Appetizers & Snacks / Vegetarian

Feliz Cinco De Mayo!

Yesterday was a ridiculously beautiful day in Seattle, so some friends and I decided to celebrate the day with a picnic at Volunteer park. Volunteer is probably my favorite park in Seattle, and it’s luckily within walking distance from where I live. It’s huge, and makes a great spot to eat some good food and celebrate.

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I love cooking Mexican food, but having to make something that was picnic-friendly presented a bit of a challenge. If it didn’t need to be portable/good at room temperature, I would make chilaquiles or taquitos, but chilaquiles are pretty messy and definitely not park food. So, I went with a pretty basic combination of chips and salsa and quesadillas. I know, not super exciting. But good nonetheless!

The chips and salsa were purchased at Costco (we went with a basic medium-heat salsa and a mango peach one). For the quesadillas, I headed to Trader Joe’s and got some shredded cheese, corn, black beans, and large whole wheat tortillas. I put together the quesadillas the morning of and stuck them in the fridge before heading out; they’re great hot, of course, but taste just as good cold or room-temp. They ended up being a big hit, so I went ahead and included the recipe below.

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For dessert, I made a dulce de leche bread. It was pretty sweet (as dulce de leche tends to be), but super tasty and perfect for the occasion. The bread was made with a mix by Sof’ella. I stuck to the recipe, but added some cinnamon and only used half the caramel topping.

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Overall, we kept things casual and simple, and it made for a great picnic and Cinco de Mayo!

Black Bean & Corn Quesadillas (serves 8)
1 pack Trader Joe’s large whole wheat tortillas
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1 can corn, rinsed and drained
1 package Trader Joe’s light Mexican cheese blend
Diced Trader Joe’s fire roasted red pepper (I used half the jar)
Garlic salt, pepper, cumin, chili powder, cayenne
Cornstarch

In a large bowl, mix together black beans, corn, and red pepper. Add spices/seasoning to taste (I used about 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp chili powder, and 2 pinches each of salt and pepper). Stir, then add cornstarch (the cornstarch helps with the extra liquid and will prevent the quesadillas from getting soggy. I used about 1 tsp cornstarch, add more or less as needed). Toss in cheese.

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Heat a large saucepan on medium heat. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Spread cheese mixture on half of a tortilla, then fold into a quesadilla shape. Cook about 2 minutes on each side, or until golden.

Repeat with remaining tortillas/cheese mixture. If you want to keep the quesadillas warm, arrange them on a baking sheet in an oven set to “warm”.

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