Tempeh and Black Bean Quesadillas

Tempeh quesadillas

As far as meat substitutes go, I prefer tempeh, at least while cooking at home. I like the texture and the flavor. However, until now the only way I've ever cooked tempeh is by frying it in strips and adding it to a stir fry. One thing about tempeh that I never thought to do is crumble it up and use it as if it was ground meat. Of course, this is the perfect way to enjoy tempeh in Mexican dishes, like tacos and quesadillas! After seeing these delicious looking quesadillas, I wasted no time adding them to my weekly menu. After breaking up the tempeh and cooking it with spices, vegetables, and beans, it strongly resembled ground chicken, in my opinion. I'd be willing to bet that I would be able to fool any meat eater into thinking that it was ground meat inside! I ended up with enough tempeh mixture to make about 6 quesadilla halves.These quesadillas were very filling, and tasty to boot! Definitely a winner in our house!

2 tablespoons Olive Oil
3 Garlic Cloves, minced
1 Jalapeño Pepper, diced and seeds/ribs removed
2 tablespoons Chili Powder
1 tablespoon Cumin
1 Red Bell Pepper, diced and seeds/ribs removed
1 (8 oz) block Tempeh
1 (14.5 oz) can Black Beans, drained and rinsed
2 cups Spinach
1 cup Shredded Cheddar Cheese
2 Avocados
1/2 cup Cilantro
1 Lime
2 Large Tortillas (I used 6 fajita sized tortillas)
Salt and Pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-heat. Add the garlic and jalapeños and sauté for 30 seconds. Add the chili powder and cumin and bloom for 30 more seconds. Add the red bell pepper and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Break up the tempeh with your fingers and toss into the pan. Add the black beans and continue to sauté another 5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper, and a squeeze of lime juice. Add the spinach and toss to wilt, about 2 minutes. Remove the filling from the skillet and set aside in a bowl. Keep the skillet at a medium temperature. Arrange a tortilla in the skillet . Sprinkle some cheese over half of the tortilla, then spoon the filling on top. Sprinkle more cheese on top of the filling. Fold the tortilla in half and cook until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is golden brown. Flip and continue until golden on the other side. Continue with remaining tortilla. Alternatively, arrange the tortillas on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle with cheese, spoon the filling on top, and fold the tortilla in half. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10 minutes, or until the tortilla has become golden and the cheese has melted. (Our quesadillas were baked).

To make the avocado topping, add the 2 avocados, 2 tablespoons of lime juice, and the cilantro to a food processor. Sprinkle with salt and puree until smooth. Spoon the avocado mixture over the top of the quesadillas, or pipe it through a pastry bag, if you want to be fancy!

SOURCE: Bev Cooks