Monday, January 9, 2012

Kon Queso: Veggie Quesadillas

I don't really buy into the whole New Year's Resolution thing. The way I see it is if you want to do something, then do it. Every day is the start of a new year. But, last year I dedicated myself to becoming more active and eating better. And I did pretty well, losing 30 pounds.

Then, my wife got sick.

And I realized that all of the hours I was spending in the gym and counting calories (I admittedly got a little fixated), meant nothing in the face of real problems. Like what was I going to do with 5+2 kids by myself? How was I going to explain to the kids if something did happen to her? But she had surgery, and everything was alright.


Having adjusted my eating habits, I found that I didn't mind eating better.  I was eating salad at least twice a day, I had cut out soda and most alcohol and was drinking a lot of water. Even when I fell back into some of my old habits, I didn't backslide completely. I even found myself converting some of my old recipes into new, healthier versions.

What follows is one such recipe. A variation on a family favorite, chicken quesadillas, with zucchini standing in for the meat. Dig it...

Vegetable Quesadillas

4 Burrito sized Flour Tortillas
1 Med White or Yellow onion, sliced thin
1 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Black Pepper
1 Large Red Bell Pepper, sliced into rings
2 Garlic Cloves, Smashed and chopped
2 large Zucchini, sliced into ring
2 ribs Celery, chopped
2 tbsp. Olive Oil
2 tsp Red Pepper Flake
1 tsp Cumin
1 tsp Smoked Paprika
1 tsp corn starch
2 tbsp. Chili Powder
½ c. Water
½ c. Crumbled Feta
1-1½ c. Shredded Cheddar Cheese
Taco Sauce

Heat oven to 400F

1) Heat olive oil in large pan over medium heat.

2) Add onion to pan, stirring until translucent.

3) Add garlic, bell pepper, celery, spices and corn starch to pan. Stir until well coated.

4) Add water. Once mixture starts to thicken, add Zucchini slices.

5) Cook 1-3 minutes, until zucchini softens, but is not cooked through. Remove from heat.

6) Spread onion/pepper mix onto tortillas, covering entire surface.

7) Add zucchini pieces on one side of each tortilla. Top with cheeses and taco sauce. Fold tortillas over, making half circles. Top with any remaining cheese.

8) Bake for 6 mins. Serve whole or cut into ½ or 1/3’s. Serves 4-8.


*This is a fairly mild version of the original recipe. 2 Chipotle peppers and 1 tsp. of Adobo sauce can by added in step 3, if you wish, to up the flavor profile. 

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