Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Avocados and Sweet Potatoes

Recently I've been eating avocado almost every other day, I had it in a wrap a week ago, in soup, in a salad, in guacamole style. They're delicious and full of good fats and vitamin C. I also have a delicious recipe I've made a few times for Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas. They were inspired by a variation of the grilled yuca tortillas in Vcon BUT, they have no yuca so they're actually quite different than the original recipe.

These quesadillas are really quite filling and pleased everyone who tried them the last time I made them, including the ever difficult to please mom. She has requested them multiple times since the first time I made them and this time, I surprised her by sending one down to my brother's baseball game with my dad as a sideline snack for her. She was VERY excited and brought up how delcious they were multiple times throughout the night. And, without further ado, a picture and the recipe :)

Sweet Potato Black Bean Quesadillas
serves 6 quesadillas
482 calories*

2 pounds organic sweet potatoes, peeled
2 cups black beans, cooked (or 1 15 oz can drained and rinsed)
1/4 med red bell pepper, chopped (1/2 cup)
juice of 1 lime
2 1/2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1 recipe Simple Quesadilla Guac
6 whole wheat tortillas

Cut the sweet potatoes into 1" cubes (or other chunks of roughly that size) and steam in double doiler or by hanging a colander over a pan of boiling water, however you would normally steam veggies, until the pieces are tender, about 10-15 minutes. While the potatoes are steaming combine the beans, peppers, spices and lime juice in a medium mixing bowl. Once potatoes are done, place in medium bowl and mash with strong fork or potato masher. Add mashed potatoes to bean mixture and mash a bit more, until only about 1/3 of the beans are left whole.

Spread about 1/6th of the mixture (roughly 1/2-3/4 cup) onto one half of a tortilla. Add about 2 T Simple Quesadilla Guac (optional) and fold the tortilla in half so that it looks like a half circle, you should have one closed end and one open end and the filling sandwiched between the two. Choose a non-stick skillet which will fit your half circle quesadilla and place it on a burner and heat on med-high. Once skillet is hot place quesadilla in skillet and warm on one side until brown, about 3 minutes. Flip your quesadilla over and warm 3 minutes on the other side.

Serve plain or with salsa and vegan sour cream :

Notes: This makes a LOT of filling but it freezes really well so don't worry about having extras, pop it in the freezer and pull it out for a quick and delicious meal later on in the month. Also, you could easily add other things to the filling like corn, cilantro, black olives, anything else you like your quesadillas normally.

*The calories for this were calculated using tortillas that contain 210 calories each and using 1/3 of the Simple Quesadilla Guac recipe which follows.

Simple Quesadilla Guac
makes enough for 3 quesadillas

1 avocado
1/2 t salt
1 t cumin
1/8 t cayenne pepper (optional)
juice of 1/2 lime

I know, I know, really, really simple. But it adds just the right amount of spice and creamy avocado goodness to these quesadillas. SO, cut your (RIPE) avocado in half, remove the seed in the center, score the avocado and remove the pieces from the rough outer green skin. Mash the avocado with a fork or potato masher, add the salt, cumin, cayenne (if you want it) and lime juice. Mix together. Mmmm. Find some torilla chips and dip a few, but not too many, save SOME for your quesadillas, dangit.

Note: I recognize that I gave you the recipe for filling for 6 quesadillas and only enough guac for 3, however, like I said, the filling freezes well so I generally save at least half it it for later. But, if you're going to make all 6 quesadillas, or just really like this guac, its super easy to double.

May your future be filled with sweet-potato-black-bean-avocado-goodness


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