Quesadillas.

So the next time you get that awful craving for Taco Bell or whatever fast food mexican restaurant is in your neck of the woods, stop for a minute and think about how easy this recipe is and how much better it tastes!!  (without the obvious mention of how much better it is for you).  This can be made in a variety of ways to be exactly what you like best.  I’m going to list mine exactly as I made it for a starting point.

Ingredients:

  • 1 large flour tortilla
  • Handful of shredded cheese
  • Handful of diced tomatoes
  • Handful of diced peppers
  • Diced chicken (I get these wonderful chicken fingers at our market which can be cut up and frozen for recipes just like this)
  • Black beans
  • White rice
  • Taco seasoning (see here for the recipe to make your own!)

Instructions:

  • Heat a griddle on slightly above medium (if you make it too hot you will burn it before you know what happened – I can tell you that from experience!).
  • Before (or while) it’s heating, mix up rice, chicken, black beans, and taco seasoning.  As above, I keep little bags of chicken already cut up in my freezer, along with bags of rice.  However you do it, just make sure that your mix is heated completely through before you put it on the tortilla.  It’s not going to be on there long enough to rely on heating it that way.
  • Put the tortilla on the heated griddle.  No need for oil or cooking spray.
  • Immediately sprinkle cheese all over the tortilla.  Be generous and make sure you get it as close to the edges as possible.
  • Sprinkle tomato and pepper on as well.
  • Once cheese is melted, add your rice mix.  Spread evenly, again try to get it to the edges.  You could be smart and put it on just half the tortilla so that it is easier to fold over once it’s done – I always have these grand plans for making “chicken cheddar wraps” like the guys at our hospital cafeteria used to make (they were amazing but I can never get them to roll up the way they did, so jealous!  That’s how I end up with quesadillas every time, they are easier to make).
  • Be careful about how much rice mix you add.  I tend to get carried away.  The one pictured here was a pretty fat quesadilla.
  • Let it all cook until the bottom of the quesadilla is starting to brown and is slightly crispy.  Check often because it will start to burn before you know it.  You can see in the picture above that I let it on just a smidge too long because the tortilla is getting crumbly.  (don’t worry it still tasted amazing)
  • Remove the tortilla from the griddle to a plate, and carefully fold it in half, pressing it together.
  • Cut into four pieces and eat!!

Notes:

  • I love how tasty these are and how simple the ingredients.  Nothing weird, no extra sauces to make a mess, etc.  You can literally have one made in five minutes if you keep the ingredients on hand (in the freezer or fridge) like I do.  A quick lunch or dinner when you don’t want to make something more elaborate.
  • As above, you could change this in a hundred ways to fit your needs.  Use vegan cheese and eliminate the chicken to make a vegan version, substitute beef or pork for the chicken, add other veggies, use a mexican type rice instead of white, dip in salsa or sour cream, etc.  That’s half the fun!

Addendum:

  • For a slightly less messy version, you can also use your belgian waffle iron to heat the quesadillas!  Just heat the iron, put a small tortilla on the bottom, pile in your heated filling, and put another small tortilla on top.  Close the lid for 4-5 minutes until tortillas are brown and toasted.
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