Avocado, Shrimp, & Black Bean Quesadilla with Cilantro Chipotle "Sour Cream"

After finding this pretty little picture on Pinterest a few weeks ago, I ran home at lunch time to create my own inspired version of an avocado quesadilla.


My (scrumptious!) creation includes foods I eat almost everyday and do not ever get sick of, avocados, cheese, black beans, and scrimps (add spinach, peanut butter, and chocolate to the list, and you’ve nailed my regular eats).

And for a little somethin’ somethin’ extra, I decided to whip up a flavored sour cream dipping sauce. Lately, I have been subbing plain Greek yog in lieu of sour cream to up the nutrition factor and cut back on calories (you won’t notice the difference…promise!). Hence, Cilantro Chiptole “Sour Cream”!

Here is what I did:

Avocado, Shrimp, & Black Bean Quesadilla 
with Cilantro Chipotle “Sour Cream”


For the Quesadilla:

1 avocado (you only need half per quesadilla)
Lime juice (to taste)
Cracked Sea Salt (to taste)
Cayenne Pepper (to taste)
Cumin (to taste)
1 TB Extra Virgin Olive Oil (for sauteing)
1/2 small red onion (diced)
6-10 peeled, de-veined, de-tailed shrimp
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce*
1/3 can of black beans (rinsed)
Smart Balance or butter (for greasing pan)
1 whole wheat tortilla
Shredded Taco Cheese

For the “Sour Cream”:

Fage 0% Greek Yogurt
Lime juice
Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce*
Fresh cilantro


For the Quesadilla:

Cut avocado in half, and mash half in a bowl (wrap the other half tight in tin foil and put in fridge for later use, you only need half of the insides unless you are making two quesadillas).

Add lime juice, cracked sea salt, cayenne pepper, and cumin. Mash into the avocado. Cover and set aside.

With a little EVOO, saute diced onion and shrimp. Season with about half a teaspoon or less of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce* (a little goes a long way) and (my favorite) Goya Adobo seasoning, to taste. Once onions are translucent and shrimp is opaque throughout, add in rinsed black beans. Season with a bit more Adobo seasoning and cook just until beans are hot. Remove from heat.

Melt a little Smart Balance (or butter) in a frying pan. Place the tortilla flat on the pan, and sprinkle shredded cheese over the tortilla. Cook until cheese is melting; the other side of the tortilla will be slightly crunchy.

Remove tortilla from pan, and put the avocado mix on half of the tortilla. Next add the shrimp/onion/bean mix. Fold over, and cut into thirds with a pizza cutter.

For the “Sour Cream” Sauce:

Put a spoonful of greek yogurt in a bowl (however much you would like to use as a dipping sauce!). Add in a squeeze of lime juice, about 1/4 teaspoon of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce*, and a sprinkle of freshly chopped cilantro, all to taste. Mix together, and serve as a dipping sauce on the side.

*When I refer to the chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, I mean this:

Since you only use a little at a time, I use what I need the first time and then freeze the rest in a little container and then just “scrape” off what I need. A “couple of scrapes” is usually all you need in a recipe; I am a diehard all-things-spicy lover, and this stuff really is hot. It has a really tasty smoky flavor, and a lot of bite. Of course, if you don’t overdo it, it is not overly spicy at all.

Frozen Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce

“Sour Cream” before its all mixed up

Make this. Today.

I also use this “sour cream” with other dishes. It works great with taco salad.

Artistic Inspiration

On the drawing front, as I am still battling my psycho severe allergies (I had to get a steroid shot yesterday morning to try to control them and the inflammation in my sinuses! And then proceeded to sleep all day in between coughing fits), I am just starting to fall back into my drawing routine. I have quite a to-do list piling up (drawing as a gift for a friend; logo for a benefit; a couple other logos; my three new Christmas cards that I have to send to print; a Christmas card commission [with more doggies…yessss]; some new prints and products for my soon-to-be-launched Etsy store).

^That gives me a headache. But tonight I am moving up a new commission to the top of my list, since I think it will be good for easing me back into the art thang.

I am reworking this commission from last year:

into a little winter wonderland for a client’s Christmas card. Adding some fun details like snow, santa hats, holly, a Charlie Brown tree, and glitter (!!!) will make this festive and fun, and the additions should only take me a few hours to do since the bulk of the image is already done. Thank goodness for Photoshop! I’ll be sure to post here when it is finished. Also going to try to work on my jungle animal drawings (the gift) over the next few days.

When I get overwhelmed, it helps to remember a myriad of things like this:

(That’s my life!) 

And yet:

This is where I supplement my artistic lifestyle with the other things that make me happy; finding new workouts and making fitness a top priority in my life, cooking, reading, blogging, spending time with my dog, family, and friends, trying new restaurants, playing…I may not be as focused as strictly on art as many of my other artist friends, which makes me feel a little guilty sometimes, but I really have other passions beyond art. Art’s my life….but it’s not the only ingredient in it. And it is important for me to do great work, to push myself, to really do something (as my one amazing artist friend says, “MAKE shit!”), all the while staying happy, and being as well-rounded as possible. Make sense?
And then I remember one of my favorite quotes:
“I once told my daughter I was busy working and she said ‘You’re not working, you’re drawing.’ I try to remember that every day.” – Edel Rodriguez, Dec ’09 Communication Arts
Like….really? My jobs are pretty sweet.
Gotta bang ’em out, one at a time. This can be done. Somehow, I always hit deadlines when they are in place. I seem to be more prolific and am better at time-management when I have a lot going on. Lez do this.
(All inspirational type posters and their sources can be found via my Pinterest.)

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