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7 steps to making a quesadilla

September 1, 2017
Pierce County Tribune

Create a quesadilla with a variety of colors and flavors for your next family dinner. Have your family pick out their favorite quesadilla fillings with this flexible yet delicious recipe.

Choose whole-wheat tortillas with lean protein, low-fat cheese and a variety of veggies to make an easy, fun and nutritious meal.

1. Heat a nonstick frying pan to medium-high heat. Add teaspoon of olive or canola oil and spread around frying pan. When the oil is hot, place one whole-wheat tortilla in the pan.

2. Sprinkle cup of your favorite low-fat shredded cheese, such as mozzarella, Monterey jack or cheddar, over the top of the tortilla, making sure that the cheese does not land on the pan.

3. Add cup of protein, such as canned beans (drained and rinsed), cooked chicken, shrimp, shredded pork or beef or tofu.

Tip: Use leftover rotisserie chicken or canned chicken for a quick lean protein.

Fact Box

Beef, bean & corn quesadillas

- 1 pound lean ground beef

- Salt and pepper, if desired

- 1 cup prepared salsa

- 1/2 cup canned black beans, rinsed, drained

- 1/2 cup frozen corn, defrosted and drained well

- 8 small flour tortillas (6 to 7-inch diameter)

- 3/4 cup shredded, reduced-fat cheese

Heat the oven to 400F. Brown the ground beef in a large, nonstick skillet over medium heat 8 to 10 minutes or until thoroughly cooked. Break it up into 3/4-inch crumbles. Season with salt and pepper as desired. Stir in the salsa, beans and corn. Cook and stir about five minutes or until thickened and heated through. Spray baking sheet with cooking spray. Arrange four tortillas on baking sheet, overlapping slightly if necessary. Sprinkle half of cheese evenly over tortillas. Spoon beef mixture evenly over cheese and top with remaining cheese and tortillas. Spray top tortillas with cooking spray. Bake at 400 degrees for 11 to 13 minutes or until quesadillas are lightly browned and the edges are crisp. Cut into wedges and serve.

Makes four servings. Per serving: 450 calories, 13 grams (g) fat, 46 g carbohydrate and 5 g of fiber.


4. Add cup of veggies for fl avor, fi ber and extra nutrition. Try tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, bell peppers, corn, onions, avocados or your favorite veggie of choice. Add cilantro, pineapple, hot sauce, jalapenos, black olives or salsa for an additional boost of flavor.

5. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons of cheese on top of the fillings and place the other whole-wheat tortilla on top. Cover pan and cook for approximately two to four minutes or until cheese begins to melt and tortilla browns.

6. Using a spatula, carefully flip the quesadilla over and cook for approximately two more minutes.

7. Cut into six pieces and top with guacamole, salsa and low-fat sour cream or plain or Greek yogurt.

Flavor combinations to try:

* Breakfast banana Use a whole-wheat tortilla, peanut butter, sliced bananas or strawberries and a few chocolate chips for a tasty breakfast-style quesadilla. Follow the directions above to fry it.

* Hawaiian Use mozzarella cheese, Canadian bacon or diced lean ham, pineapple and green peppers.

* Greek Use feta cheese (or low-fat cream cheese), chicken, cucumbers, tomatoes, olives and red onion.

* Thai Try pepper jack cheese, shrimp, carrots, green onions, cilantro, and Thai peanut or chili sauce.

From: Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, Ph.D, R.D., L.R.D and Megan Rademacher Dietetic Intern



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