Quesadillas: Sweet potato, Red Beans & Spinach
The ultimate dish: practical and simple, delicious, helps reduce food waste and best of all, there are pretty much no rules – you can freestyle it and make it yours.
- 2 large sweet potatoes
- 1 handful fresh spinach chopped roughly
- 4 wholewheat, spelt or corn tortillas
- grated cheese (optional)
- 2 spring onions chopped finely
- 500 gr red or black beans, cooked
- 3 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 4 small avocados, mashed
- 1 tbsp lime or lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 200ºC, or you could also use a large pan. Heat it up right before you cook the quesadillas, when you have the mise en place ready.
We will make the quesadillas by parts. Firstly, peel and chop the sweet potatoes in small pieces. Boil in water or cook in the microwave, until they are tendre. Roughly mash it using a fork.
Combine the beans, cilantro and garlic powder, mash them together with the same fork.
Slice and scoop out the avocado flesh, mash it together with the juice.
Prepare the cheese, spinach and spring onions and spread a layer of each ingredient on each tortilla. I like spread the sticky stuff on the tortilla first (bean mix, and guacamole), add a layer of sweet potato mash, then sprinkle some spinach, cheese and spring onions.
Fold each tortilla in 2 (half moon shape) and bake for a few mins on each side, until golden on both. If frying on a pan, set it to medium heat and add a little olive oil first, cook on both sides too – make sure they don't burn!
- Freestyle and make it yours: you don’t necessarily have to use the ingredients mentioned here. Use any ingredients you have available to you or that you prefer!
- Beans: whether you’re boiling or buying them already cooked, make sure they’re soft and well cooked. They are easier to mash and to digest!
- Cheese: although a quesadilla without cheese is like a gazpacho without tomato… It really isn’t. IF you go for vegan, simply pick your favourite melting vegan cheese or avoid adding any altogether.
I absolutely love this dish, it has it all! It’s easy, comforting and delicious, it helps reduce food waste and best of all… No rules. I can freestlye it however I like, make up as many combinations as I want, based on what’s available at home and what I feel like.
Often we think freedom means having no structure, order or guidelines. I beg to disagree. Sometimes, the infinite options or ways of doing things lead us to anaysis-paralysis. The endless possibilities get us stuck, and it becomes hard to move forward.
When cooking, this can happen too. I enjoy having some kind of framework or a few guidelines to work with. This helps limit the options and it’s a more practical way to approach any cooking mission.
When making quesadillas, I visualize it in layers. Here below is an example:
- Sauce: mashed avocado with lemon, green or red pesto, hummus…
- Legume: red or black beans, chickpeas, lentils…
- Vegetable: sweet potato or butternut puré, bell peppers, sautéed aubergine…
- Greens: spinach, chard or any other green, leafy vegetable.
This recipe is part of the #FoodWasteKitchen series.
💡 Open your fridge & pantry, see what you have, then make quesadillas, your way.
I know that many of us want to reduce food waste, and make the most out of what we buy and store in our homes. We need easy, accessible solutions and ideas to do so. With this recipe, I continue the #FoodWasteKitchen, a series of recipes that aim to give you inspiration on how to use what is left in your fridge, in smart and delicious ways.
Other #FoodWasteKitchen ideas
Crepes – You can prepare this quite easily and in no time, then fry whatever veggies lie in your fridge. You can also make them with chickpea (gram) flour – here is a recipe for that.
A bake – Here is one that we’ve made many times. You can change and mix up the ingredients you put inside, no need to follow the recipe as it is.
Tacos – Very similar to quesadillas, you can modify and use so many different ingredients!
Vegetable paella – A fantastic way to make the most of little bits and pieces of vegetables in your fridge.
A quiche – Similar to a bake, another great way to throw in whatever leftovers you might have, mix it with a little egg, milk and cheese, and enjoy!
An omelette – In Spain, potato omelette is very common, but why should you keep it to just potato? You could make it out of almost anything!
A Buddha bowl – This is a bowl filled with a wide variety of ingredients: veggies, beans, grains, any green leaves, nuts, seeds…
Gyozas – I’m starting to see a pattern here… I guess anything you can stuff or fill, is a food waste-friendly dish.
Broth – If your leftover veggies are just scraps, and you really can’t make anything out of them… The good old broth is always an option.
In your kitchen
If you try this recipe, please let me know how it went in the comments section.
If you share it on social media, tag me @silvia.cooks and use #SilviaCooks and #FoodWasteKitchen.