Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Barbecue Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas (Vegan, Gluten-Free)

It all started last week. Molly and I were talking with our friend Chris and somehow we got on the subject of eating black beans, sweet potatoes and barbecue sauce together. Chris thought it was just about the most disgusting combination imaginable; Molly and I were practically drooling talking about it. There was only one way to get Chris to believe us: We had to make him some Barbecue Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas. So Friday night, we did just that.

But before I get to that, LOOK AT THIS:

No, this is not a duplicate picture or a repeat from this post. This is fresh snow that was not here when I went to bed last night. And it's still coming down hard. Will it ever end? 

On a happier note, I discovered another great vegan bagel topping; a thin layer of mashed or pureed sweet potato. You're probably thinking you're topping a carb with a carb? And to that I say, I still haven't received my first paycheck so I eat free food that we already have at the house whatever strange combination that may be. Besides, you put a banana on your toast or in a sandwich don't you? *sticks tongue out immaturely* 

*Ahem* Moving on.

Back to the quesadillas...So Friday night Molly and I went over Chris's house and made him this delicious meal. And you know what? He likes it, hey Mikey! (old Life cereal commercial, anyone?) And how could you not love this spicy, sweet, smokey flavor combination?

This meal is easy, simple, cheap, filling, tasty and loaded with nutritious ingredients like sweet potatoes, black beans, onions, cayenne pepper and cinnamon (yes, spices are good for you!). For an added nutritional boost, mix in your favorite leafy green. Another reason this meal is great? If you are dining in the company of people with different dietary preferences, it's easy to customize to their needs while still all enjoying the same meal.

Barbecue Black Bean Sweet Potato Quesadillas
Recipe by Molly
  • 1 Large Sweet Potato
  • 1 Can of Black Beans
  • 1/2 Cup of Diced Onion 
  • 8 Tortillas* 
  • Colby Jack Cheese, optional** 
  • 1/4-1/3 Cup Barbeque Sauce***
  • Pinch of Cumin
  • Pinch of Cinnamon
  • Sea Salt, Fresh Ground Pepper and Cayenne Pepper to taste
  • Coconut Oil for Cooking****

*Use Corn Tortillas for Gluten-Free. Vegans make sure they're free from any animal products or just make these.
**Vegans either omit cheese, substitute your favorite vegan cheese or sprinkle some nutritional yeast.
***Read the labels on the barbeque sauce, to make sure they are vegan and gluten-free, but also be careful because many list high-fructose corn syrup and modified corn starch as some of their first ingredients.
****It is not necessary to cook specifically with coconut oil, I just prefer to do so because it has a higher heat tolerance, therefore it is better for you because it is less likely to turn into a trans fat during the cooking process.

Makes 3 Quesadillas (12 wedges).
Bake the sweet potato for 35-45 minutes at 425 degrees or until soft. Scoop the potato out from it's skin and mash it with a fork. Mix in diced onion, cumin, cinnamon, sea salt, pepper and cayenne pepper, set aside. (To save time, prepare the sweet potato mixture ahead of time). Drain and rinse black beans. Heat skillet over medium-high heat, melt oil. Take tortillas, on one smear the sweet potato mixture, sprinkle with beans (and cheese or nutritional yeast). Take another tortilla and generously spread the barbeque sauce across it, covering the whole side. Flip the side with the barbeque sauce onto the side with the sweet potato. Place in skillet and flatten with spatula to ensure it sticks together. Cook for approximately 3-5 minutes on each side, or until tortilla is toasted and the inside warmed. Repeat this process to make the other two quesadillas. Serve with sliced avocado, guacamole, or cashew sour cream. As always, enjoy!

What are your favorite strange, although tasty food combinations?


  1. urrr... I'm with you. this is totally drool-worthy.

  2. Just discovered this blog via pinterest, and I'm loving it! Love your voice and how fun you make your posts, versus just relaying a recipe. As a new dairy-free vegetarian, these recipes are amazing!

    1. Thanks Felicia! Glad you're enjoying it!