I miss tea. And I miss butter.
Despite my culinary longings, there are a couple of non-chili dishes I've whipped up this week. The quesadillas I made were good, though turned out to be less than ideal from a cost perspective. I wish I'd had some protein in there other than the cheese. I'd imagine if a can of black beans were tossed into the mix, they'd be a bit more on target. The zucchini and corn cakes hit the spot from both a taste perspective and price point. I found a couple of vendors at the farmers' market that had oversized zucchini being sold very inexpensively, so I snagged one for the cakes. It uses shredded zucchini so the baseball bat-sized ones that don't really taste good on their own work perfectly.
Stay tuned for the zucchini cake recipe. In the meantime, here's a recipe for relatively cost-effective and healthy quesadillas.
Hunger Challenge Quesadillas
Serves 3 as a meal, 6 as a side
Cost per serving, $1.76 as a meal, .88 as a side
- 2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 2 large bell peppers, diced
- 1/2 cup shredded zucchini
- 1/2 onion, diced
- 6 burrito-sized flour tortillas
- 2 cups mozzarella cheese
- Heat 1 Tbsp. of oil in a skillet over medium heat. Sautee the peppers and onion for 5 minutes.
- Stir in zucchini and allow to cook for an additional two minutes.
- Remove the skillet from heat and set set vegetables aside in a separate bowl.
- Place the skillet back on the stove over medium heat with 1 tsp. of the remaining oil.
- Prepare the quesadillas by adding just over 1/3 cup of the vegetable mix off center to one side of the tortilla. Sprinkle 1/3 cup of cheese over top of the veggies and around the veggies. Press the opposite side of the tortilla over to fold it in half.
- Place the assembled quesadilla in the skillet and cook for 1-2 minutes. Flip and cook on the other side.
- Repeat steps 4-6 for the remaining tortillas.
Tips and Tricks:
- Utilize a non-stick skillet, especially if you're limiting the amount of oil you're using. This can help prevent the tortilla from getting stuck or ripping.
- If the folding technique isn't working for you, you can use two tortillas laid out on top of one another and double the filling and cheese you use.
- You can use any combination of veggies you'd like! They should measure out to be between 2 and 2 1/2 cups total.
- I served mine with plain yogurt and salsa on the side, adding about 30 cents to the cost of each meal serving.
- If you want to make this a more complete meal on its own or get a more filling portion from just one quesadilla, add in 1 can of drained black beans when you put the vegetables in a bowl. This will increase the cost to around 2.09 a meal serving, but because of the added calories and fiber, you wouldn't need to eat as much to feel full.