Black Bean Soup & Veggie Quesadillas

Forgive me for my soup kick I’ve had the past few weeks, but cold nights like the ones us New Yorkers have been having recently is outrageous and soups are the one thing that make it almost bearable.  Although I’m not a vegetarian,  I think beans and vegetables provide quite a balanced meal that won’t leave you hungry for more.

Black beans are packed with dietary fiber. The heart health benefits of black beans come not only from the high amount of fiber, but also the high levels of folate and magnesium. In terms of antioxidant intake, black beans rank as high as grapes and cranberries as sources of antioxidants. An easy tip to remember when grocery shopping, the darker a bean’s seed coat, the higher the amount of antioxidants 🙂 Aaaand lastly, black beans are a great source of protein.

Click on quick recipe below to enlarge and print

Chop up all of your vegetables in bit size pieces and begin to saute with olive oil and a pinch of salt, pepper and red pepper flakes

Once your beans are drained and rinsed, chop coarsely in cuisinart with cilantro

In a separate pot, add two cups of water and bring to a boil

Combine your chopped beans and cilantro into the boiled water and then bring to a simmer

Once your vegetables are sauteed to your liking, add half of them into your pot with beans and cilantro (season again if needed) Hint: I added 2 teaspoons of curry powder and cayenne pepper to my mix. The remainder of your vegetables will be used in your quesadillas

As your soup is simmering, cut your tortilla’s as you are slicing up a pizza pie

Some people like to cut their tortillas after they are stuffed and grilled, however a whole tortilla won’t fit on a George Foreman grill so if you are lucky enough to have a nice size grill, you can cut your tortilla’s after they are grilled or you can cook them on the stove (but can be rather unhealthy on the stove with all the oil)

Add your remaining vegetables onto your cut tortillas

Depending how spicy you like your quesadillas, add some jalapeños to give it some extra kick

Add some left over cilantro or spinach if you have it handy

Sprinkle on your cheese, but remember not to go crazy with it. We want to keep this dish healthy and by overdosing on cheese will ruin it.  Also, with all the great flavors that are already in this dish, there is no need for extra cheese. Chopped up cherry tomatoes to give it some flavor too!

Grill your quesadillas until they are crispy and the cheese has fully melted!

Pour yourself a bowl of your already made Black Bean Soup (it’s optional if you want to put a dollop of fat free sour cream on top to give your soup a thicker consistency) Add some fresh chive to your soup too if you would like. It’s a great topping for this dish!

Of course if it was Summer, you would see tons of avocado with this dish since it is one of my favorites, but since it is the dead of winter, I save this food for the warm weather as it is something great to look forward to!  Stay tuned for my ultimate guacamole recipe in the coming months!

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