As much as I love tortilla wraps I really think they come into their own when they’re stuffed with a filling and then folded and fried to be turned into a quesadilla. I think that a crispy tortilla is particularly complemented when it’s filled with soft fillings, such as refried butter beans.
These refried bean quesadillas with almond cream are very easy to make and require very little preparation, apart from pre-soaking the almonds (assuming you want to make a non-dairy almond nut cream instead of just using sour cream). The traditional Mexican recipe for refried beans calls for black beans, pinto beans or kidney beans, but I just used a tin of butter beans that I had in the kitchen and they were lovely. Butter beans are also a low FODMAP bean, so it’s a win-win all round really.
I was quite sceptical about the almond cream and couldn’t really envision how blended almonds could possibly taste anything remotely like a cream, but I must admit I really enjoyed it. Soaking the almonds and then blending them produces a very smooth and yes, creamy, sauce which nicely complements the refried bean quesadillas. You could also add chopped chives to your almond cream, but I didn’t have any so I just left them out. To be honest, I don’t think it’d make a massive difference to the overall taste, but feel free to add them in if you like.
The refried beans have a lovely subtle Mexican spice flavouring from the ground coriander and smoked paprika and go wonderfully with sliced avocado or guacamole. Mexican foods, such as these refried bean quesadillas with almond cream, have become a bit of a staple in my house because it’s a cuisine that tends to be naturally pretty dairy-free, but there are so many variants to Mexican food that I doubt I’ll be getting bored with it any time soon.
I know it seems like a bit of extra work to fry your tortilla to turn it into a quesadilla instead of just eating it like a fajita, but it really adds a lovely crunchy, toasted dimension to the flavour of the tortilla and enhances the smokiness of the refried beans. It’s well worth the couple of extra minutes it’ll take before eating your tortillas.
Ingredients for the refried bean quesadillas:
6 corn tortillas
1 tbsp garlic-infused oil
Salt and pepper
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp smoked paprika
1 tin of butter beans (drained and well rinsed)
2 red bell peppers (cut into bite-sized pieces)
The juice of 1 lime
For the almond sour cream:
The juice of half a lemon
Salt and pepper
1 tsp of apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp chopped chives
To make the sour cream: Cover the almonds in boiling water and soak them for at least half an hour.
Drain the almonds and then blend all of the sour cream ingredients together in a Nutribullet until smooth.
To make the refried beans: Put the garlic-infused oil in a frying pan over a medium heat and add the beans, spices, salt and pepper, and lime juice and cook for 10-15 mins until the beans are soft.
Put the bean mixture into a bowl and wash your frying pan.
To make the quesadillas place your tortilla on a flat surface and put 3 tbsps of refried beans in the middle. Fold the left and right sides of the tortilla over the beans and then the top and bottom sections until it forms a square parcel.
Put the frying pan over a medium heat and place your quesadilla in the pan. Fry on both sides until golden brown. (I just fry mine in a dry frying pan, but feel free to add some sunflower oil if you like.)
Serve with the almond sour cream, jalapeños and sliced avocado.