Now happens to be the perfect time to find an abundance of fresh, healthy, and organic fruits and vegetables at your local Farmer’s Market, food stand, or grocery store. If you’re looking for new and delicious ways to prepare your fresh produce, why not try a Mexican-inspired dish? These quesadillas make perfect use of your healthy veggies (and fruit for the dessert one!), plus they are easy and quick to prepare.
Juice of 1 lime (about 1/4 cup)
Handful of cilantro leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt or sea salt
1/2 – 1 teaspoon chipotle powder, chiptole puree, traditional paprika, or regular paprika
1 clove garlic, peeled and pressed
1 zucchini (medium, trimmed and thinly sliced lengthwise)
1 red bell pepper (ends cut off, cored and seeded, cut into wide strips)
1 red onion (peeled, cut into 1/4 thick slices)
8 whole wheat or spinach tortillas
1/2 pound shredded cheddar or Monterey jack cheese
Sour cream, guacamole, and salsa for serving
1. Preheat grill on high.
2. Combine lime juice, garlic, salt, olive oil, and chipotle or paprika and stir. Places vegetables in one layer on a large, rimmed baking sheet and pour half of the mixture over them, flipping them carefully to provide an even coat.
3. Turn the grill down to medium-low and roast the vegetables, flipping and adjusting the heat as needed until they are softened – about 10-12 minutes. Shift veggies to a plate and add the remaining dressing.
4. Heat a large griddle or frying pan on medium-high heat, and place half of the tortillas inside. Those using a frying pan will have do one at a time. Evenly distribute the cheese over the tortillas, place the remaining tortillas on top and cook until the bottoms are crisp and golden-brown. Flip and cook until tortillas are crisp and cheese melts.
5. Open the quesadillas and distribute the grilled veggies and cilantro leaves equally. Cut the vegetables if necessary to fit the tortilla, and cut the quesadillas in four. Serve with salsa or the sides of your choice.
Fresh & Healthy Quesadillas
Original recipe makes 3 quesadillas
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
1/2 cup chopped zucchini
1/2 cup chopped yellow squash
1/2 cup chopped red onion
1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
6 (9 inch) whole wheat tortillas
1 1/4 cups shredded reduced-fat sharp Cheddar cheese
1. In a large nonstick pan, cook red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash, onion, and mushrooms in olive oil over medium to medium-high heat for about 7 minutes, or until just tender. Remove vegetables from pan.
2. Coat the same pan with cooking spray, and place one tortilla in pan. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of cheese evenly over tortilla, and layer 3/4 cup of the vegetable mixture over the cheese. Sprinkle another 1/8 cup of cheese on the vegetables, and top with a second tortilla. Cook until golden on both sides, for approximately 2 to 3 minutes per side. Remove quesadilla from pan, and repeat with remaining ingredients. Cut each quesadilla into 8 triangles with a pizza cutter. Serve hot.
Cajeta Quesadillas with Fruit Salsa
Makes: 4 servings Serving size: 1 quesadilla, 1/3 cup fruit and 1/4 cup whipping cream
Prep: 20 mins. Cook: 4 mins per batch
1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped fresh pineapple
1/2 cup fresh blackberries
2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
2 teaspoons fresh lime juice
Pinch of salt
4 8-inch flour tortillas
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup cajeta or dulce de leche
1 large banana, sliced
1/2 cup whipping cream
Cajeta or dulce de leche
1. For fruit salsa, in a medium bowl combine pineapple, blackberries, agave nectar, lime juice, and salt; set aside.
2. For the quesadillas, lightly brush one side of each tortilla with the butter. Place the tortillas, butter side down, on cutting board or waxed paper. Spread 2 tablespoons cajeta or dulce de leche over half of each tortilla. Top with banana slices. Fold over tortilla and gently press down.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat for 1 minute. Cook quesadillas, two at a time, over medium heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until light brown, turning once. Transfer to cutting board and cut into wedges.
4. In a small bowl beat whipping cream with an electric mixer on medium speed until stiff peaks form. To serve, place quesadilla wedges on a serving plate. Top with whipped cream and fruit salsa. Drizzle with additional cajeta or dulce de leche.