Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

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Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas are on regular rotation in my house. They’re not only quick and easy but tasty, family-approved and customizable. I like to use cheddar cheese and load mine up with fresh cilantro. But Monterey jack, spicy Mexican blend, or mozzarella cheese are also great options. Go ahead and be adventurous with the toppings too. Sour cream and salsa are always family favourites but also try diced avocado, taco sauce, pickled jalapeños, green onion…and the list goes on. But that’s what makes it fun and perfect for the whole family.

There’s a huge variety of tortillas available too. I like the flour and corn blend while my husband prefers plain flour. These are the basic options, you may want to try a multigrain, garden vegetable or sun-dried tomato tortilla. Again, there are lots of options to please everyone.

Sauteed beef, onions and green peppers in a cast iron skillet in preparation for Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas.
Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas ready to be folded in a skillet.

The black beans extend the ground beef, making these budget-friendly too. You can easily cut back on the ground beef further and sub in a few more black beans. I like just enough to give a little texture, fibre and added nutrition. I use drained and rinsed canned black beans out of convenience but you can certainly cook your own dried beans, which will reduce the cost further. Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas are a great weeknight meal for the whole family no matter how you stack them up. You’ll want them on regular rotation, enjoy!

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas cut and stacked three high on a wooden plate, garnished with cilantro and lime.

Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas cut and stacked three high on a wooden plate, garnished with cilantro and lime.
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Beef and Black Bean Quesadillas

Prep Time 35 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 4 people

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp canola oil plus more for tortillas
  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1/2 cup diced green pepper
  • 1/2 cup diced onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 cup water
  • 4 tbsp taco seasoning or 35g pkg
  • 1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 3/4 cup canned black beans, drained & rinsed
  • 1/2 cup corn niblets
  • 4 10" tortillas
  • 2 cups grated cheddar cheese about 8 ounces
  • as needed chopped fresh cilantro optional
  • as needed salsa optional
  • as needed sour cream optional

Instructions

  • Heat oil in a medium skillet, add beef and cook until just starting to brown, breaking up larger pieces as it cooks. Drain or dab out any excess fat.
  • Add green pepper, onion and garlic. Continue to cook for 2-3 minutes until vegetables start to soften and beef is fully browned and cooked through.
  • Stir in water, taco season, and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium until liquid has evaporated, about 8 minutes.
  • Stir in black beans and corn and heat until warm. Adjust salt to taste.
  • Heat a large skillet over medium heat and drizzle in 1/2 tsp of oil. Add one tortilla and sprinkle the entire tortilla with 1/2 cup of grated cheddar cheese (about 2 ounces). Spread approximately 1 cup of beef mixture evenly over half of the cheese-covered tortilla.
  • Allow to cook until the bottom of the tortilla is golden and the cheese is melted. Fold the tortilla in half and press gently to hold it together. Remove to a cutting board and cut into 3 wedges. Repeat with remaining tortillas and serve immediately with your favourite garnishes like sour cream and salsa.

Notes

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Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

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A shallow wooden serving bowl stacked with freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins.

Cheesy and spicy with crispy, golden edges make these tender Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins one of my favourites. I have made them more times than I can remember because I like them that much. They are the perfect accompaniment to chili, stew, tomato soup or green salad and so good about ten minutes out of the oven. Just long enough for them to cool down enough to handle but are still warm on the inside and crispy on the outside.

Baking ingredients being prepared for Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins with a muffin tin in the background.

This lovely recipe originates with one of my favourite food bloggers, Joy the Baker. Joy notes that you can bake these muffins with liners in the muffin tins. You certainly can, but trust me, you do not want to! I find it is best to generously butter non-stick muffin tins to achieve a wonderfully golden muffin bottom that is crispy and chewy when eaten while still slightly warm. They will pop right out of the muffin tins too. When using liners, the muffins need to cool completely before peeling away the liner, otherwise, they will stick and you’ll miss out on the best part. In a nutshell, it’s lots of butter, no liners!!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wire rack..

