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Butternut Squash Kale Quesadilla

We enjoyed the butternut squash risotto a lot, but what else to make with the left-over butternut squash? Inspiration came from the Pioneer Woman http://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/2013/01/butternut-squash-kale-quesadillas/.

I love quesadillas. I love butternut squash. I love kale. And I love melted cheese. However, I would have never thought that a combination of all of these would taste good. Was I wrong.

So slightly modifying the recipe by Pioneer Woman, here is what I came up with.

Ingredients (1 large serving or 6 appetizer-sized servings):
1 cup of sautéed butternut squash (peel and cube butternut squash)
1 teaspoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
salt, pepper, and chili powder, to taste
2 large kale leaves, stalks removed and leaves torn
2 large tortillas
1/2 cup shredded cheese (more if needed), I like to use Mexican cheese blend

Preparation:
1. Heat butter and olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. Add the squash and add salt, pepper, and chili powder to taste. Cook for several minutes, gently turning frequently. Cook until the squash is deep golden brown and tender. Make sure to not over-cook, squash should not be falling apart. Remove squash and set aside.

2. Add torn leaves to the same skillet. Toss the kale around and cook it for 3-4 minutes. Add the sautéed squash and heat through.

3. Meanwhile, pre-heat the oven to 325 F. Arrange the first tortilla on a baking sheet (I used the round one for making pizza) and spread the butternut squash kale mixture on the tortilla. Sprinkle the butternut squash and kale mixture with sprinkled cheese. Layer the second tortilla on top. Bake in oven for 5-7 minutes, or until cheese is melted. I like “baking” quesadillas. It allows the tortillas to get hot and the cheese to melt, without adding fat (and their associated calories) by sautéing tortillas in a pan with butter.

4. Enjoy! =)

Butternut Kale Quesadilla_8_small

 

Why should you eat this?
* Kale is a super-food. It is low in calories, but rich in vitamins K, A, C, and B6. It is also packed with lots of manganese, copper, fiber, iron, calcium, etc. Read more here: http://www.wholeliving.com/134250/power-foods-kale and http://authoritynutrition.com/10-proven-benefits-of-kale/

* Butternut squash is another super-food. It is rich in vitamins A, B6, and C. It is also rich in fiber and antioxidants. Read more here: http://www.wholeliving.com/134734/power-foods-butternut-squash

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Your not so ordinary quesadilla

This recipe came originally from a weight-loss recipe that my boss was making. Well…the idea was great…but I ended up modifying the recipe over the years quite a bit…and the recipe has morphed into a vegetable quesadilla that is versatile and explodes with flavor.
This can probably feed two people, I usually eat the whole quesadilla by myself =)

Ingredients:
1/4 cup red onion, diced
1/2 green bell pepper, diced
5-7 grape tomatoes, diced (Note: You may want to discard some of the tomato juice to avoid making the quesadilla soggy)
1/2 (14-ounce) can organic beans (optional) (Note: I have used black beans and kidney beans before, both types work great. Added benefit, in addition to the taste, is adding protein to your meal.)
sea salt, to taste
black pepper, to taste
red pepper flakes, to taste
chili powder, to taste
2 large tortillas
shredded cheese (I prefer Mexican cheese)

Preparation
1. Cut the onions, tomatoes, and bell pepper. Place in a bowl and season with the spices. Add beans, if using. Mix.

Prepared quesadilla filling

Prepared quesadilla filling

2. Place one tortilla on a baking sheet and spread the vegetable mixture over it, leaving the outer 1/3 inch (approximately 13 mm) uncovered.
3. Sprinkle with the shredded cheese and cover with the second tortilla.

Quesadilla before baking

Quesadilla before baking

4. Bake in preheated oven (425 F) for about 5-10 minutes, or until cheese inside the quesadilla is melted.

Ready to eat quesadilla

Ready to eat quesadilla

5. Enjoy =)