After a week of working from home – which included food at Dali, Journeyman, and of course our truffle feast (plus the two days of truffle dishes we had with the leftover truffle) – I was actually looking forward to some healthy eating this week. I came across these black bean and goat cheese quesadillas while browsing the New York Times’ Recipes for Health column. Quick, healthy, and not many ingredients? Check. Perfect for a hotel kitchen meal.

Even though the recipe calls for corn tortillas, I really like my quesadillas with flour tortillas. I may have just been flustered at Whole Foods because I was hangry, but I couldn’t find anything but burrito sized flour tortillas. So, I ended up settling for these too-healthy-looking corn tortillas in the freezer section.

As you can tell, I was skeptical…but to my pleasant surprise, they were delicious! They were a lot more corny tasting than other store bought corn tortillas I’ve tried and they really crisped up nicely when pan-fried.

The recipe also strongly suggests that you use home-cooked beans, which unfortunately was not an option since I had just arrived in DC. Instead, I sauteed canned black beans with some onion and garlic to give them a little more flavor and get rid of that canned taste.

Black Bean, Roasted Pepper, and Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Adapted from recipe by Martha Rose Shulman

  • 1/4 large onion, chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced
  • 1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Hot sauce, to taste (I like Frank’s)
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1-2 large roasted red peppers, cut into strips
  • 4 oz. goat cheese
  • Fresh cilantro, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Salsa, for serving
  • Greek yogurt (or sour cream), for serving

Saute the onion with a dash of salt in a little bit of olive oil over medium heat for 3-4 minutes, or until soft.

Add the garlic and cook for another couple of minutes, making sure the garlic doesn’t burn.

Add the beans and hot sauce (as much as you want). Cook for about 10 minutes, or until they begin to break down a little bit.

Taste and season with salt if necessary. They don’t look pretty, but I promise they’re tasty.

Assemble the quesadillas by first spreading a quarter of the bean mixture over one tortilla.

Then add the roasted peppers. I bought a mixture of yellow and red roasted peppers, and went a little heavy on them. I was trying to squeeze in all the veggies I could!

Layer an ounce of the goat cheese over the peppers. Finally, add the cilantro (forgot to photograph that) and top with another tortilla. Continue assembling the 3 remaining quesadillas, or save them to cook another night.

Carefully transfer the quesadilla(s) to a pan with a little bit of olive oil heated on medium-high heat. Cook for a few minutes on each side, carefully flipping halfway through, until the tortillas are crispy and the cheese is melted.

Transfer the cooked quesadilla to a cutting board. Don’t worry if a few beans go rogue.

Cutting the crispy quesadillas was honestly a little difficult, and it was made more difficult by having to use the hotel knife. A good chef’s knife would have made a HUGE difference here. Still, I managed to get it into four somewhat messy slices.

I knew I needed some spicy salsa for dipping and this “Nuclear Salsa” at Whole Foods was really calling my name.

It tasted good, but the chopping looked like it had been done by a 10 year old. What’s up with those random chunks of tomatoes and carrots?

I also dished myself up a sizable dollop of greek yogurt for dipping. It was some messy, but delicious eating. The corn tortillas got so crisp – almost like a tostada – that it was hard to keep the filling in place while eating. In fact, these would make wonderful tostadas…hmmm, next time

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