Tempeh and Black Bean Quesadillas

This is why I’m not a cakestress.

Do you see my “awwww isn’t she just precious” attempt to “drizzle” a seductively smooth guacamole sauce on my quesadillas? Right. It started off as this brilliant idea that was going to change the FACE of this blog. I got so excited, jumping up and down to Aaron, “Ooooo I’m gonna make a DRIZZLE, Aaron! A guacamole DRIZZLE. Like in cake places where they use that little white cone pastry bag thingy with the tiny hole in corner? I’m gonna do that, but with a plastic bag! I’ve seen it done before. It works!”

He was equally thrilled for me and my genius plan with his response, “okay.”

Before I continue, let me just pause for a moment to talk about that weirdotron block of bean mush in the photo above. And you probably already know what it is, especially if you’re vegetarian or vegan. But for the rest of you massaging your gag reflex, it’s tempeh. And it’s actually really good. It’s fermented soybeans, which I know those words do NOT help start the mouthal sprinkler system, but really, once you crumble it all up and season it right and sauté it all good and nice, Laaaaaaawdy bean. Lawdy soybean. Lawdy fermented soybea- OKAY.


So, as I was saying, the DRIZZLE. I had such high hopes and aspirations, you guys. Such ambition. (My fist is on my heart right now.)


Okay, so watch this. Two avocados, tons of grassy cilantro and a bunch of lime juice. Sprinkle of salt and bliiiiiiitzy blitz blitz. I tasted it. I danced. So smooth, so sexy. Even Barry White himself would get pregnant with one lick.

I spoon it into my plastic bag like a good girl. But then I went to cut the corner and, not ever having done it before, I cut what I thought would be the ideal-sized hole for my exquisite, dainty drizzle. Um….


CATERPILLAR DRIZZLE. That’s the thickest drizzle I’ve ever seen! It’s a drizzle on steroids. A drizzle that’s pumped IRON. It’s not even a drizzle! It’s…it’s…it’s a guacamole PYTHON about to unhinge its jaw and inhale my dang dinner in one single breath!

I laughed. For 35 rock solid minutes. Through salty tears, busted ribs and damaged eardrums. And then I started eating and forgot all about the tree log drizzle because it was sliding down my throat and everything tasted like a Tex-Mex wet dream and I was set for eternity.

So I guess the hole has to be REALLY tiny, right?

Black Bean and Tempeh Quesadillas:

What it took for 2:

* 2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
* 3 cloves garlic, minced
* 1 jalapeno pepper, diced (seeds removed if heat makes you sad)
* 2 Tbs. chili powder
* 1 Tbs. cumin
* 1 red bell pepper, diced (seeds, stem and ribs removed)
* 1 (8 oz) block tempeh
* 1 (14.5 oz) can black beans, drained and rinsed
* 2 cups spinach
* 1 cup (or more!) shredded aged white cheddar cheese
* 2 avocados
* 1/2 cup cilantro
* 1 lime
* 2 large tortillas
* coarse salt and freshly ground pepper

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Add the garlic and jalapeno peppers; sauté for 30 seconds. Add the chili powder and cumin and bloom 30 more seconds.

Add the red bell pepper and continue to sauté for 2 minutes. Break up the tempeh with your fingers (it will crumble easily) and toss into the pan. Add the black beans and continue to sauté another 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Taste it. Squeeze in a Tbs. of lime juice? I think so. Finally, add the spinach and toss to wilt, 2 minutes.

In the meantime, add the two avocados, another 2 Tbs. lime juice and the cilantro to a food processor. Sprinkle in a little salt. Blitz blitz blitz until you get a smooth mixture. OR, if going smooth ain’t your bag, just whip up some easy guac and you’re set.

Remove the filling from the skillet and set aside in a bowl.

Keep the skillet at a medium temperature. Arrange one tortilla in the skillet. Sprinkle some cheese over one half of the tortilla and then spoon the filling on top. Sprinkle more cheese on top of the filling. Fold the tortilla over and “cook” until the cheese is melty and the tortilla is golden brown. Flip and continue to “sear?” WHAT IS THE WORD? Sorry.

