May 2, 2009

Use leftovers to make these easy (healthie) veggie quesadillas

Consider this Part II of the post on Rachel Ray's Honey-and-Lime-Glazed Salmon with Warm Black Bean and Corn Salad. When Ben and I made that recipe, we only made 2 salmon fillets (instead of 4), but made the full amount of the warm veggie salad that the recipe called for. When I was halfway done cooking the salad - which called for a full bag (roughly 6 cups) of spinach - I realized just how much of the veggies we would have left over.

While the extra spinach, bean and corn salad would have been delish on its own as a filling snack between meals at work, the full flavor potential of the leftover mixture was finally realized one night for dinner, when I used it as the perfect filling for a veggie quesadilla.

I first thought to use this veggie mixture with corn tortillas and goat cheese after making this recipe for roasted corn and goat cheese quesadillas from Cooking Light (where else?). These quesadillas are also completely delicious, and I believe 5 Weight Watchers points.

A few notes about these quesadillas before I jump into the recipe:The veggie mixture is the most complicated part, but it's still very simple. And if you make the full batch of veggies you'll have a TON to keep on had in tupperware, which will make it incredibly easy to assemble the quesadillas when you're ready to eat. (I'm actually considering freezing some of it sometime, but I'm not sure how it will turn out.... any ideas?) Also, using tortillas made of corn is a lot healthier than flour tortillas and is essential to making these extra healthie. It of course doesn't hurt that you're using the smaller 6 inch tortillas compared to 9 inch big guys... Now on to the recipe!

Veggie Quesadillas with Goat Cheese

You'll need:

Quesadillas don't really require directions, but I'll tell you what I did in case it helps...
  • Heat a skillet over medium-high heat
  • lay out one of the tortillas; spoon veggie filling onto tortilla, making sure not to pile too much on (this will make the quesadilla too full to flip easily in the pan).
  • sprinkle 1/4 cup of goat cheese on top of the veggies, and slap the other tortilla on top.
  • spray the skillet with cooking spray, and heat the quesadilla for about 1-2 minutes on each side. I'll admit I'm not an expert on getting these golden brown yet, so just keep a close eye on them the first couple of times.
Making the veggie salad:
  • 4 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion, chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 - 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 1 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 20 oz. box frozen corn kernals, defrosted
  • 1/2 cup of chicken stock / broth
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 2-3 Tbsp. fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 6 cups baby spinach
  • Preheat a medium skillet over medium heat with 2 tbsp. of the olve oil (twice around the pan.) Add the onions, garlic, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring ocassionally, for 3 minutes.
  • To the cooked onions, add the bell peppers and corn kernals and cook for 1 minute. Add the chicken stock and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Add the black beans and cook until the beans are just heated through. Remove the skillet from the heat and add the juice of the second lime, the cilantro, and spinach. Toss to wilt the spinach and then taste and adjust the seasoning.

The quesadillas are
5 weight watchers points each: 2 of these corn tortillas is 2 points (110 calories / 1.5 g fat / 3 g dietary fiber), 1/4 cup of the cheese (or 1 ounce) is 2 points (80 calories / 7 g fat according to the daily plate), and while most of the veggies in the filling are generally 0 points, I count 1 point for the olive oil, corn and beans that are mixed in.

If you're like me, either of these recipes will be so good that you'll want to make another one when you're done. To avoid this, I recommend drinking a diet soda, or just getting up and walking away from the table when it's all gone...


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