Quinoa Quesadillas

by Susan on June 16, 2012

I first posted this recipe last summer, and it’s good enough to garner a repeat showing. I’m also pleased that this second post shows my food photography skills have improved immensely over the last year!

Quinoa is such a versatile and healthy food: it can be served up like a grain, but is actually a seed that contains amino acids, protein, calcium, iron and phosphorus. It can be prepare

d in both sweet and savory dishes; I have served it as a hot breakfast cereal made with almond milk, cinnamon and berries… ground it into flour to make gluten-free baked goods… used it in place of rice and couscous in everything from salad to stir-fries.

The key is to rinse quinoa before preparing it, as it has a naturally bitter coating. It cooks up very quickly and easily, and has a very mild, almost nutty texture. Quinoa is getting pretty trendy these days, so it’s quite easy to find. As I shared in my previous post, Costco sells huge bags or organic quinoa for a great price. Whole Foods sells it in their bulk bins, and I have seen it at Target and my local chain supermarkets.

Quinoa & Bean Quesadillas

1/4 cup quinoa, rinsed
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup corn
1/4 cup chopped tomatoes
1/4 cup chopped green onions
handful of minced cilantro
1 tbs. olive oil
salt and pepper, to tastewheat tortillas (use brown rice tortillas for gluten-free option)
3/4 cup shredded cheddar

Heat water and quinoa in a small sauce pot over high heat. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and put on lid. Cook for about 10 minutes, checking to make sure it’s not sticking to your pot. Once all water is absorbed, turn off heat and let pot sit on burner for 5 more minutes.

Preheat oven to 375. Combine quinoa and beans in a bowl, mashing with a fork or potato masher. Add whatever vegetables you’re using, along with the cilantro, olive oil, salt and pepper.

Place two tortillas on a baking sheet and top with filling. Sprinkle a generous amount of cheese over them, and then top with another tortilla. Brush the tortillas with half of the olive oil and bake for 10 minutes. Flip them ove, brush with the remaining oil and bake for another 5 minutes or until crisp enough for your liking.

Cut in quarters and serve with salsa for dipping.

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