autumn squash quesadillas with beans and greens

february will be squash month over at the blog
when i was in high school i used to go to my friend's, keith and krystyna, house. they were transplants from ontario, way older than me, but way cool and more interesting and fun than hanging out with the losers from school. i would head to their house after school and smoke pot, make fruit salsas, listen to keith talk about his dreams of having a farm and playing DND, and eat the most delicious veggie quesadillas i've ever had in my whole life.

K+K's roommate, who I cant remember the name of right now, used to cook/do kitchen stuff at a restaurant in Terrace, don diegos. they had bean quesadillas on the menu that, in a sea of disgusting corporate-chain restaurant quesadillas (as they were making a food comeback for white people), were delicious. i never ate them at the restaurant more than once or twice because i ate them at k+k's so often, but they have inspired a whole world of quesadilla cooking for me that has made a version of the following recipe a standard in my little brain of a cookbook.
when i was in university the first time (and a vegetarian) i used to make these every week with some kind of hummus be it black bean or white bean. never with refried beans for some reason. i have never really been a buy a can of refried beans kind of person. but then in 2009 our friends from unreliable narrator came to visit us in pg and made us bean burritos with amy's refried beans and it was one of the best things i've ever had. yummy fat laden beans from a can. sign me up.
this quesadilla is a conglomeration of my love for refried beans as well as my need to consume our squash. i also needed something that seth could eat in a jiffy. the best part about bean quesadillas is that you dont really need cheese, but i used some anyway. i also made a chipotle honey sauce similar to the rebar one to put inside, and chopped up some greens, and roasted some garlic with the squash. it sounds like a lot of effort, but it's all super small tasks that add up to spectacularness. seth and i ate them with orange slice, yam coins smothered in sesame seeds, and bolthouse creamy dill dip. so good.
helvetica's quesadilla: no hot sauce and mashed up the squash. i cooked it the same but cut it up into toonie sized bits that he sucked on, rubbed into the table, and threw on the floor. <3

autumn squash quesadillas with beans and greens


for the roasted squash:
1 small autumn squash, skinned, seeded, and cubed
2 tbsp oil
4 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
1 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt

for the chipotle sauce:
4 tbsp tomato sauce
1 tbsp liquid honey (i prefer a dark honey)
1-2 tsp chipotle

for the quesadillas
4 medium sized whole wheat tortillas
1 1/2 c grated old cheddar cheese
1 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 cup chopped fresh spinach
1 can refried beans (approximately 1 1/2 cups, homemade)

How to:

roast the squash: preheat oven to 400F. toss the squash cubes in oil, garlic, and spices. roast on a cookie sheet for 20 minutes. you can do this in advance and keep them in the fridge until ready to use.

chipotle sauce: in a small bowl combine sauce ingredient and stir well.

quesadillas: heat skillet over medium-low heat on the stove. lay one tortilla out in front of you on counter. using a tablespoon, spread a quarter of the refried beans over right half of the tortilla and spread 2-3 tsps chipotle sauce over the left half.  next, take a quarter of the cheese and sprinkle over the chipotle sauce creating an even cover. then take 1/4 of the squash/garlic and spread evenly over the beans. top the entire tortilla with 1/4 portion of the parsley and chopped spinach.  carefully transfer the tortilla to the skillet and cook, open, until cheese begins to melt.  using a spatula, fold the tortilla in half. i find that folding the bean side over the cheese side is easier and weighs it down. continue to cook for another minute or two, or until cheese is melty. remove with spatula, let cool for one or two minutes before slicing. repeat with remaining 4 quesadillas. eat with sour cream, yoghurt, extra chipotle sauce, homemade ranch dressing, or creamy dill dip.

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