What of the greatest challenges I experienced of switching from a vegetarian to a vegan diet with kids – was replacing the fast and easy quesadilla for lunch. I didn’t think this crowd pleaser could be replaced – but I’m happy to report that I was wrong. I made them just this weekend, proving even after years of frequently appearing on the table, they are still gobbled up without complaint.

The popular bean-a-dilla lunch takes only a few minutes to make , packs a protein punch and is easy to jazz up with salsa a side salad. Personally, I prefer to sauteed some onion and peppers to add to the inside of mine, but the kids are purists. We also have been known to make this recipe using hummus instead of re-fried beans. It’s a little meh if plain or traditional hummus but roasted red pepper and spinach hummus are pretty great, and are a crispy warm addition to a simple salad.


Optional Toppings: Handful of vegan cheese shreds, guacamole or avocado slices, salsa

Optional Fillings: Fresh spinach, sauteed onions and garlic, roasted chilis


  • Spread the refried beans on half the tortilla, fold in half and gently pat it down evenly.
  • Heat canola oil over medium heat, and set the bean-a-dilla in carefully
  • Gently turn the bean-a-dilla a few times until it is cooked evenly

No Bake Peanut Butter Energy Balls

Without proper planning my kids begin to wilt around 3:00pm. Attitudes flare. Tantrums interrupt an otherwise peaceful day. Tears are triggered by the smallest offense. With enough water and a snacks this drama can generally be avoided or can help them perk up, like your favorite fancy houseplant after a long vacation.

The secret to preventing (or at least curbing) the mid-afternoon meltdown are energy balls. After years of buying “energy chunks” from the bulk section, I decided to start making my own. The amount of oats needed is going to vary based on your peanut butter. You will need to add more if it is thinner or has more oil.  You can adjust the ratio of peanut butter, oats and dates at the end. If you like chocolate, add them to the food processor. My son is not a chocolate fan, so my daughter delights in adding chips to her half once they have been rolled.



  • Add all dry ingredients to the food processor, and blitz until small/dusty.
  • Add peanut butter and honey
  • Run food processor until dry ingredients are well incorporated
  • The dough should be thick and be easily shaped, add additional oats/dates/peanut butter to achieve the right consistency. 
  • Using a tablespoon, scoop the dough and roll into a ball
  • Place on a cookie sheet and pop in the freezer for 1-2 hours
  • Store in fridge for up to a week