Homemade Refried Bean Quesadillas

Making refried beans from scratch is simple — no cans necessary! This is loosely based on Mark Bittman's recipe found in How to Cook Everything Vegetarian. If you must use canned beans, try Eden brand. They now makes cans without BPA lining, which has been shown to cause all sorts of problems. The great thing about this recipe is that it can be adjusted to accommodate any season. Right now, peppers are overflowing at the farmers markets as well as in our own garden. But in the winter, you can simply use onions instead. If you are lucky enough to live in a place where avocados are local and in season, they make a great addition to this meal. The recipe below is the bare bones version. Feel free to pep it up with some peppers, greens, zucchini or whatever else you can think of.

Refried Bean Quesadillas

1 lb dried pinto beans, soaked overnight and cooked, or 1 can pinto beans 2 tbl olive oil 3 scallions or 1 small onion, chopped 1 tbl cumin 1 tsp coriander 1 tbl chili powder ½ tsp curry ½ tsp cayenne ½ tsp sea salt pepper to taste

½ lb grated cheese of your choice 8 sprouted corn tortillas (I like Food for Life brand)

Rinse dried beans and place in a bowl with water to soak overnight. Drain and boil in fresh water until tender.

Sautee onions, scallions, peppers or any additional vegetables until just tender, add the spices and cook for another five minutes. Add the beans and mix, then mash with a potato masher or back of  a wooden spoon.

Place four corn tortillas on a baking sheet, top with the bean/vegetable mixture, grated cheese and another corn tortilla. Bake in oven at 400 degrees until cheese is melted and tortillas are crisp to your liking.

Makes 4 Quesadillas

Nutrition Nuggets

Beans are a rich source of fiber. Their high fiber content helps with lowering cholesterol as well as maintaining stable blood sugar levels. Beans have high amounts of antioxidants, folic acid, vitamin B6, and magnesium. Folic acid and B6 help lower levels of the amino acid, homocysteine. High levels of homocysteine are a risk factor for stroke and heart attack. Beans are also an anticancer food. In the Nurses' Health Study II, researchers found that women who ate beans and lentils regularly had a 24 percent reduced risk of breast cancer.