Windows 7 have made a happy grouping the past few years!

    Mary Connealy did the same thing.... #happyauthors

    1. I think my new computer is up and working. This is a test.

      I reluctantly learned to use windows 8 when I bought my tablet last spring - but it wasn't as painful as I had anticipated. There's a button to take you to a traditional desktop, so I was on familiar ground very quickly.

      But Windows 10? The jury is still out on that one!

      And I love the black bean/corn combo! The corn adds a bit of sugar amid the spices, and the beans hold it all together. Yum!

  2. I'm finally home!!! I missed all of you! I had my family along on the trip to NY so didn't have time at night to get online (I had to pay them a little attention LOL).

    This recipe look like something I'd love! And I think I have all those ingredients now. I may have to make for lunch today. :)

  3. Jan, I also meant to say I'm sorry about the computer! I fear the same thing so just started backing up to my son's computer (using Crashplan).

    1. So glad you're back, Missy! It just isn't the same around here when people go on vacations or off to conferences. :)

  4. Sympathizing your computer woes. So thankful you had would have been catastrophic if you didn't.

    And this recipe looks awesome. Haven't made ques...however you spell it...before. How do you pronounce it anyway? Case -I-dee-ahs? I'll definitely get the ingredients next time I head to the grocery store.

    1. We'll have to ask Virginia for the official pronunciation, but we've always said "kay-sa-dee-yahs." Cheese quesadillas were a regular lunch for us when my children were growing up - a great change from grilled cheese.

      And I'm hoping my back-ups worked. I haven't tried to load them onto the new computer yet. *biting my nails*

  5. I'm always looking for make ahead lunches that I can take to school. This past year was so hard because I had so many students with nut allergies and many of my go-to foods contain nuts.

    I'm definitely putting this in the rotation. Thanks, Jan.

    Good luck with the computer.