I am not a vegetarian, but that doesn’t mean I go out of my way to either eat or not eat meat. It just so happens that one day we decided we wanted Mexican food, but we wanted something a little big lighter. We wanted to eat it and not feel guilty about it, have it taste good, but not feel like we swallowed a half a cow afterwards. You can make this recipe as healthy or non-healthy as you want.
This recipe was created both out of necessity and experience. We knew we wanted Mexican food for dinner and went through the list, and settled on Quesadillas. The ingredients we like the best (for taste) are cheese, tomatoes, and onions. The rest are (to us) complementary. I brought up avocado as another good filler. Tracy thought it might be so good hot, but I thought to when restaurants add guac to hot dishes all the time. I just don’t like when it’s fake guacamole (whipped up to the consistency of boxed mashed potatoes).
In the end we agreed on this ingredients list:
- flour tortillas (but what you are comfortable with – either regular, fat free, lite, or carb concious)
- 3 large ripe (but not mushy) avocados, pitted and sliced about 1/8″
- 3 medium tomatoes, diced (we use roma)
- 1 medium sweet onion, chopped
- 1 medium green pepper, diced (+chopped jalapeno if you want some heat)
- 1 lime
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 8-12oz colby jack Mexican cheese
- 2 pads of butter or 2 tbsp olive or other oil
- Mexican seasonings to taste – ground cumin, garlic powder, chili powder, etc. Suggestion is at least 1 tbsp garlic powder, 1 tbsp chili powder, 3 tbsp ground cumin
The first thing I do is add the butter or oil to the pan. Butter is better tasting and better for you (for digestion), but olive or other oil is fine. Add to to pan on medium-low heat (about 3 1/2 or so) and saute the onion and green pepper. After 3-4 minutes, add baby spinach and the Mexican seasonings, and cook another 2 minutes or so. Add You want the baby spinach to cook down enough where it’s hot and coated with oil, but not where it loses its bright green color or gets dark green and mushy. Immediately remove the mixture and place in a medium bowl to the side.
Next turn your heat up to medium-high (5 1/2 or so). Once it comes up to temperature add a single flour tortilla to the pan. On the right half add a handful of cheese, a tbsp or so of chopped tomato, 4-5 avocado slices, and top with a spatula of the onion / pepper / spinach mixture. This will take you a couple minutes. Once you have everything loaded, take your spatula and flip the empty half of the tortilla on top of the filled half, and let cook an additional minute or so. Once you remove from the pan you should have some brown spots as in our picture, and the quesadilla should be a little bit crunch. Repeat until you exhaust your ingredients and everyone is fed!
I have made quesadillas for a long time, and the key to this recipe is the high heat, using only 1 flour tortilla at a time, and not flipping them while cooking. I have eaten these as leftovers (cold), but they are best served hot – right from the pan!