Sunday, August 22, 2010

Crispy Southwest Quesadillas

Photo and recipe from The Sisters Cafe

I have been learning more about proteins lately. I'm no food scientist, but as I understand it there are two types of proteins: complete (like meats, eggs) and incomplete (like nuts, whole grains, beans & legumes). When you combine at least two incomplete proteins they become a complete protein...simple math, right? Well, I've been exploring more meatless options in our menus because a) meat can get expensive and b) I think as Americans we eat too much of it.

I found this recipe and loved that the beans and brown rice work together to create a whole protein...and I love that you can add lots of veggies to it to make it even healthier. DJ was raving about these quesadillas the other night and said it may have jumped to 1st Place on his "favorites" list. That's when I decided it was worth sharing.

Recipe adapted from Sisters Cafe

1 cup cooked brown rice, warm or at room temperature
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 red onion, diced (or greed onion)
1/2 red or green pepper, diced
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
1-2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
1 lime, juiced
1/2 Tbsp chili powder
1 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp garlic salt
1-2 cups shredded cheese (I used a combination of Monterrey jack and sharp cheddar--and I don't measure I just sprinkle it on)

6-10 medium whole wheat tortillas

Mix rice together with chili powder, cumin and garlic salt. Add remaining ingredients, except for cheese. Place skillet over medium heat. Spray skillet, or lightly brush with olive oil (or use a Foreman grill). Sprinkle cheese over one half of tortilla, add rice & bean filling and more cheese then fold in half. Cook until golden brown and crisp, about 2-3 minutes per side. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining quesadillas. Serve with salsa or mashed avocado (mixed with lemon juice, salt & pepper).

Note: we used up all the tortillas and froze whatever quesadillas we didn't eat that night. They warm up great (wrapped in foil) in the oven -- or obviously, in the microwave.

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