We eat beans & rice pretty regularly around here. It’s quick, nutritious and you can buy all of the ingredients at the corner store. I do love to make beans from scratch using dried beans, but I’m not a good planner-aheader so it doesn’t happen very often. Below is my recipe for quick beans. In order to make beans & rice a truly quick weekday meal, I cook my quesadillas in the oven and make an extremely simple guacamole. I also cook the rice while I’m making the beans.

• Oven Quesadillas •
Heat your oven to very hot 400 degrees or hotter. Sandwich some grated cheese between two tortillas, place on a greased baking sheet and oil the top side of the quesadilla. Cook for 3-5 minutes until underside is brown and then flip and cook again, until both sides are brown and cheese is melted. Remove from oven and cut into triangles.
These come out a bit crispier than when cooked in a pan, but it’s quick and easy to cook several at a time and it doesn’t use up range-top space.

• Quick Guacamole •
Mush together one or two ripe avocados with lime juice, salt and chopped cilantro leaves. Taste as you go.

• Quick Black Beans •
2 14oz. cans black beans (I like Goya), 1 can drained and rinsed and one partly-drained and not rinsed.
1/2 onion diced
1 tsp. ground cumin 
2 tbsp. olive oil
salt to taste 
red pepper flakes (optional) 

Sautee onion in oil, until soft and translucent. Add beans and cumin. Cook for 10-20 minutes. You can mash them a little bit with a potato masher to release some of the starch and thicken them. If they get dry, add a little water. Season with salt and red pepper flakes to taste.