Who doesn’t like these crunchy cheese bites offered at any Mexican or Tex-Mex restaurants? Well, we all do. My only complaint when I eat outside at any restaurant is the amount of cheese and oil that they load into everything. Of course, any thing that is showered with oil and bombed with cheese is going to taste remarkable, right?
So the challenge in home cooking for me is to keep the taste neat while maintaining a low calorie level and at the same time, to fulfill the requirements of a balanced meal. Additionally, everyday meals need to be ready within 30-40 minutes.When I started cooking at home, this was not a simple task ….in fact, this was like a gigantic challenge for me! That’s when seasonings stepped in my life. I am not a big fan of spicy meals (‘cos that’s not good for your tummy either!), but I have realized how a thoughtful combination of a pinch of this and a pinch of that can make your family and guests want more. Also, I generally try and avoid using canned foods on an everyday basis. Pressure cookers offer a big helping hand in avoiding canned foods and speeding up the cooking time.
Here is a low calorie take on the black bean and cheese quesadillas with a marvelous combination of taco and fajita seasoning. Wait! There is more—they are cooked under 30 minutes and topped with “NO” fat sour cream. This is my entry for the Summer Express Cooking Event started by Mallugirl. Try a bite….
4 soft taco size flour tortillas
1 small onion cut into thin strips
1 medium tomato diced
1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
½ cup cooked and mashed black beans (You can substitute this for re-fried or pinto beans)
¼ cup shredded American or Cheddar cheese (I used Tomme Noire des Pyrenees Cheese bought during our recent vacation in France)
½ tsp taco seasoning
1 tsp fajita seasoning
4-5 tbs sour cream
4-5 tbs salsa
4-5 tbs guacamole
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp oil
1. Soak the black beans overnight in water. The next morning, strain the water and pressure cook the beans well with some water. Mash the cooked beans, roughly. If you are pressed for time, you could also use pre-cooked canned beans.
2. In a saute pan, heat some oil. Add the jalapeno peppers and onions and cook for a minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are soft. Add the beans, seasoning and salt. Saute the mixture for about 10 minutes.
3. Heat a griddle and place a tortilla on it. (You can heat as many tortillas at a time as your griddle can accommodate)
4. Place some cheese on one half of the tortilla. Add the onion, tomatoes and beans cooked together on top of the cheese. Top with a little more cheese.
5. Fold the tortilla over. Bake until the base turns golden brown.
6. Flip over and finish the other side in the same way.
Cut the quesadillas into 2 quarter pieces. Top with some sour cream and extra seasoning if desired. Serve with a side of guacamole and/or salsa.