After our lazy Saturday of not doing much of anything, I decided to get up off my butt and make something for dinner last night. It helped that the hubby went and did our grocery shopping on Sunday afternoon, and that I was STARVING after 5 hours of dance rehearsals earlier that day. So I decided to make my healthified version of cheese quesadillas.
Doesn’t my healthy version look just like the real thing?? I promise it tastes just like it too! We LOVE quesadillas, but I hate how the restaurant versions are full of fat (from the oil used to cook them + the egregious amounts of cheese added) and minimal nutritional value (barely any fiber, no veggies, etc.). My version takes care of all those problems – with a fiber & protein packed meal that’s sure to satisfy even the most die-hard quesadilla fans!
My four main swaps are: 1) Adding veggies for fiber, anti-oxidants, and great texture. I like peppers, tomatoes, and red onions.
2) Adding black refried beans for extra fiber and protein. I like the Trader Joe’s variety because it only has like 4 ingredients, no oil or extra fat added, and no ingredients you can’t pronounce! I like mixing the beans with some taco seasoning to give it a great, smoky, spicy flavor.
3) Using EVOO cooking spray instead of oil to cook the quesadillas. You get the same crispy texture on the outside without adding all that extra fat!
The Trader Joe’s one is my fav. And my last swap (#4) is using high-fiber tortillas (that still look like the “white” tortillas you get at the restaurant). You can also use sprouted wheat tortillas – which is what I made my quesadilla on. Or even regular whole wheat tortillas. I use the high-fiber white ones because the husband is quite attached to the tortillas of his childhood
With these swaps you won’t even be able to tell how much healthier these quesadillas are! Each one should have about ~300 calories max (assuming you use 1/4 cup of cheese and 1/4 cup of beans in each). And they are huge – I can usually only finish about 1.5 of them!
The Ingredients List:
- Sprouted Wheat or High Fiber / Carb Balance Mission Tortillas (Soft Taco Size)
- Mexican shredded cheese blend
- Refried black beans
- Taco Seasoning
- 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
- 1/2 red onion, diced
- 1 red/orange/yellow pepper, diced
- Salsa (I like pace picante)
- Guacamole (I like the pre-made kind from Trader Joe’s – tastes super fresh like you made it yourself at home)
- Heat beans over the stove on medium heat. Add taco seasoning to taste and stir until combined
- Heat a large pan over medium to medium-low heat, spray with olive oil cooking spray.
- Assemble quesadillas: one layer of beans (use up to 1/4 cup per quesadilla), one layer of cheese, a layer of onions & peppers, and another layer of cheese (don’t use more than 1/4 cup of cheese total per quesadilla)
- Grill the quesadillas in the pan until both sides are browned and crispy and the cheese has melted. Top with diced tomatoes, 1 Tbsp guac and 2 Tbsp salsa. Enjoy!
Here’s what the assembly looks like
Finished quesadillas, fresh off the stove (I love how all the ingredients just melt together)
Can’t forget about the guac – I told you it looks & tastes like it was homemade!
And dinner is served. Look at all those layers of yummy goodness.