quick quesadillas

quick quesadillas

I had a friend ask me about recipes for healthy kids’ lunches while I was in the midst of prepping this easy meal for an early picnic dinner at the beach. So, I thought I should add it to my blog and quickly took some photos. It also works well for lunch. I often send my kids to school with wedges shoved into a thermos to keep warm, with containers of guacamole and salsa. 

You don’t necessarily need a panini-style griller. A cast-iron grill pan works just as well. I have owned and used both but love the ease of cleanup with the grill pan (never use soap, only hot water, otherwise you’ll ruin the natural non-stick surface of cast-iron) as well as I prefer cast-iron over non-stick for health reasons (non-stick = toxic = not good).

I get a little tired sometimes of seeing recipe blogs with too many words between too many photos. You have to scroll scroll scroll just to find the recipe somewhere below. I do have more photos than usual here so I’ll keep the words short so you can get to the recipe – quick & easy like the recipe itself. 

I hesitated to call these bean quesadillas as not everyone loves beans. You might need to add cheese or just leave out the beans altogether. Add diced chicken to ease up on your digestive system working overtime. My kids are used to and love these without cheese as we don’t do a ton of dairy. Just make sure you have great toppings like salsa, guacamole &/or plain yogurt (sour cream IF you must). It’s a super easy meal that kids love and can be easily tailored to each child’s particular (aka picky) needs. 

gluten free, nut free, dairy free & vegan (optional)

quick bean quesadillas
makes 6 large quesadillas, 20 minutes till monsters are quiet & eating

• 2 packs tortilla shells 
• 2 cans refried beans
• 4 avocados
• 1/2 lemon
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• salsa
• plain yogurt
• grated cheese, diced chicken (optional)

I use these gluten free brown rice tortilla shells. We love its slight chewiness and they have a great taste. I find some tortilla shells can have a real, processed (ha, oxymoron) taste. Another gluten free shell I use sometimes is by Udi. Don’t love the ingredients as much (some corn products) but you might like them. They are softer then the brown rice shells. Both found in the freezer section.

I’ve recently moved so do not have access to the usual organic refried beans I used to buy from my favourite health food store, and I do not remember the brand. I found this brand at Loblaws and they worked well. Just be sure there are no additives etc… I’ve also used a powdered bean where you add water and it was good; again, from a health food store.

Heat up your pan to medium (cast iron retains heat well so don’t heat it too high or your shells can easily burn; even if you turn it down it will keep the high heat) or griller. Spread 1 or 2 spoonfuls of the refried beans right out of the can (no heating required) on the shell. Add cheese if you’re using it, and then cover with the top shell. Put it in the griller or pan. I place a pot about the size of the tortilla shells on top to weigh it down a bit. You can buy grill weights but pots also do the trick. 

Flip the tortilla with a spatula for a few more minutes to cook. Transfer to a wooden cutting board and cut with a pizza slicer into wedges. Repeat. So easy. Serve with guacamole (mash up the avocado with a crush garlic clove, 1/2 lemon squeezed and salt and pepper to taste), salsa and plain yogurt. Good and healthy and really easy to pack up in a thermos or even just aluminum foil.