Repeat with the second tortilla. If you have filling leftover (and you might!) just store it for lunch tacos later. Or make another quesadilla. Or spoon it into your mouth as is. I won’t tell.

Finally, and this was supposed to be cute, but spoon the smooth gauc into a plastic bag. With scissors, cut the tiniest hole in one tip of the bag, allowing to decorate your quesadillas with guacamole caterpillars. Laugh at how hilarious it looks, then eat.



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44 Responses to Tempeh and Black Bean Quesadillas

  1. Natalie @ Cooking for My Kids June 6, 2012 at 1:35 pm #
    Oh, that looks like my drizzles. I love it! And, the fact that it looks absolutely positively delicious is all that matters to me.
  2. Karly June 6, 2012 at 1:58 pm #
    I can't drizzle either. It's like, you need some sort of degree in hole cutting to get the right size.
  3. Karriann June 6, 2012 at 2:12 pm #
    I haven't tried tempeh before but your quesadillas surely look appetizing :) "Spice it Up"
  4. Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar June 6, 2012 at 2:44 pm #
    Whoa. These seriously need to appear in my kitchen soon. Yum!
  5. Kathryn June 6, 2012 at 2:53 pm #
    I can't drizzle to save my life and I bet it didn't stop these being mighty delicious!
  6. GingerMae June 6, 2012 at 3:41 pm #
    Oh that made me chuckle! I tried the same approach with icing sugar cookies and ended up with big blobs instead. The true beauty is in the taste, right?!
  7. Katie June 6, 2012 at 3:47 pm #
    Ahahaha, I love it so much. That has happened to me approximately 3456 times when frosting a cake. It's tough work to make gooey food look pretty. You did well, though - tempeh is some ugly stuff and you have me wanting a block-full of it.
  8. Heather June 6, 2012 at 3:50 pm #
    bahahaha the drizzle is awesome. i'll take a guacamole python any day!
  9. Cassie June 6, 2012 at 4:16 pm #
    You know this is right up my alley. I want to drink that drizzle.
  10. Deanna B. June 6, 2012 at 4:21 pm #
    Drizzles usually need to be on the thin side. And tiny holes. Tempeh seems to be everywhere lately and I think I might have to give it a try. I'll pretend its ground turkey or something.
  11. Lori @ RecipeGirl June 6, 2012 at 4:24 pm #
    I'd happily eat it... caterpillar guacamole and all ;) I don't believe I've ever (knowingly) had Tempeh. Am I living under a rock or what? Hey! I'll see ya tomorrow night!!!!!
    • Bev Weidner June 6, 2012 at 4:26 pm #
      Yessssss! Can't WAIT to finally meet you!
  12. Emilie @ Emilie's Enjoyables June 6, 2012 at 4:27 pm #
    haha hilarious, it does look like a python. Still sounds amazingly delicious though!
  13. Ashley @ Hudson on the Potomac June 6, 2012 at 4:56 pm #
    I'm drizzle challenged as well, luckily, these still look delicious!!!
  14. Stephie @ Eat Your Heart Out June 6, 2012 at 5:16 pm #
    Haha! I love that you went with this whole thing, though, and posted it as-is. I love that you can laugh at yourself =) (I do so on a daily basis)
  15. Alison @ ingredients, Inc. June 6, 2012 at 5:27 pm #
    wow girl these look good! I am going to pin these now!
  16. Averie @ Averie Cooks June 6, 2012 at 5:36 pm #
    I LOVE the first two pics in this post!!! THEY ARE STUNNING!! I also love tempeh. I have been on a massive tempeh kick the past 6 mos or so. After being more into tofu the past 5 years, I am back onto tempeh and this looks so good, Bev!
  17. White June 6, 2012 at 1:19 pm #
    A full monty python, as it were... and who doesn't like Monty Python?
  18. Meagan @ A Zesty Bite June 6, 2012 at 3:54 pm #
    I totally have shaky hands and can't hold anything steady including my camera. These look amazing though!
  19. Angie Windheim June 6, 2012 at 4:35 pm #
