I'm not really sure where I got the idea for this recipe. In fact, I was unsure how it would come together even as I was preparing it. For some reason I have been thinking about using a balsamic barbecue sauce for a while now. After a few quick google searches it seemed like the common use for a balsamic bbq glaze was some kind of meat - often chicken. But I was thinking of incorporating it into a veggie quesadilla... maybe it hasn't been done this way before!
Black bean quesadillas aren't exactly ground breaking by any means but I think the combination of flavours and veggies used in this recipe make these ones a little bit unique. They come together pretty quickly and a lot of the prep work can be done ahead of time or come from ingredients you may already have on hand. They are also healthy and full of fibre, protein and iron.
Speaking of protein, as a veggie girl, I often get asked the age old question "but where do you get your protein?". I have multiple answers for this question which usually sums up to "everywhere". Almost everything has protein and I don't need animals to get enough. Veggies, nuts, seeds, greens, grains - all sources of protein. Seeing as this is a pretty typical week night meal for me I decided to plug the recipe into a "nutrition fact finder" to see what I was working with.
|Per 1 quesadilla|
Anyway, back to the recipe.....
We start these babies off with a little bit of hummus. That's the dip I mentioned is always in my fridge. I use it as a snack with crackers and veggies, in wraps, sauces, stirfrys, salads etc... I usually make my own but I'm also pretty obsessed with Sabra. Do you have any favourite brands? I know some people who swear by their hummus brands so I'm hoping that if you're one of those people, you'll branch out just a bit and give this home made version a try. As long as you have a food processor, it comes together in mere minutes and dare I say is better than any store bought version I've tried...
Next comes the caramelized onions. If you have never taken the time to caramelize your onions, here is your opportunity. It takes about 20-30 minutes but isn't labour intensive at all. The heat does all the work and you reap all the benefits... and let me tell you, the benefits are gooood. I used a whole onion which was way more than I needed for the quesadillas but that just means I have leftovers to use in salads, stirfrys and on sandwhiches later this week :)
After the onions come the mushrooms. I never used to be a mushroom person but after transitioning to a plant based diet, I started to slowly incorporate them into my meals again. My boyfriend is also a huge fan of mushrooms so that may have helped....
Then it is just a matter of assembly!
All in all it took me about 35 minutes. It went by quickly because I was watching Game 7 of the Leafs/Boston series while I cooked. Not quite ready to talk about the way that one ended though....
BBQ Balsamic Black Bean Quesadillas
Vegan, Serves 2
For the onions:
1 medium sweet onion, sliced
1-2 tbsp coconut oil (or oil of your choice)
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper, optional
1/2 tsp sugar, optional
For the BBQ Balsamic Sauce:
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
2 tbsp BBQ sauce
For the quesadillas:
2 whole wheat tortillas (gluten free if necessary)
1/4 cup hummus (recipe below or store bought)
4 white or cremini mushrooms, sliced
3 tbsp caramelized onions (from above)
1 cup spinach, roughly chopped
1 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp chili powder
1/2 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp dried oregeno
1/8 tsp salt
2 tbsp fresh parsley, finely chopped
1. Heat your coconut oil over medium-high heat in a large pan. Once the oil is hot, add your onion. Season with salt and a pinch of pepper and sugar, if you wish. Stir to evenly coat the onion in oil. Allow to cook for at least 5 minutes before stirring again. If the onion sticks to the bottom of the pan while cooking, add a splash of water. Continue to cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion achieves golden/dark brown colour. Set aside.
2. While the onions are cooking, mix together the chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, oregeno, salt and cayenne in a small bowl to create a seasoning. In a separate bowl, stir together BBQ sauce and balsamic vinegar to create your glaze/sauce. Set both aside.
3. Once onions are cooked, toss the mushrooms in the same pan. Cook for 2-3 minutes then remove from heat.
4. Now assemble! Spread a layer of hummus on half of your tortilla (about 2 tbsp per tortilla). Then top with spinach, caramelized onions, black beans and cooked mushrooms. Sprinkle with your spice seasoning and add a drizzle of the BBQ balsamic glaze. Fold the tortilla and press down to close.
5. Lightly grease your pan (same pan as onions/mushrooms is fine) and place over medium heat. Place quesadillas in the pan. Cook for about 2-3 minutes until toasted and flip. Cook for another 2-3 minutes then remove from heat.
6. Garnish with parsley and more drizzles of the BBQ Balsamic glaze - serve immediately.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas - set aside about 2 tbsp of the liquid
2 tbsp reserved chickpea liquid OR water
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup tahini
2 large garlic cloves
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 tbsp olive oil
1. Place all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth.
Serve with chips, crackers, sliced veggies - or better yet, on the quesadilla above :)