Do not be skimpy on the cheese!! It will seem like a lot, and the batter will be thick with an abundance of cheese, but the result is a gloriously cheesy muffin. It is also important not to over mix the batter. This is a quick bread and does not require gluten development, so only mix the wet and dry ingredients until they are combined. The batter won’t be completely smooth and that’s okay. The cheese needs to be folded in last so it doesn’t clog up the whisk and make everything gummy. It’s a quick and easy recipe that freezes well too. Simply store cooled muffins in an airtight container or bag for up to a month. Allow to thaw and warm gently in the oven or microwave. They don’t retain their crisp exterior, but they’re still delicious. Enjoy!

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.

Freshly baked Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins on a wooden serving board garnished with a pickled jalapeño.
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Cheddar Jalapeño Muffins

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Servings 12 muffins

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted plus more for pan
  • 3 cups grated cheddar cheese about 8 ounces
  • 1/4 cup finely chopped drained pickled jalapeños plus more for garnishing

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350°F and generously butter a 12 cup non-stick muffin tin.
  • Whisk together the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt. Set aside.
  • Whisk the egg, add the milk and melted butter and continue to whisk to fully combine. Stir in jalapeños.
  • Add the dry ingredients to the wet stirring until just combined. Fold in cheese until evenly distributed in the batter.
  • Scoop batter evenly between the prepared muffin cups and bake for 20-25 minutes until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.
  • Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10-15 minutes in the pan. Gently loosen the muffin tops if any have slightly stuck and pluck out the muffins placing them on a wire rack to cool further.

Notes

-these muffins are best served slightly warm out of the oven.
-use a non-stick muffin tin for this recipe and be sure to butter generously. The butter not only helps the muffins not to stick but ensures a crisp and golden bottom. 
-you can use muffin liners but the muffins will need to cool completely before trying to peel off the liner.
 

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Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole

Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole

Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole

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Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole in an off white oval casserole dish ready to be served.

This Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole is just that, very cheesy! It’s also a great low carb dinner option. Pair it with a mixed green salad for about 10 grams of net carbs. It’s very filling, so you don’t feel that you’re missing out on anything. I like that it makes a large casserole, and leftovers freeze well.

Ingredients for Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole arranged on a colourful checkered dish towel.

Although I’m not a fan of fad diets per se, I do at times watch what I eat and cut back on high carb foods such as rice, bread and pasta. This creamy casserole is perfect for doing just that with little sacrifice. It has a hint of curry powder for a deliciously different twist, and I promise that you won’t be disappointed. Even if you’re goal isn’t carb counting, this yummy casserole is wonderful with potatoes, rice or simply a slice of crusty bread. The creamy mushroom soup and cheesiness also make it kid-friendly.

Here’s the breakdown based on 6 servings for those of you who are following low carb/keto diets.

Calories per serving: 435kcal

Net Carbs per serving: 8.3g

Fat per serving: 32g

Protein per serving: 28.4g

 

Unbaked Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole in an off white oval casserole dish ready for the oven.
Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole in an off white oval casserole dish ready to be served.

Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole in an off white oval casserole dish ready to be served.
Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole
Print Recipe
    Servings
    5-6 people
    Servings
    5-6 people
    Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole in an off white oval casserole dish ready to be served.
    Cheesy Chicken Vegetable Casserole
    Print Recipe
      Servings
      5-6 people
      Servings
      5-6 people
      Ingredients
      Servings: people
      Instructions
      1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
      2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer. Add cauliflower and broccoli and simmer until just tender 5-6 minutes. Rinse with cold water to stop the cooking process. Allow to drain well, see note.
      3. Meanwhile heat a large skillet over medium and add oil. When oil is hot add chicken thighs, searing and cooking 4-5 minutes per side until just cooked. Remove to a plate and set aside. To the same skillet add mushrooms and cook until browned and most of the moisture has evaporated, about 4 minutes. Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute.
      4. In a large bowl whisk together mushroom soup, mayonnaise, curry powder, onion powder, pepper and lemon juice.
      5. Cut cook chicken into large strips and add to mushroom soup mixture along with mushrooms, vegetables and 1 cup of the cheddar cheese. Stir gently to combine. Spread into a lightly greased casserole dish and sprinkle with remaining cheese. Bake for about 30 minutes until bubbling.
      Recipe Notes

      -I find rolling drained vegetables in a clean kitchen towel removes more moisture.

