Creamy Quesadillas

If you’re on Pinterest, then you’ve probably seen a number of variations on this recipe. It’s extremely delicious, but I have to start by warning you that this is NOT a low-cal dinner idea. There are ways to make it less bad than the original recipe, like having it open faced to cut down by one tortilla (which, I guess, makes it a pizza)- I did this last night and it is still equally as delicious. You can also use smaller tortillas (I used Weight Watchers whole wheat ones- about 100 calories a piece, but there are also great Dempster’s ones that are around 80 calories, and I’m sure some others as well) and low fat cream cheese. You could also cut out the butter, which normally I would do with most recipes, but the butter does add some great flavour to this one so I kept it in.

So now that I’ve probably scared you away from making these creamy quesadillas, let me reel you back in. For starters, they’re super easy and pretty quick to make in large quantities (read: cut up into small triangles, they could make a great app for a party), and they include one of my favourite dark leafy greens, kale. Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals and vitamins, and have very little carbohydrate in them, and the carbs that are there are packed in layers of fiber, which make them very slow to digest (thank you, Google, for this very useful information!). Specifically, kale is a real superfood- research has shown it to have cholesterol lowering and cancer fighting properties, and a 1-cup serving has 206% of your daily Vitamin A and 134% Vitamin C.

When cooking kale, it REALLY shrinks down, so don’t skimp on it when preparing this recipe, or else you won’t end up with enough (I learned the hard way- my sous chef (my wonderful husband Jay!) had to cut it up twice after I cooked the first batch and realized it wasn’t enough).

The measurements in the original recipe were really annoying to follow, so I’ve altered them below, and included the healthier alternatives I mentioned above. I would also recommend baking these in the oven- the original recipe suggested making each one individually in a cast iron skillet, but that’s a really time consuming way of doing it and I just didn’t feel like spending that kind of time in the kitchen. If you’re going to make them in the oven, I would suggest lightly toasting the bottom tortilla before adding the stuffing.

Enjoy!

Creamy Kale and Mushroom Quesadillas

photo 2

Makes 5 quesadillas

10- 12 mushrooms, sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 green onions, chopped
1 large bunch of kale, chopped
1 tsp minced garlic
4-5 tbsp light cream cheese
1 cup shredded light mozzarella cheese (or less if you don’t want it as cheesy)
10 Weight Watchers or other small variety of tortillas
pinch of salt (optional- I did not include)

  1. Preheat oven to 350. Place 5 tortillas on a parchment lined baking sheet, and toast in oven, about 8 minutes. Once slightly crispy, remove from oven and set aside. Raise temperature of oven to 380.
  2. Meanwhile, melt the butter over medium heat in a large saucepan. Once melted, add the mushrooms, green onions and a pinch of salt and sauté for 6’ish minutes, or until soft.
  3. Add the garlic and kale and continue sautéing for another 3-5 minutes, until kale is wilted.
  4. Reduce heat to low and stir in cream cheese to mushroom and kale mixture. Mix well. Remove from heat.
  5. Divide mixture evenly in 5, and spoon onto the pre-toasted tortillas. Top with a sprinkle of the shredded cheese, and then place another tortilla on top.
  6. Place tray in oven and bake for 8-10 minutes, until the cheese is melted and the top tortilla is beginning to brown.
photo 1

Before baking

Yum!

Yum!

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