Sides & Salads / Small Plates / Weeknight Dinner

Thursday Night Dinner: Black Bean Quesadilla & Broccoli Bell Pepper Sautee

Dinner tonight was simple, quick, and full of flavor. I wasn’t super hungry, so I wanted to keep things fairly light (but still yummy). So, I scanned the contents of my fridge and decided to go with a Mexican-inspired meal of a black bean quesadilla with a side of some sautéed veggies.

While extra-cheesy quesadillas are always great, sometimes I also really enjoy ones that just have a small bit of cheese and lots of black beans. To make my quesadilla, I used my handy-dandy George Foreman grill. I put about 1/4 cup black beans and about an ounce of reduced-fat feta (the only cheese I currently have), along with about a 1/2 tbsp of harissa on a whole wheat tortilla. After about 5 minutes on the grill, it was ready to eat.

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For a satisfying (and delicious) side, I sautéed some garlic and onions and added steamed broccoli and orange bell pepper with a bit of Cajun seasoning for a light kick. This is a really easy side dish to put together, but it looks pretty and tastes great as a side to lots of different dishes. You could even make a complete meal out of it by adding some shrimp or chicken and serving it with warm tortillas!

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The quesadilla was pretty basic, but I went ahead and included a recipe for the broccoli bell pepper side dish for those interested.

Broccoli Bell Pepper Sautee (serves 1-2 as side dish)
150 g broccoli florets (about 1 head)
1/2 orange, yellow, or red bell pepper, sliced
about 1-2 oz. diced sweet onion
1 clove garlic, minced
Cajun seasoning, as needed
about 1 tsp olive oil, divided

1. Steam broccoli in a pan on medium heat with water (approx. 5 minutes).

2. Meanwhile, add garlic and onion to a pan on medium heat. Add a bit of the oil and cook 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Add bell pepper to the pan and a bit more oil. Cook another 3-4 minutes, until the peppers start to soften and the garlic and onion start to brown.

3. Drain broccoli and add it to the pan with the peppers, onion, and garlic. Add remaining olive oil and season with Cajun seasoning. Stir and let cook another 2-3 minutes or until done.

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