      -A great low carb dinner option on its own, but also wonderful with rice, mashed potatoes, quinoa or crusty bread.

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      Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

      Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

      Broccoli Cheddar Frittata

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      Broccoli Cheddar Frittata cooked in a cream coloured cast iron skillet and resting on a wicker trivet.

      Simple is delicious, and this lovely Broccoli Cheddar Frittata is an excellent example! Easy to prepare and cook, and it’s made with ingredients you likely have on hand. Ready in about 45 minutes and makes a great brunch or breakfast dish. But I think it makes an equally delicious light lunch served with a salad or a heartier dinner served with pan-fried potatoes. It’s one of those dishes that is multi-serving and perfect for any meal.

      Cooked broccoli in a cast iron skillet with a bowl of whisked eggs and milk in the background in preparation for Broccoli Cheddar Frittata.

      This dish is one of the reasons I love eggs so much. They pack plenty of nutrition and cook quickly, allowing you to get a healthy and satisfying meal on the table without too much fuss. Lots of melty cheese means the kids just might like it too. Enjoy!

      Tips:

      -Don’t overcook! The frittata is done when the centre is just starting to set and still jiggles a little. It will continue to firm up as it rests.

      -Use good quality eggs.

      -Be sure to let the frittata rest as it allows the eggs to firm up and makes for easy cutting.

      -Don’t be shy with your favourite ingredients. If you don’t like onions, add a little red pepper or spice it up with a few chill flakes or different herbs.

      -Use full fat cheddar cheese as it melts nicer than light or reduced fat cheese.

      -A lower fat sour cream can be used but the full fat adds to the frittata’s creaminess and overall texture.

      A slice of Broccoli Chedddar Frittata served with a garden salad on a white plate and resting on a green and white checkered kitchen towel.

      A slice of Broccoli Chedddar Frittata served with a garden salad on a white plate and resting on a green and white checkered kitchen towel.
      Broccoli Cheddar Frittata
      Print Recipe
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 servings 20 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        15-18 minutes 5-10 minutes
        Servings Prep Time
        6-8 servings 20 minutes
        Cook Time Passive Time
        15-18 minutes 5-10 minutes
        A slice of Broccoli Chedddar Frittata served with a garden salad on a white plate and resting on a green and white checkered kitchen towel.
        Broccoli Cheddar Frittata
        Print Recipe
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 servings 20 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          15-18 minutes 5-10 minutes
          Servings Prep Time
          6-8 servings 20 minutes
          Cook Time Passive Time
          15-18 minutes 5-10 minutes
          Ingredients
          Servings: servings
          Instructions
          1. Preheat oven to 350°F and set a rack in the middle position.
          2. In a large bowl whisk together eggs and sour cream. Add milk, mustard powder, oregano, salt and pepper and whisk to fully combine. Stir in half of the cheese. Set aside.
          3. Add oil to a 10" cast-iron skillet over medium heat. When hot add the onion and garlic and sauté until starting to soften about 3 minutes.
          4. Add broccoli and water to the pan and cover to steam the broccoli until just tender about 3 minutes. Remove lid and stir in green onions and whisked egg mixture. Allow to cook over medium-low on the stove for 3-5 until the edge is just starting to set. Sprinkle with remaining cheese and place in the oven. Bake for 12-15 minutes until just starting to set in the centre (it should jiggle a little in the centre). Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes.
          5. Cut into desired wedges and serve immediately.
          Recipe Notes

          -Use frozen broccoli if that's what you have, just be sure to thaw completely and pat dry before using.  Add to skillet after cooking the onion and cook just to warm (don't add water) before continuing with the recipe.

          -Gruyére cheese would also be a nice substitute for the cheddar.

          -The cooked frittata will keep for several days well wrapped in the fridge and can be rewarmed gently in the microwave.  It does not freeze well.

