UACES Facebook Meatless Monday: Red Bean Quesadilla
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Meatless Monday: Red Bean Quesadilla

by Original Author: Kylie Harris, Searcy County | Adapted for Blog: Torrie Smith, Van Buren County

Not only are beans a financially smart buy, the high protein and iron content of beans make them an excellent meat alternative. In contrast to meats, beans are also very low in fat and have zero cholesterol. Beans are also rich in fiber which is not found in any animal foods.  Canned beans are great for quick meals but dry beans can be cheaper and just as easy!

Soak 1 cup dried kidney beans overnight in clean water. The next morning, cook them in 3-4 cups of boiling water for about 2 hours or in the crockpot on low for 4 hours. You now have 2 ½ cups of beans ready to use in recipes that call for cooked/canned beans!

As beans are notoriously high in fiber, they can cause some gas and digestive issues. In order to reduce the gaseous effects of dry beans, they need to be soaked for 10-12 hours in clean water. Change this water every 4-5 hours and re-soak them in fresh water. Discard the soaked water and use fresh water when boiling the beans. Drain and discard the cooked liquid and use the cooked drained beans as called for in your recipe.

The high fiber, carbohydrate-rich beans have a low glycemic index. That means beans do not raise blood glucose levels as fast as simple carbohydrate foods like fruit juices do. This is great news for persons with diabetes.

Red Bean Quesadilla

  • 1½ cups cooked kidney beans
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder or dry herb seasonings (optional)
  • 4 (8-inch) whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 cup frozen spinach (thawed and squeezed to remove excess liquid)
  • ¾ cup shredded cheese

Using a fork, mash cooked beans in a bowl. Add seasonings (if desired). Place 1 tortilla on a plate. Add ½ the beans. Top the beans with ½ cup spinach. Add cheese over the spinach. Place another tortilla over the cheese, gently pressing down so the top half sticks. Repeat with the other 2 tortillas. Place a non-stick skillet on medium heat until warm. When warm, place one quesadilla on the dry skillet. Cook until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Repeat with the remaining quesadilla. Cut each quesadilla into wedges. Serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings     Serving size: ¼th recipe

Calories 220, Fat 6g, Protein 13g, Sodium 300mg, Carbohydrate 31g, Fiber 7g

 

Recipes and article sources: http://www.whatscooking.fns.usda.gov/ & http://beaninstitute.com/ 

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