October 15, 2012

Meatless Monday: Sweet Potato Quinoa Quesadillas

We recently made a commitment to eat more healthfully.  For my beloved, it has meant adhering to a plant-based diet.  He has dropped 30 lbs. and feels (and looks) super duper! We as a society tend to opt for convenience.  For the vegans out there, I salute you.  For me, finding delicious plant-based recipes has proven to be a butt-kicker ... which is why I did cartwheels (mentally) when I first tasted these sweet potato quinoa quesadillas.  They are truly delicious, and packed with lots of protein and fiber.  Kids love them, too!  And, they make a great lunch on the go.  No need to reheat. 


  • 2 sweet potatoes (about 1 lb.)
  • 1 c. cooked quinoa [Two tips:  1.  Rinse your quinoa before cooking it, even if the directions don't mention this step.  2.  Keep a big container of cooked quinoa in your refrigerator, that way you can easily add it to salads, cereal, Chinese food ... whatever strikes your fancy!]
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/2 t. paprika
  • 1/2 t. garlic powder
  • 1/2 t. chili powder
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. ground cumin
  • 15 oz. can crushed tomatoes
  • 15 oz. can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1 7 oz. can diced green chilies
  • Tortillas (I use corn for the GF gang, and multi-grain for the gluten eaters)
  • Shredded pepper jack or cheddar - or a combo! (dairy or nondairy) [Tip:  Try Daiya brand shredded nondairy cheese.  It melts beautifully and is tasty]
  • Salsa
  • Sour cream (dairy or nondairy)
  • Avocados, peeled and sliced  


Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil.  [Tip:  I use nonstick foil from Reynolds.  Magical stuff!]  

Peel sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks.  Place on lined cookie sheet and bake for 20 minutes.

Place beans in a bowl and mash with immersion blender or blend in food processor.  This step is optional.  I usually mash half of the beans.

Once cooked, place the sweet potato chunks in a bowl and mash with immersion blender, or allow to cool and blend in food processor.  

Heat olive oil in large skillet.  Add onions and cook for 4 minutes.  Add garlic and spices and cook for one minute.

Add beans, green chilies and tomatoes.  Mix together and then add cooked quinoa and mushed sweet potatoes.  Mix thoroughly.  Remove from heat.

Preheat a large skillet or griddle.  

Place as many tortillas as will fit in the pan/on the griddle.  Flip after two minutes.

After they are flipped, use a spatula to spread your yummy mixture on each of the tortillas.  Pack them!  Sprinkle with shredded cheese.  Top with another tortilla and flip.  Grill until cheese is melted.

Use a rotary pizza cutter to slice your quesadillas.  Top with a dollop of sour cream, salsa and sliced avocado.  Yum!  



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