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          I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com
          Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

          Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

          Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin

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          Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

          I absolutely love hot, cheesy spinach and artichoke dip. It’s something I can dig into and truly be a little pig about. So today’s post is a riff on one of my favourite dips made into gnocchi casserole form. This will likely be my last warming and hearty casserole of the season because it’s time to think spring…and I’m definitely okay with that. But in the same breath, I didn’t want you to miss out on this wonderfully cheesy and saucy Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

          If you’re not familiar with gnocchi, they are essentially little dumplings often made with mashed potatoes or ricotta cheese. Very simple to make, they cook in minutes and they can take on whatever sauce you want to toss them in. A classic sauce is a butter and sage sauce, but your favourite family meat sauce would be great too. The cheese lover in me can’t help but smother the tender little dumplings in a luscious Gruyere cheese sauce. Enjoy!

          Ricotta gnocchi dusted lightly with flour on a tan cutting board in preparation for Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin.

          Tips for great gnocchi:

          Don’t overwork the dough and mix only until combined. This will prevent too much gluten development in the flour.

          The grooves are not necessary, however, they help the dumpling hold the sauce. It only takes a few extra minutes to roll each piece over the tines of a fork or gnocchi board.

          Cook gnocchi in gently simmering water and only cook until they start to float to the surface. A rapid boil is a little too rough for the tender gnocchi.

          Gnocchi can be made and cooked ahead of time. Simply chill or freeze in a single layer on a large baking tray. Once they are frozen they can be stored together in a sealable bag or airtight container. If chilling, cover and use within 2 days.

          Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.

          Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
          Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
          Print Recipe
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 75 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            27-33 minutes 5 minutes
            Servings Prep Time
            4 people 75 minutes
            Cook Time Passive Time
            27-33 minutes 5 minutes
            Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin baked in small red ceramic cocotte dishes.
            Spinach and Artichoke Gnocchi Gratin
            Print Recipe
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 75 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              27-33 minutes 5 minutes
              Servings Prep Time
              4 people 75 minutes
              Cook Time Passive Time
              27-33 minutes 5 minutes
              Ingredients
              Gnocchi
              Servings: people
              Instructions
              Gnocchi
              1. In a large bowl whisk together eggs, ricotta, parmesan cheese, salt and pepper. Stir in flour until dough starts to come together.
              2. Scoop dough onto a floured work surface and knead gently for a few turns until dough is smooth. Shape into a round disk, cover and allow to rest for 10 minutes for the flour to hydrate.
              3. Cut dough disk into 4 equal portions and roll eat portion into an approximate 15" log. Cut each log into 3/4" pieces, dusting lightly with flour as you go to prevent sticking.
              4. Roll each piece across the tines of a fork or gnocchi board, sprinkle with flour as you go to prevent sticking. Dust a large baking tray with flour and lay formed gnocchi in a single layer on the tray. Sprinkle with flour, cover and keep chilled until ready to use.
              Sauce
              1. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in flour until combined. Slowly add 1 cup of hot milk and whisk until the mixture is smooth. Repeat with remaining milk, adding it gradually and stirring until smooth after each addition. Once all the milk has been added, bring to a gentle simmer to ensure flour has thickened to its capacity. Continue to cook for 5-10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
              2. While the sauce is simmering, bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a simmer and preheat oven to 350°F.
              3. Remove the sauce from heat and stir in half of the Gruyere cheese, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Once the cheese has melted stir in spinach and chopped artichokes.
              4. Gently add gnocchi to the simmering water. Cook until all the gnocchi float to the surface which will only take a few minutes. Remove with a slotted scoop to a towel-lined tray to remove excess moisture. Immediately add gnocchi to the sauce and stir gently to combine.
              5. Divide between 4 oven-safe individual cocotte dishes or ramekins that will hold a minimum of 1 1/2 cups. Divide remaining Gruyere cheese evenly over tops and place on a foil-lined baking tray. Bake for 25-30 minutes until bubbly. Turn oven to broil to lightly brown the tops for about 2 minutes.
              6. Remove from oven and allow to rest for a few minutes before serving as they are very hot.
              Recipe Notes

              A single casserole dish can be used instead of individual cocotte dishes if desired.

              It's important to add the cooked gnocchi immediately to the sauce as they will start to stick together if left to sit for too long.

               

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              I may receive compensation for purchases made through this site, at no cost to the purchaser. Compelled to Cook is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com