Monday, April 15, 2013

Yummy Quesadillas: gluten free and jam-packed with healthy goodness

I made up a new recipe for dinner tonight and need to share it so that I don’t forget what went into it. It was yummy!
IMG_8706No, it wasn’t pie, even though it looks like it.

They’re quesadillas. Quesadillas packed with healthy goodness.

It mostly came about because I had a bunch of random veggies in the fridge that needed to be used up and I was wanting to use my food processor. My husband gave it to me for my birthday at the end of February. I love it! I love finding meals that use it a lot and this is one of them. This one can be done without a food processor, but it’s really fun and fast if you have one.

I don’t even know what exatly to call these. They’re quesadillas, but kind of different ones. Vegetarian quesadillas, but meat could easily be added. Basically, I’m sharing it to show a different way to make quesadillas and to make them healthier and packed with veggies.

This would even be good as a lettuce wrap. Then you wouldn’t need to buy special gluten free tortillas. I think I’ll have to try that soon.

I didn’t take pictures of the whole process because it was an experiment and I didn’t know it would turn out so well.

Here’s what I did (in the order that I did it with the food processor):
  • I grated some cheddar cheese. Probably 1 1/2 cups. I’m actually not supposed to be eating much dairy, so I think I’ll cut back on this next time, even though the 1 1/2 cups wasn’t a lot for quesadillas in the first place.
  • I dumped the cheese into a mixing bowl and shredded some carrots. All I had were baby carrots, which don’t work as well in a food processor, but oh well. It worked. I grated those and dumped them into a pan on the stove that already had olive oil in it.
  • Then I chopped (in the food processor, of course Winking smile) red, orange, and yellow sweet mini peppers. Just a few. They were from a bag of the mixed sweet mini peppers. Love these things. I tend to always have them in the fridge now. I chopped them pretty small, so I could hide them from my kids and then dumped them into the pan.
  • Then I remembered I wanted garlic, so I put 3 fresh cloves in the food processor and chopped them. Next time I’ll chop them with the peppers. I added the garlic to the pan and sautéed the veggies that were in it (carrots, peppers, garlic).
  • While that was sautéing I put lots of spinach in the food processor and chopped that small. Lots and Lots. More of that than the carrots and peppers combined. Put however much you want in, though. I added the spinach to the sautéing pan.
  • I added some seasonings that sounded good. Minced onion (I would’ve added fresh if I’d had some), salt, chili powder, and lots of cumin. Love cumin.
  • I sautéed it all for awhile and then added a can of corn (drained), a can of black beans (drained), and a chopped tomato (2 would’ve been better, but I only had 1).
  • I let it cool a bit then added the mixture to the grated cheese in the mixing bowl. Then I thought adding feta would be yummy. So I did. And it was.
    Looks totally gross. It’s not. It’s really good.
  • Then I made quesadillas out of it.
  • I added mushrooms as an afterthought to mine and my husband’s. Yum! I also added cilantro to mine. Tasty. 
  • I put my husband’s and kid’s on whole wheat tortillas and mine on these gluten free brown rice tortillas:
  • IMG_8709
    I really like these. They’re a good price as far as gluten free goes ($3 for 6 tortillas at Good Earth in Riverdale). No, they’re not the absolute best I’ve ever had and they do tend to break apart easily (if you heat them up in the microwave first before wrapping them they work better), but they’re perfect for me.
If you’ve never made a quesadilla before, don’t worry… it’s easy. Put something on your pan first to make it not stick. I prefer butter. Then put one tortilla down, add some of your mixture to it, add any toppings particular to that quesadilla (i.e. cilantro and mushrooms on mine, only mushrooms on my husband’s), then put the 2nd tortilla on the top. Brown it, then flip it over and do the other side. Have the temperature low enough that the insides get nice and warm and the cheese melts without the tortilla burning.

Stick it on a plate and cut it into triangles with a pizza cutter. You can also dip it into anything you want. I used some of the hot sauce from Fuzzy’s Tacos. My husband had ranch and bbq sauce.
Because of how little cheese I used for such a large amount of the mixture, these didn’t stick together quite like regular quesadillas. By the end we were using forks. Especially for my gluten free ones. But they were SERIOUSLY GOOD!!!!! My kids downed them as well. Though if they’re not veggie fans and they’ve never had quesadillas before, you might want to start with something simpler to get them used to the idea (my kids weren’t a fan until we had them at a friends house. Then they were willing to have some with beans and cheese, then beans, cheese, corn, and chopped spinach. Now this Smile.

Oh, and I added avocado to mine as well. (I guess there is a plus to not having as much cheese; I was able to pull them apart to add the avocado to it.)
You can take this idea and make any kind of quesadilla you want. Add anything. Zucchini would be perfect to add. And you can have way less in it than what I put in. I’m just trying to find new ways to pack in the different veggies and this one ended up being perfect.

And just to recap, so you don’t have to read through all of that to see what you’ll need to make this exactly, here are the ingredients I used:
  • spinach
  • peppers
  • garlic
  • carrots
  • onions or onion flakes
  • corn
  • tomatoes
  • black beans
  • cheddar cheese
  • feta cheese
  • mushrooms
  • avocado
  • cilantro
  • cumin
  • chili powder
  • salt/pepper
  • tortillas (gluten free, of course)
  • butter or olive oil (for sautéing the veggies and then frying the quesadillas)

EDITED TODAY TO ADD: I had the leftover filling today for lunch. I heated it up, then added the avocado, cilantro, hot sauce, and some fresh spinach leaves and ate it like a salad. HEAVENLY!!! You don't even need special gluten free tortillas for this!


Ralph Johnson said...

Yummy! Thanks for posting these recipes.
Gluten free restaurants Edmonton

Joel said...

It's also really easy to cook quesadillas on a George Foreman Grill, too. And that presses them pretty flat and makes them a little more manageable.