Black Bean Quesadilla Recipe from “Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking”

I did a survey the other day for members of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics  (AND)  that asked how I felt about the fact that AND has sponsors like the Coke and Hershey’s.

My answer: I don’t love it, but it brings in money which means AND is able to pass along more benefits like continuing education to me so I can become a better dietitian. In turn, I am able to better help you improve your nutrition to help you become a healthier, happier person.

They also asked if having these sponsors made me more likely to recommend their products.

I can honestly say the answer to this is no – although I realize that’s not what they want to hear. The reason I’m not more likely to recommend their products is that I very rarely recommend any specific brand or product unless it’s something that really stands out.

Well, I’ve recently noticed one such company’s products while strolling the aisles of the grocery store. I don’t even think this company sponsors AND so don’t worry, I haven’t been brain-washed into liking them. Okay, here goes nothing!

Goya Foods

Goya is America’s largest Hispanic-owned food company and they offer products such as beans, rice,  fruit beverages, and condiments that are perfect for Latin recipes. I recently discovered that their Low-Sodium Black Beans contain half the sodium of the brand I used to buy!

But I’ll be honest, the thing that made me think Goya is awesome is actually their packaging.

They are the only company that I’ve seen that features the MyPlate icon on some of their product labels.

Goya and MyPlate

I think that MyPlate is fancy and I think that more Americans would be healthier if they were aware of MyPlate.

Pssst! Go tell the first person you see about MyPlate!

Well anyway, it turns out that Goya teamed up with the First Lady’s LetsMove initiative and the USDA to launch a MyPlate/ MiPlato cookbook called Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking.

Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking

Goya MyPlate Cookbook

The cookbook features 10 complete, balanced meal ideas packed with 30 healthy Latin inspired recipes.

Think Avocado and Grapefruit Salad, Argentinean Grilled Steak , Pumpkin Flan, and so much more.

On second though, try not to think about it until dinner time.

Each of the meals incorporates all five basic food groups (fruits, vegetables, grains, protein and dairy) for a healthy, well-rounded diet.

As an added bonus, the cookbook also includes nutritional information for every recipe, easy-to-follow cooking tips, and estimated costs for each meal.

It just so happens that Goya is providing cookbooks for three lucky winners of the Black Bean Eat Me Quiz so if you haven’t done it, go ahead and get your name in there.

Even if you don’t win, you can actually download a free PDF of Healthy, Tasty, Affordable Latin Cooking.

Just to give you a taste of what’s inside, here is the Black Bean Quesadilla recipe from the cookbook.

Black Bean Quesadillas

Black Bean Quesadilla

Makes 8 Servings
Prep time: 5 min.
Total time: 15 min.

¾ cup GOYA Pico de Gallo (I would probably use home-made)
1 can (15.5 oz.) GOYA Low Sodium Black Beans, drained and rinsed
½ cup shredded reduced fat Colby & Monterey Jack cheese
2 tbsp. finely chopped fresh cilantro
4 8″ GOYA Flour Tortillas (I usually prefer the healthier corn or whole wheat options, but there is actually something I like about flour tortillas with quesadillas)
½ tsp. GOYA Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1. Using small-hole strainer, drain liquid from Pico de Gallo; discard liquid. Transfer leftover tomato mixture to medium bowl. Mix in black beans, cheese and cilantro until combined.
2. Divide black bean mixture evenly over half of each tortilla (about ½ cup each). Fold tortillas in half.
3 Heat large griddle or skillet over medium-high heat. Brush with oil. Place filled tortillas on griddle. Cook, carefully flipping once, until tortillas are golden brown and crisp and cheese filling melts, about 5 minutes. Cut quesadillas into wedges.

Serving Size: ½ quesadilla
170 Calories
5g Fat (2.5g Saturated, 0g Trans); 10mg Cholesterol; 21g Carbohydrate; 0g Sugar; 9g Protein; 4g Fiber; 470mg Sodium

The Black Bean Quesadilla is part of the Week Night Chicken Dinner – check out this description from Goya:

Enjoy a wholesome dinner, any night of the week! Here, chicken breasts are infused with healthy flavor thanks to fresh herbs and lemon juice. Serve with a side of vegetarian quesadillas and brown rice and vegetables, featuring whole grain GOYA® Brown Rice. We suggest a piece of fruit for dessert.

The whole dinner, featuring all five food groups, comes out to less than $3.50 per serving.

I’m drooling.

I think I’m making black bean quesadillas and salad for dinner. What’s your dinner plan?

Disclaimer:  The kind people at Goya Foods have offered to donate a prize for the Black Bean Eat Me Quiz. However, I was not compensated for this post, all thoughts and opinions are my own. 



Fooducate App Review

Here’s the thing about me: I have an iPhone but I am not a huge app user. Friends keep asking me about one of the bajillion health, fitness, and weight loss apps and I don’t have answers for them.

