Tacos and Quesadillas

One of my favorite quick lunches is a delicious, healthy taco made with good-quality yellow corn tortillas, no-added-fat black or pinto canned refried beans, salsa, shredded cheddar cheese, frozen roasted corn, and an avocado.  Sometimes I add cilantro, lettuce and/or a lime if handy, but these are not essential.  When I have leftover grilled fish, it is especially tasty because I add the fish along with some peach or mango salsa, shredded cabbage or lettuce, and a squirt of lime juice.  Friends who come by around lunch time agree that it's hard to beat this healthy, fast lunch. Some may think they wouldn't like this taco because it's made with corn instead of flour tortillas.  It's true there are some really bad corn totillas out there, but if you can find the right yellow corn tortillas (yellow has more flavor) you will change your mind and never be as satisfied again with the less-healthy flour version.  Yellow corn tortillas have 2 grams of fiber for every 132 calories (two 6" tortillas), no fat, only 42 grams of sodium and are full of flavor. I keep a flat pan handy and when my teenagers want something to eat they throw a yellow corn tortilla on a dry, hot pan and add shredded cheddar with salsa for a healthy snack.  The softness or crispiness is determined by how long they cook on the pan, and both ways are delicious.  I also make quesadillas with a thin layer of refried beans covered with cheese, salsa, and roasted corn sandwiched between two yellow corn tortillas.  This makes a quick, healthy meal and kids love them!  Children like routine and this is our habit rather than making boxed macaroni and cheese. I buy several packs of yellow corn tortillas when I go on vacation to various places and bring them home to freeze, since Cleveland is not the best place to find this item. Quick Quesadillas 1 can pinto beans, drained and rinsed, or no-added-fat refried beans 4-6 tablespoons salsa 6 yellow corn tortillas ½ cup frozen roasted corn, thawed 1 tablespoon cilantro, chopped (optional) ¼ cup Monterey Jack or cheddar cheese, finely grated Blend salsa and pinto beans until smooth.  Lightly spread three tortillas with the bean mixture (2 teaspoons each) and sprinkle on the other ingredients.  Place them on a flat pan over medium heat.  Top each tortilla with a second corn tortilla and cook until each side is lightly browned and crispy, using a spatula to turn the quesadilla midway while cooking.  For softer tortillas, cook only until the cheese melts.  Cut the quesadillas into halves or quarters on a cutting board.  Use more salsa for dipping.  Any remaining bean mixture can be refrigerated.
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Comments

  • kim, the mom
    January 7, 2011

    I love this recipe! When I saw the post I had to make it for dinner. The fire roasted corn from Trader Joe’s really adds to the flavor. It is healthy, filling, and cheap to make. I’ve even made this for my breakfast after the kids go to school!

  • Scharman Grimmer
    January 25, 2011

    I wish I had a Trader Joes near me! I find as a stay at home mom I neglect myself at lunch time. If I do not have leftovers from the night before, I tend to go without or just munch on my children’s lunch leftovers on their plate. Not so healthy. The suggestion in this post is perfect for a quick healthy lunch for ME!

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