Friday, February 24, 2012

Science Fair + Veggie Quesadillas

Last night we had grand fair at Matt's high school! ;-) Normally I wouldn't attend this annual school event, but Matt's been dying to show off our new little guy to his coworkers, so off we went. It was actually kind of fun to walk around the school library and check out all the projects. Seeing the hallways filled with lockers and those old high school bathrooms really brought me back. Ah, the good old days of Lip Smackers and drinking Zima in the woods!

We had to be leave by 6:00 to make it to science fair on time, and getting out of the house with Riker and all his stuff is quite the process. So, dinner had to be quick. After looking at my dinner list, and looking at it again, and then one more time, we decided nothing sounded appealing. So instead I scrounged around in the fridge and came up with a quick fix - quesadillas!

I needed to bulk up Matt's a bit, so while I was prepping the veggies I cooked a Morningstar Farms spicy black bean burger for him, which I cut up and stuffed inside his quesadilla. I served the 'dillas with some sour cream and salsa verde we had on hand, as well as half an avocado diced up with lemon juice and salt & pepper for some good - and delicious! - fat. I always try to include a healthy fat with dinner, so if we didn't have avocado I would've sauted our veggies in a teaspoon of olive oil. On the side we had a simple salad of arugula with cherry tomatoes.

I try to make all of our dinners healthy (at least the weeknight ones), so these are a lightened up version of a typical quesadilla, but they are still gooey and flavorful. If you get the right brand of tortillas - which usually requires sifting through a bunch of options at the grocery store and reading all the labels - they also have a ton of fiber and protein, so they're filling as well. Quesadillas really don't require a recipe, but here's how I make mine:

Veggie Quesadillas

Serves 2

4 low carb 8 inch tortillas (I use Tumaro's Gourmet Low in Carbs Tortillas)
1/2 yellow onion, sliced thin
1 green pepper, sliced thin
2 The Laughing Cow Light cheese wedges, original or chipotle queso flavor
2 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. cumin
Dash of cayenne pepper
Salt to taste

Saute the onions and peppers with some salt and cooking spray over medium-low heat until tender and caramelized (note: If not including avocado or another healthy fat with the quesadillas, I use a teaspoon of olive oil per person to cook the veggies). Once they begin to brown, add garlic powder, cumin and cayenne pepper and cook a bit more. For each quesadilla, spread one Laughing Cow cheese over a tortilla, top with half the veggies and half the cheddar cheese, then top with remaining tortillas and cook on the stovetop until golden brown on both sides.

Nutrition Facts** (one serving): 265 calories; 14.5 grams fat; 25 grams carbs; 21 grams protein; 14 grams fiber

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