What’s Cooking: Delicious Quesadillas

whats cookingBoth of our April cooking classes focused on whole grains! Whole grains are grains that are processed with all three parts of the seed included: the bran, endosperm, and germ. The bran is the seed coat and contains antioxidants, B vitamins, and fiber. The endosperm is what would feed the growing plant until it can produce its own food, and contains carbohydrates, protein, and a small amount of vitamins and minerals. The germ is the embryo that would grow into a new plant and contains B vitamins, protein, minerals, and healthy fats. When a grain is refined, the bran and germ are removed and with them the majority of the fiber, vitamins, and minerals. Refined grains are less healthy, and don’t keep you feeling full for as long.

The USDA and Harvard Medical School recommend at least 50% of your grain intake be from whole grains, like breads, pasta, and pizza made with whole wheat flour, brown rice, barley, farro, quinoa, and steel cut or rolled oats (not instant). This can be an easy switch by choosing corn or whole wheat tortillas instead of flour, white rice instead of brown, and rolled oats instead of instant.

The Celery Sous Chefs (5-8 year olds) made vegan Sweet Potato Quesadillas and the black bean quesadillas below. Both were huge hits, and easily adapted to the ingredients you have on hand like other kinds of beans, cooked vegetables, and various kinds of cheese (or no cheese!).

Black Bean Quesadillas


  • 1 can of black beans, rinsed
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups of shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, cheddar, or a blend
  • 5 6-inch whole wheat flour tortillas
  1. Start the food processor and drop the garlic clove in the top. Process until you can’t hear it bouncing around anymore.
  2. Scrape down the sides of the food processor and add in the black beans, lime juice, cumin, paprika, and salt. Process until a thick paste forms. Add a tablespoon of water if it is not blending. You may have to scrape down the sides a few times to get everything mixed in. (if you don’t have a food processor, minced the garlic, and then combine the rest of the filling ingredients and mash into a paste with a potato masher or fork.)
  3. Make your quesadillas by spreading the bean spread on half of the quesadilla, topping the spread with cheese, and folding it over to form a half moon.
  4. Heat 2 tablespoons (30ml) oil in a large skillet or on a griddle over medium heat until shimmering. Carefully add 2 folded tortillas and cook, swirling and moving tortillas around, until golden brown and puffy on first side, about 2 minutes. Using a flexible metal spatula, flip quesadillas, season with salt, and continue cooking until golden brown and puffy on second side, about 2 minutes longer.
  5. Transfer quesadillas to a paper towel to drain and repeat step 3 to cook remaining quesadillas. Serve immediately.
  6. Quesadillas can also be cooked in the oven by placing them on a baking sheet and putting them in a 400F oven for 10 minutes and flipping them halfway through.

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