Contributor post written by Renee from Raising Generation Nourished
So how are those New Year’s resolutions going?
After the first couple of weeks of “eating better,” excitement can wear off. Sometimes everyone is ready for a little meal change, especially if you have kids in the house. Keeping the meals healthy but still fun, is important unless you want some food battles. We all have different dietary goals, but the one common denominator that I think colors just about every eating plan is the goal of eating more veggies, specifically leafy greens.
I consider myself an expert at deliciously getting greens into just about any meal in my house.
Because honestly, leafy greens are not even close to my favorite vegetable, but they are so important. Leafy greens are packed with vitamins, minerals, and fiber. And daily greens help fuel mineral balance in the body keeping organs, hormones, and metabolisms working the way they should.
I think the best part about working with greens, like spinach and kale, is that they have such a neutral taste, so greens can take on the flavor of whatever it is you are cooking them in. Giving a leafy green even just a quick cook also wilts them down in size, so getting in a large amount isn’t so overwhelming. Since leafy greens are so easy to incorporate into meals, I chop and wilt them into soups, bake them into casseroles, stir fry them, or make something like Easy Vegetarian Spinach Quesadillas!
Kitchen prep time is also important, and I kept that in mind while creating these spinach quesadillas. I timed myself from start to finish, including the chopping and clean-up. The total time required to make these easy quesadillas was about 20 minutes. That is definitely doable on a week night!
Just a couple of notes to keep in mind…
I made these quesadillas for lunch one weekend. This recipe made enough to feed my 3 kiddos, 6 years-old and under. Double the recipe to make 2 full quesadillas if you’re feeding a whole family. You could also add a side of 15 minute tortilla soup to go accompany your quesadillas for a quick and hearty dinner meal!
- 3 TB butter or another friendly fat (ghee, coconut oil, avocado oil, etc.)
- 1/2 medium yellow onion diced
- 3 large garlic cloves chopped
- 3 handfuls baby spinach roughly chopped
- 1 1/2 cups pinto beans home-cooked or canned (I keep cooked sprouted pinto beans in my freezer for quick easy meals)
- 3 TB organic chunky salsa I use Costco's organic salsa - homemade would be so great too!
- 3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese or more if you like it really cheesy.
- 2 tortillas
- toppings sour cream, guacamole, extra salsa, cilantro, chives, or parsley., optional
- Melt the butter in your skillet, add the onion, garlic, and spinach along with a big pinch of sea salt. Cook over medium heat for about 2-3 minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
- Set the spinach mixture aside and add another tablespoon of butter, the beans, and salsa and cook over medium high heat for about 4-5 minutes, until the beans soften. You can press the back of your wooden spoon on the beans to squish them up a bit, making them more like refried beans. If the mixture gets dry just add a splash of water.
- Spread the spinach mixture over a tortilla, then the bean mixture, and then sprinkle with cheese.
- Spread a thin layer of butter over one side of the other tortilla and place it butter side up on top of the shredded cheese. The butter on the tortilla will help it to crisp and brown nicely.
- Place the prepared quesadilla on a wire rack, set on a baking sheet, and put under the broiler in the oven. Broil the quesadilla(s) on high for 4 minutes or until the top is browned and crisp. Take a peek after 2 minutes in case your broiler runs hotter than mine.
- Cut the quesadilla(s) into triangles and serve with sour cream, guacamole, or salsa! Garnish with chopped cilantro, chives, or parsley.
Look for tortillas with a cleaner ingredient list, like Food for Life or Stacey’s. Or make homemade tortillas and freeze extras in the freezer for a quick meal.
This is outstanding! Everyone loved it! We usually serve ours with guacamole. So good. My 73 year old dad even loved them!
Yay, Amy! That’s great.
This California girl has had a lot of quesadillas in her life, but–shockingly–I hadn’t tried a bean and spinach pairing before. Took a leap of faith on this recipe by quadrupling everything for a week of office lunches, the idea being that I would take individual containers of ingredients, assemble the quesadilla at lunchtime, and use the office toaster oven in lieu of a home oven. It worked perfectly! The beans came out wonderfully creamy (quadrupled the cooking time and substantially increased the amount of salsa per my preferences). I made Kristin’s guacamole (https://livesimply.me/2013/05/15/perfect-homemade-guacamole) using jalapenos in lieu of tomatoes (and learned in the process that an avocado pit will keep your guac green!). Lastly I chose to use organic goat cheese for its nutrients and its sweetness. The final result was superb. This is going to be a week of counting down the minutes until noon!
This was ON POINT! so very good. i did not do the bean mixture with the salsa only because i’m not a huge fan of salsa. i had all day so i used dry pinto beans and slow cooked them til tender with onion garlic salt and pepper. i served with a generous dollop of fat free sour cream sprinkled with parsley and diced fresh tomato. OUTSTANDING ! very pleased for fresh easy healthy meal. And it is filling i was full after 2 slices. Thank you for sharing recipe. delicious;-)
I’m so glad you enjoyed the quesadillas! Thank you for sharing!
Which brand of sprouted beans do you prefer?
Hey Julie, I like the TruRoots brand.
Made this for the first time last night, I substituted the tortillas for pita bread and it was amazing! Definitely going to be making these often! So good, thanks!! 🙂
Yay, Micheal! I’m so glad you enjoyed them. Great substitution idea.
Looks so good will have to make these soon x
Hey Jess, Thank you! Enjoy!!
This looks delicious! What are your recommendations for buying less processed cheese? Any better options at the grocery store than the big name blocks of cheese?
Hey Hope, I usually shop our local health food store for cheese since they have a larger organic and grass-fed selection. A few of my favorite brands (sold in the blocks) include: Kerrygold (sold at many conventional stores now, too: Publix, Target, Costco, maybe Sams, etc.), Organic Valley, Heinis, and Rumano. I tend to purchase multiple blocks when they go on sale, and then shred and freeze the cheese for later. If I can’t find any of these brands, I will go with a block of cheese from Cabot brand or look for something from Europe (they have much higher standards than the US food system).