    Okay, I will try tempeh now. You've convinced me. But, where do I find these freaky fermented soybeans?
    • Bev Weidner June 6, 2012 at 4:36 pm #
      Dew eet! You can find them in any health food store. Whole Foods! Try that.
  20. Tickled Red June 6, 2012 at 5:42 pm #
    Girl! I have tears of laughter rolling down my face right ;D Green python and all those look scrumptious. I'll have to take your word on the fermented soybeans though. I haven't quite ventured there yet. xo
  21. Jenny June 6, 2012 at 6:26 pm #
    ....u need to bake more ;)
  22. Julie @ Table for Two June 6, 2012 at 7:56 pm #
    i've never had tempeh before but this is very convincing! btw, do you shoot with a macro lens?
  23. Tracy June 6, 2012 at 8:15 pm #
    These look amazing! I tried tempeh for the first time this year and loved it. I can't wait to make these!
  24. Davida June 6, 2012 at 8:48 pm #
    Oh, my! They look delicious! I will be trying this recipe SOON!
  25. becky @ farmgirl paints June 6, 2012 at 9:40 pm #
    I'm the girl who digs in the bottom of the cereal box. I have a family...a honey and 2 girls and I cook maybe once a week. Don't ask me what we eat. I don't know. Eggs...waffles...cottage cheese. I'm inspired and entertained. Thank you. I'll be back:)
  26. Kat June 7, 2012 at 12:51 pm #
    I need to make these. I am in love with black beans. You cook healthy just like me!! : )
  27. tina June 7, 2012 at 4:58 pm #
    Just wanted to say that I love the way you write, it feels like you are in front of me telling me how your adventure with drizzling the avocado sauce went. It's great :) This recipe sounds like a nice way to step into the rarely ventured world of temeph for us :)
  28. LP @dishclips June 8, 2012 at 12:30 am #
    Very beautiful quesadillas and they look very delicious.
  29. Kari June 9, 2012 at 9:24 am #
    Tempeh has a yummy, kinda nutty flavor, but isn't very pretty. Bev you made it look attractive and appetizing. Inspite of... Maybe because of the piped avocado.
  30. Cookie and Kate June 9, 2012 at 10:40 am #
    Caterpillar drizzle, ha hahaa. I gave up meat (mostly) over two years ago and I've never cooked tempeh... maybe I should change that?
  31. Kevin (Closet Cooking) June 12, 2012 at 8:19 pm #
    Those quesadillas are looking really good! I often like to top my quesadillas with something as well!
  32. Herbivore Triathlete January 17, 2013 at 9:58 am #
    I've only cooked tempeh one time and it turned out gross. I love Mexican food in all forms though, so this recipe looks like a good second attempt at making tempeh tasty! Love your story and description, too funny.
  33. MissyLissy April 18, 2013 at 10:19 pm #
    I've been searching for a seriously yummy sounding tempeh recipe!! I think I'm going to go with some chunky style cilantro guac to top this :D ...DYING to make this!!!
  34. Joy July 16, 2013 at 4:41 pm #
    Thank you for this awesome recipe! This is my first time cooking with tempeh and your recipe was great for it. I just substituted vegan soy cheese and added sautéed red onions (I ❤ onions).
  35. Spamzer October 3, 2013 at 1:42 am #
    So... I'm mexican. And although this whole thing could (and should) be considered as a huge blasphemy to what a quesadilla is suposed to be, I have to say that I'm really really really REALLY craving this recipe, like omg I'm going to try it tomorrow. Idk, it looks way too delicious to not even give it a try! I'll be using real tortillas though (as in corn tortillas, not wheat ones), and since I don't know where to get tempeh where I live I think I'll be using soy bean sprouts, or chicken or something o.o
  36. Ella December 9, 2013 at 4:48 am #
    You made this sound so sexy, I just wanted to taste it. Keep up the good work!


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