I hate finishing a meal and feeling dissatisfied. I don’t mean that the food is bad, persay, just that it’s not right. It’s not what you wanted to eat at that moment. My college friends and I experienced this feeling with startling frequency, especially when you consider we were eating at a dining hall that had everything from salad to pizza to burgers to stir fry every single night. But there were just those nights where you loaded up your tray, had one bite (cough, finished-everything-on-your-plate, cough) and thought nope. Not quite. Even if you were stuffed, there was still this…longing. The desire to have that perfect meal. I mean, why am I eating if it’s not going to taste delicious? If it can impart some nurients and, I don’t know, make me healthier while I’m at it than that’s just effing great, but really, I’m eating because I enjoy it.
Tonight’s dinner was one of those hit-the-spot kinda meals. Nothing fancy, nothing with a high skill level or the use of more than one pot, no special or expensive ingredients. It was just…right.
Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas
Really, I’m not going to lie to you, I measured not one thing while I was making this. There was no thought that this would be as delicious to me as it was. So use this as more of a guide than a precise recipe – it is, after all, just a quesadilla.
1 flour tortilla (mine was whole wheat)
1/4 cup black beans (I’m not nearly earnest enough yet to use anything but canned on a weeknight)
1/2 jalapeno pepper, diced
A few strips of poblano pepper, also diced
10-ish slices of both yellow squash and zucchini, sliced as thinly as you can possibly manage (I have a crappy knife and mine are pretty thin, so don’t get all crazy about this instruction – just not big hunks)
1/3 cup shredded cheese (more if you want it – if you’re gonna go overboard with cheese, a quesadilla is the place to do it)
Several slices of red onion, again, really thinly sliced
1 pat of butter
Salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flake, cumin, and paprika to taste
In a pan large enough to fit the entire tortilla, melt the butter on medium high heat. Add red onion and jalapeno. Cook for 2 – 3 minutes (I let them go for as long as it took me to slice the rest of the ingredients), then add the squash, zucchini, and poblano. Cook for a few more minutes, then add beans and spices. Give it a few minutes – till the beans are heated and the spices have had a chance to meld, then dump it all into a bowl.
In the same pan, lay the tortilla completely flat. After 1 – 2 minutes, flip the tortilla over. Sprinkle cheese evenly over the entire tortilla, then cover. When cheese has melted (a minute or two), spread bean mixture on one side and fold over to form the quesadilla. Press down and allow to cook another 1 – 2 minutes to incorporate, then slide out of pan and directly into your stomach.