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These quesadillas, from Plant-Strong: Discover the World’s Healthiest Diet, are a regular with the Engine 2 plant-strong Hall family. They are simple to make and very satisfying.

sweet potato quesadilla topped with guacamole - one of many plant based recipes

Ingredients

  • 1 large sweet potato
  • 1 cup brown rice, cooked
  • 8 ounces vegetarian, no added oil, re-fried beans
  • 1 cup of salsa
  • 1 cup fresh spinach
  • 8 ounces black beans, drained and rinsed
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, diced (optional and HOT)
  • 6-8 whole-wheat tortillas

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375º F.  Prepare a sheet pan with parchment paper.
  2. An hour before you plan to eat, peel and quarter the sweet potatoes.
  3. Bake sweet potatoes in the oven for 45 minutes to one hour, until soft.
  4. In the meantime, prepare rice in a rice cooker or on stove top as directed.
  5. Remove sweet potatoes from oven and toss into a mixing bowl. Mash sweet potatoes with the salsa, rice and fresh spinach.
  6. Place sweet potato mash in a sauce pan and mix in black beans and refried beans, heating mixture thoroughly over medium heat.   Add onion powder, chili powder and cumin to taste and stir.
  7. Place a tortilla in a frying pan on medium heat, and slather the side facing up with sweet potato and bean mixture.  Add jalapeños if desired.
  8. Place another whole wheat tortilla on top.  Press down on top tortilla with spatula with pan on medium heat for about 3 minutes. Flip with spatula and cook for another three minutes.
  9. Voila! Cut into desired number of sections. Serve topped with salsa.
  10. Tip: Also try this with black-eyed peas instead of the black beans or any other favorite beans.
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Comments (22)

(4.92 from 24 votes)
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Justin2 days ago
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Making this for the 3rd time in 3 weeks, it’s so good! We use corn instead of rice and usually do burritos, but there’s no wrong way to do it.

Mary Ann1 week ago
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This was excellent. It makes a lot so I put some in the freezer. We’ll see how well it warms up later. I like mine spicy so I used some jalapeños on top.

Christy3 weeks ago
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This was great. I made the sweet potatos in the instapot and thawed frozen brown rice, black beans and refried beans. I make big batches of beans and rice and cook and vaccuseal them in 2Cup portions. This way I can throw together a meal alot quicker. I use my instapot and rice cooker alot. Otherwise yes- this would have taken a long time. But what great taste! I added a can of tomato paste, real onion instead of the powder, more of the spices and a jalapeno in the mix. I didn’t have spinach so I threw in some kale. Spinach would be better but the kale was not bad. But the flavor is fantastic. This recipe is a keeper.

Brandon2 months ago
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Outstanding! My picky family ate this up: omnivore wife, 11, 8 & 3 year olds kids all loved it. We doubled the recipe and froze it for later. We’ve had it twice. So good.

Changes I made: half salsa. This was an attempt to keep spiciness down for kids. Flavor and consistency was all good. Also, wrapped the sweet potatoes in foil for baking w skin on. Super juicy after an hour plus. I also added sweet corn. I had a bag of frozen and it seemed appropriate. We garnished w pickled red onions. Live this recipe.

Nikki2 months ago
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Very good! The sweet compliments the spicy! I would double it next time so that I could use the whole can of beans. I make my own Pico de gallo, so I used that. I like spicy foods, so I added another jalapeño. Even my meat eating fiancé went back for seconds!

Debbie2 months ago
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This has become a regular in my house. We like it topped with salsa and avocado. It satisfies that junk food craving in a healthy way.

Ryan & Joanna3 months ago
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Delicious. Made with cauliflower rice as mentioned in another comment and boiled the sweet potato as I prefer it that way. Salt and pepper to taste and my wife and I were very impressed.

Next time I won’t use black beans though unless I process them as I really enjoyed just the nice texture of the dish without the chewy crunch of black beans.

Will be a regular dish for us!

Jodi4 months ago
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Delicious! I just made these! I substituted cauliflower rice for the brown rice. Mmmmm.

Deborah Likens4 months ago
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These were very yummy. And very filling. In my case I put too much filling in my Ezekial tortillas. So next time I will use less. I also think I would like them crunchier! So just some tweaking on how I put them together. This will be a staple for us$

amy wing4 months ago
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I use my Instant Pot to steam sweet potatoes every weekend, I cook 5-6 in a batch, this allows me to use them throughout the week in recipes, this is the perfect recipe to use some for.

STEPHANIE HIGGINS4 months ago
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Delicious!! Super easy!

Veronica4 months ago
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Can’t eat spinach. Any other suggestions for a replacement ?

L. March4 months ago
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My husband and I enjoyed this recipe and found it both tasty and filling. However, I doubt I would make it again because it is too much fuss and mess for a pretty simple meal. Three pots and pans were needed…one to cook the rice, one to heat the mash, and one to heat the actual quesadilla. The kitchen looked like I had just made Christmas dinner Lol. There has to be an easier way to make a healthy quesadilla.

Shelley4 months ago
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I am thinking about making the filling … but then dehydrating the filling… to rehydrate for a quick quesadilla for camping…. probably would work for home also…. make a 4x batch, dehydrate… and store in jars until ready for a quick meal?

Barbara R.6 months ago
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This did not disappoint! So delicious and flavorful. I added some smoked paprika which is my go-to seasoning when I’m making tacos or fajitas and I loved it!

Heather D3 months ago
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Ohhhhh yes – I will add the paprika – perfect!

Merry6 months ago
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Quesadilla’s are my all-time favorite and this recipe did not disappoint. I didn’t have jalapenos on hand but I swapped it with sweet peppers and it was so good!

ian h.6 months ago
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A restaurant I used to work at had the most delicious sweet potato black bean quesadilla that got topped with a jicama slaw. This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to recreating it. I usually add a dash of cinnamon for that extra little something.

Dave6 months ago
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Excellent hearty snack

Jennifer6 months ago
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Two of my favorite things come together – delicious!

Manisha5 months ago
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This dish is delicious, nutritious and so easy! I made it exactly as the recipe says, for I feel that is the only way you can review a recipe. Next time I will try adding tomatoes and red onions to get more veggies in and serve with more salsa on the side. Definitely going into my rotation! I will also double it so I have something quick in the fridge to heat up. Tastes just as good warmed up in a bowl without the tortilla. Great healthy dish my whole family enjoyed! Thank you!

Andrea6 months ago
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Make the whole batch and reheat throughout the week! So easy, affordable, and delicious.

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Black Bean and Sweet Potato Quesadillas

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Rip Esselstyn

Rip Esselstyn, son of Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, was a firefighter in the Austin fire department when he discovered dangerously high cholesterol levels among his firefighter comrades. He led a stationwide revolution of dietary change that resulted in markedly better health, which he detailed in his bestselling book, The Engine 2 Diet. Visit Engine2Diet.com for updates from Rip.

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