Black Bean Quesadillas and Cilantro Lime Rice

It probably doesn’t need to be pointed out that I love food and I love cooking, but I guess I often take for granted that this love is not shared by all. Today, a friend said to me, “I don’t like cooking, I think of food just as fuel and I want the process to be as quick as possible.” She did follow this comment up by saying, “But I love your blog – it’s good for food dummies like me.” She’s not really a food dummy, but I understand her reluctance to let food preparation take time away from her little girls. In her honor, tonight we made black bean quesadillas and cilantro lime rice. Quick, easy, delicious.

Black Bean Quesadillas


Refried black beans
Shredded Mexican blend cheese
Chopped garlic chives
Corn tortillas (or small flour tortillas)

I like to prepare a few quesadillas and then cook them two at a time. Think of a quesadilla like a grilled cheese sandwich – the possibilities are endless. Tonight I spread some refried black beans (about 1 large spoonful) on a corn tortilla, sprinkled some shredded cheese over the top, and finished it off with some garlic chives from a fabulous herb gardener in Rutherfordton, NC – Carolyn Elgin. Top off your ingredients with another corn tortilla and press down so the two tortillas stick together. Try to make the cheese extend almost to the edge of the tortilla to help the quesadilla seal together while it is cooking.

Kid-sized pieces of quesadilla

Cook over medium to medium high heat for a few minutes, flip it over and continue cooking for a few more minutes. I like to snip my quesadillas into bite-size, kid friendly pieces (using my handy kitchen shears) so my children basically can have a free-for-all when it comes to the table. Quesadillas also make an excellent after school snack and they taste great packed in a lunch box for the next day (although we rarely have any extra – but, in theory, it’s a nice idea.)

Serving size … Four quesadillas (using 8 small corn tortillas and about 1/2 cup refried beans) fed three small children.

Serving suggestion … top the quesadillas with a little bit of sour cream and serve with cilantro lime rice and a side of cherry tomatoes for a quick and easy meal.

To make cilantro lime rice … prepare rice (I cooked 1 cup of brown rice in my rice cooker) and then add a few squeezes of lime (about 1/4 of a lime), a handful of chopped cilantro (mine came from the Greene Family Farm), and some salt (I like kosher salt or sea salt) to your cooked rice. Lightly combine together using a fork. As summer approaches, there are a lot of things that taste great with lime and salt – why not your rice? Enjoy!

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Erin Brighton

I am a native New Englander now living in beautiful Charlotte, North Carolina and enjoying summers in sea-breezy Scituate, Massachusetts with my five small kids and two large dogs. I love to cook easy, local, and gluten-free for friends and family.

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