Creamy Corn and Bean Quesadillas

Corn and Bean Quesadillas

January entertaining is all about checking off people’s diet check boxes. You want to cook something everyone will like. But what do you make when your guest list looks like this:

  • Fred: He’s trying to lose those extra frat-party pounds.
  • Velma: She’s a devout vegetarian.
  • Daphne: Although she’s not a true celiac, she likes the way she feels when she avoids gluten and it helps her keep her girlish figure.
  • Shaggy & Scooby: This easy going party guest and his dog will eat the whole buffet if you let them. As if it’s not bad enough that Shaggy has no shame in taking the last bite, but he lets his dog eat from the buffet too! Better make something affordable so they don’t break the bank with their over-the-top appetite.

No question that Little Guy is watching too much Scooby Doo right now, but you get the idea. Everyone has a different dietary restriction these days. They tend to tell you about it then follow it up with a quick, “But don’t worry about me, I’m sure I’ll find something.” Leaving you to make sure that there is something for everyone.

These quesadillas use corn tortillas instead of flour making them gluten-free. While certainly not vegan, these vegetarian quesadillas are every bit as tasty as their meat-filled counterparts. The best part for my post-holiday slim-down is that they are much lower in fat and calories than traditional quesadillas.

Bean and Cheese QuesadillasThe rich creamy, cheesy layer seems indulgent, but is actually a combination of sharp cheese mixed with low-fat sour cream, frozen corn and cilantro. (Of course if you don’t like light sour cream then you can still use the real thing. The bean layer is an ultra-easy bean dip that is just as good served all by itself warm with a bowl of chips as it is in the quesadillas.

I served them with Mild Salsa Rojo mixed with mashed fresh avocado. The avocado salsa is similar to a style served with chips in Mexican restaurants all over Houston. To make my easy cheater version of it, you just mash fresh avocado and fold in your favorite salsa.

The beans, corn and tortillas make them nice and filling for a meatless meal, but they are also great for entertaining. You can make them before hand and then just cook them off as needed in a few short minutes. Enjoy!

Creamy Corn and Bean Quesadillas

Yield: 6 servings

Creamy Corn and Bean Quesadillas

To make a lighter version use light sour cream and reduced fat (not fat free) cheddar cheese. Also replace the olive oil with nonstick cooking spray.

12 corn tortillas

Bean Dip:

1 1/2 cup cooked pinto beans

2 teaspoons taco seasoning (low-sodium)

2 tablespoons salsa (like Mild Salsa Roja or your favorite)

1 tablespoon lime juice

Corn and Cheese Mixture

6 ounces shredded jack cheese

1/2 cup sour cream

1/2 cup cut corn kernels

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking

If you are using canned beans, drain and rinse them. Heat the beans in the microwave for about 90 seconds. Then add the salsa, taco seasoning and lime juice and use a potato masher or fork to mash the beans until there only a few chunks left. Make sure the seasonings are all well blended into the mixture and season to taste. In another bowl combine the cheese, sour cream, corn, cilantro and black pepper.

To assemble the quesadillas divided the bean dip between six of the tortillas. Divide the cheese mixture between the other six tortillas. Sandwich the bean and cheese sides together. You can store the assembled the quesadillas refrigerated for up to a day before cooking and serving.

To cook the quesadiillas heat a large skillet or griddle on medium-high heat until very high heat. LIghtly brush one side of each quesadillas with olive oil and place, oil-side down on the pan. Cook for about four minutes, until the bottom is crispy and has patches of very dark brown. Brush the top sides with oil and flip. Cook until the second side is also crispy and dark golden brown. Remove to a cutting board and allow to cool slightly before cutting into wedges. Serve with salsa.

Avocado Salsa

Yield: makes about 1 1/2 cups

Avocado Salsa

1 cup Salsa (like Mild Salsa Roja or your favorite)

1 large ripe Avocado

Cut the avocado in half and remove the pit. Scrape the avocado from the skin and mash with a potato masher or fork. Fold in the salsa. Can be kept refrigerated for up to a day before serving.

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One Response to Creamy Corn and Bean Quesadillas

  1. joan wiggins says:

    I may ask my husband to let me cook one night as these sound wonderful.

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