So I’ve decided to give myself an app education. Since I think the Fooducate blog is the best thing since banana bread, I thought I’d start with the Fooducate app.

Fooducate is meant to be taken to the grocery store with you and used as a personal nutrition guide. It allows you to scan products, shows you product highlights, helps you compare products and select alternatives, and works by analyzing information from a product’s nutrition panel and ingredient list. It provides calorie information but this is not the focus; it helps you dig deeper and learn more about what is in your food.

How to Get Started

Download the app for iPhone or Android or use the web version at

Sign up using email or Facebook.

Bam! You are ready to start playing.

The Basics

Once you sign up, you’ll immediately be taken to the Find feature.

I’m a big fan of apps that encourage me to shake my phone so Fooducate gets bonus points for that! This is a cool way to find random new products that you never would have thought of trying.

My random product was Pop-Tarts Toaster Pastries, Frosted Strawberry. This product earned a grade of D (not so hot). As you can see, this grade was well earned because it contains trans-fats, artificial colors, refined flours, and little actual fruit.

If you tap the over arrow, you will get more product details.

Here you can see that Pop-Tarts fit into the Breakfast tarts, pastries category and that products in this category are rated D to C+. So if you are really craving a breakfast tart, you now know that there are some that have better ratings than these Pop-Tarts.

You can also see that products in this category have an average of 175 calories but range from 60 to 420 calories and that these Pop-Tarts have 200 calories per serving…could be worse.

If you scroll down further, you see a list of 12 things to know about the product along with an explanation of each.

You will find pretty much everything you could want to know about what is in your food. Many of the explanations have links to even more great information from the Fooducate Blog.

Hitting the Back button on the top of the page takes you back to the main Pop-Tart page where you can tap to read through the user comments or add your own.

Some of the user comments are helpful if you are still unsure about a product after seeing the Fooducate rating…and some of them not so much.

You can also Like or Don’t Like the product – Like! I have to give Fooducate extra points for this feature too.

The Add to List button allows you to add the product to your shopping list which you can access from the Main Menu at the top left of the screen.

The Alternatives button will provide you with a list of products in the same category with better ratings.

In this case, Fiber One Toaster Pastry, Fruit Flavored, Strawberry comes out on top with a rating of C+. If you tap it, you are taken to the Fiber One Toaster Pastry page to find out why.

So, now that we know all about strawberry toaster pastries, what else does Fooducate have to offer?

The little barcode looking button on the top right takes you back to the Find feature where you can shake for a random product or scan a product you want to know more about.

Since it seemed easier to write this post at home than at the grocery store, I scanned a couple of products I already had in my kitchen. First I scanned my HEB store brand  milk.

The Fooducate database has over 200,000 unique products and is growing daily but I got a message that my product was not in the Fooducate database. I was asked if I would like to contribute to the awesomeness  of Fooducate (my wording not theirs) by taking a few pictures of the product so they could add it. Easy-peasy.

The next thing I scanned was a can of Bush’s Best Chick Peas, Garbanzos.

These were given a grade of B which is at the lower end of grades for foods in the Legume category. Clicking the Alternatives button gave me some good options so maybe I’ll try the Goya Chick Peas next time.

Other Features

The Main Menu button on the top left gives you some more fun things to play with.

The product button takes you back to the last product you looked at, apparently I have 2 messages, and we’ve already seen the Find feature.

The List feature will pull up a list of products you have looked at under the History tab and there is also a Shopping List tab with a list of foods you have added.

You can also add more products to your list from here and replace products already on your list by clicking the Edit button. Seriously, if I’m going to eat a toaster pastry, I want it to be chocolate flavored.

Back to the Main Menu. The Healthy Me feature gives you a mini history of your Fooducation.

Apparently other people look at healthier products than I do – but gimme a break, I did try to look at fat-free milk!

The Daily Tips feature is self-explanatory…but check it out, it might be my favorite part of the app.

Feedback, FAQ, and Settings are also pretty self-explanatory.


One of my favorite things about this app: it’s FREE!

There is also a Fooducate Plus app which costs $3.99 and is an ad-free version of the Fooducate app.

The Allergy Talk by Fooducate app costs $4.99 and includes sneaky allergen information. This could be helpful for people with allergies or those with Celiac disease.

One More Cool Tool

You can email your shopping list to Fooducate and they will give you healthy recommendations for each item on your list.

Simply email your shopping list to, for example: 3 bananas, 6 bottles of water, etc. You’ll get an email reply with healthy recommendations for each item you specified.


  • See above.


  • You do need an iPhone or Android.
  • It would be easier if there simply weren’t so many crazy ingredients in our foods.

What You Need to Know

Fooducate is a super ninja tool if you want help deciphering what is in your food.

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