So I’ve noticed a lot of what I cook is Mexican inspired but I think the flavours are so delicious and there is such a variety of accessible dishes to choose from all with relatively few ingredients so why not!
This quesadilla recipe is particularly easy and very adaptable depending on what veg you have, the basic ingredients are refried beans, cheese and tortillas (actually cheese can be left out if you are feeling healthy).
Had to rush this entry a bit as heading out for a curry at a friend’s so sorry if there are any obvious mistakes…. maybe I will include his dish tomorrow if I get the recipe! Watch this space 🙂
Serves at least 2.
Half an onion
1 pepper – I actually used half green and half red
3 tablespoons of sweetcorn – I guess?!
Half a tin of refried beans (spicy or non-spicy)
Cheese – I used vegan cheese but any good melty cheese works
Tortillas – I use the mini ones as they are easier to flip
To Serve – salsa, guacamole, sour cream (or vegan alternative), salad leaves, nachos, piñatas, sombreros – the usual Mexican accompaniments
- Fry the chopped onion and peppers in a splash of oil in a reasonable sized saucepan on a medium high heat until soft and slightly brown. You could also add a chilli at this point if you like it hot!
- Add the sweetcorn and fry for a couple more minutes.
- Next add the refried beans and stir together with the veg, leave to heat through. This should only take a minute or 3.
- When the mix is hot, add the chopped coriander if you have it.
- Meanwhile heat a frying pan and grate some cheese.
- Next assemble your quesadilla. Put one tortilla on a flat surface (chopping board is fine) spread a layer of the refried bean / veg mix across the whole tortilla. Sprinkle a sensible amount of cheese to cover the beans and sandwich the mix with another tortilla.
- Transfer the tortilla sandwich (quesadilla) to the hot frying pan and leave to toast for a minute or 2, every so often peering under the edge – you want it to turn a light golden. Once achieved, you need to flip. As earlier mentioned, small tortillas are much easier to flip just using a fish slice/ spatula. If you are doing big ones I would suggest you place a plate over the top of the quesadilla whilst still in the pan, and then whilst holding tightly down on the plate turn the pan upside down so that the quesadilla ends up on your plate. Then you can slide it back into the pan to toast the other side.
- Once toasted on both sides put aside to rest and a make some more. Then cut into quarters to serve
PS you could make a bigger batch of the bean veg filling by using a whole tin and doubling veg etc and any leftover you can put it in the fridge for a couple of days and keep going back to it when you need more 😀
So I’m sure most people can make a bean chilli but I thought I’d share my recipe. When I say ‘my recipe’ it suggests I follow a strict method every time I make it, I definitely don’t! Regardless, this is what I made tonight, it’s still bubbling away but it looks hot and tasty and should keep me warm and satisfied for the whole weekend!
Splash of oil – I used normal olive oil but you could use any cooking oil; sunflower, vegetable or even coconut if you’re fancy!
1 onion – I used red tonight, my preference would be white but I buy them in multipacks from Aldi and I’m not gonna buy a bag of white and red onions each week! There’s only so many onions a girl can use.
2 peppers – I always like to include a green, mainly because I know that’s the one that will be left in the fridge out of my 3 pack if I don’t and also the slight bitterness goes well in a chilli, I also used a yellow
About 5 medium-sized mushrooms – I don’t always add these but had a craving tonight and they add an earthy note that I guess makes it a bit ‘meaty’ (I wouldn’t really know!)
2 – 3 cloves of garlic – mmmmmm garlic!
A fair bit of dried oregano and paprika if you have it (smoked paprika would be best)
A sprinkling of frozen/tinned sweetcorn – or fresh (again if you’re fancy!)
1 tin of kidney beans
1 tin of borlotti beans – I don’t usually use these but I have a new-found love for them so they’re going in!
2 tins of chopped tomatoes
Ok so controversial bit of the recipe….. Instead of fresh chilli or chilli powder I used Sriracha hot chilli sauce – firstly because I have neither of the aforementioned and secondly I love Sriracha and thirdly I didn’t want it to be too spicy – I’m going to be eating this on a hangover and I can’t be dealing with too much spice. Basically use whatever you want here to add as much or as little spice as you want!
- Chop the onion, peppers and mushrooms into whatever size chunks you wants – I like sort of 1cm cubes
- Sauté the veg in a large pan in the splash of oil, finely chop the garlic and add (this is where you would add fresh chilli)
- When the veg is soft and starting to go a bit brown add the sweetcorn, paprika and oregano
- Follow with the tins of beans (drained) and tomatoes
- If you are using hot sauce stir in now and leave to simmer from anywhere between 20 minutes and an hour
- Once it’s looking thick and amalgamated have a taste and add seasoning and maybe more spice if it needs it
- I’m going to serve with brown rice and my new favourite vegan alternative – soya yoghurt. I’m waiting until tomorrow though by which time my chilli non carne should have had time to sit and get even tastier
How do you make your chilli?!
About 2 ½ weeks into my weight-loss/fitness plan and I’m still pretty motivated. On my 500kcal days (5:2 diet) I’m having 200kcals of raw food (fruit/veg/nuts) for my breakfast/dinner. Today this consisted of – 1 carrot, 2 clementines, 100g cherry tomatoes, 100g red pepper, about 5 green olives, a few slices of pickled jalapenos, 2 spring onions and 8 almonds. This is actually quite a tasty and fulfilling lunch – I used to just eat a tin of soup for the same calories and it was nowhere near as satisfying.
Then for tea (dinner/supper….whatever you want to call it) I have 300kcals to play with.
*See my previous post for one option: Moroccan-style Vegetable and Chickpea Stew – I actually made this a 2nd time but changed the carrots & squash to cauliflower and substituted the cinnamon for curry powder and hey presto I had chana gobi for same number of kcals 🙂 *
Tonight though I tried something a little different….
Mexican inspired pitta pizza type thing
1 wholemeal pitta
150g re-fried beans (one of my favourite things ever)
2 or 3 spring onions
About 4 cherry tomatoes
1 heaped teaspoon of capers
2 teaspoons of jalapenos
Some fresh coriander
NB This is a rough guide! If you’re wanting to keep the calories down I wouldn’t mess too much with the amount of pitta or refried beans but an extra tomato or two isn’t going to make much of a difference. Also, if you don’t have capers or jalapenos or spring onions for that matter it shouldn’t impact too much; you could easily slice a bit of red onion or sprinkle a few chilli flakes on instead.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C
- Slice the pitta in half so you have two thinner pitta-shaped pieces of bread – put them on a baking tray
- Spread over your beans
- Slice/chop the tomatoes, spring onions, capes, jalapenos (or whatever other toppings you may be using) and sprinkle across your beany flatbreads
- Cook in the oven for around 10 – 15 minutes, you just want them to be hot and a little crispy
- Sprinkle with coriander and enjoy!
For non-dieters you may want to add cheese/vegan cheese or sour cream
This is another adapted recipe from 5:2 Vegetarian by Celia Brooks