I recently ran into an old friend of mine from law school, Tracy McGuigan*. I mentioned my hunt for a healthy quesadilla recipe and low and behold she had one for me!!
Tracy revised the standard cheese filled quesadilla recipe and turned it into a powerhouse of protein and fiber by losing the chess and adding black beans and quinoa. Tracy took my unhealthy quesadilla addiction and turned it into a substantially healthy meal!
Quinoa is a whole grain harvested in South America. It's packed with 14g of protein per serving and contains a balanced set of essential amino acids, which makes it a complete protein source. Quinoa is also a great source of fiber and phosphorous and is high in both magnesium and iron. Next time you have a craving for Mexican, try Tracy's Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Quesadillas!
Vegan Quinoa Black Bean Quesadillas
1 cup quinoa, washed & drained
2 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
Juice of 2 fresh limes
1 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 can black beans, rinsed
1 1/2 cups cherry tomatoes (108-oz pkg), cut in half
5 green onions, finely chopped
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
Salt & pepper to taste
Directions: Wash & rinse quinoa. In a saucepan, bring quinoa & water to a boil. Reduce & simmer, cover & cook until all water is absorbed, about 10-15 minutes. Let cool. In a small bowl, whisk together olive oil, lime juice, cumin, and red pepper flakes. Combine quinoa, beans, tomatoes, & onions in a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Stuff mixture inside a whole grain wrap and sauté until lightly browned on each side. Top with salsa and sour cream (try Tofutti to keep it vegan!) and drizzle dressing over. Garnish with cilantro.
* Tracy is currently pursuing a Masters in Nutrition, is a graduate of JNA Culinary Arts and lives outside Philadelphia with her husband and children. She is currently working for Christina Pirello Health Education Initiative in grant development.
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