I’m in some serious need for lunches I can take to work (or whip up quickly if I’m working from home) and stop going out all the time. Put a healthy spin on traditional dishes by adding more of your favorite veggies and create a dish that also packs well for a lunch when you’re running from meeting to meeting. My simple, Savory Veggie Quesadilla is so perfect for a busy day.
Quesadillas can be a high calorie, greasy and unhealthy menu choice at many restaurants but some folks do not realize that a traditional quesadilla can become a creative vehicle for veggies, fiber and protein. While you do need some cheese (dairy or non-dairy varieties work well) to make the tortillas stick together, switching the focus of this dish away from cheese to your favorite veggie blend can create a healthy, tasty lunch or dinner that is quick to make. A Savory Veggie Quesadilla is wonderful for Meatless Monday, easy to take to work and can be fun for kids to make if they get to pick out their own favorite veggies.
There are so many other add-on’s you could use. Here are some of my favorite Savory Veggie Quesadilla options:
- Hot peppers (Serrano, jalapeno and beyond)
- Avocado slices
- Corn (fresh or frozen)
- Chard or arugula
If you need more simple, on-the-go recipes that are healthy and veggie, based, try my: Double Tomato, Basil and Ricotta Homemade Pizza,Spicy Vegan Zucchini Boats, Simple Spicy Vegetarian Chili, Vegetarian Stuffed Mushrooms
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 medium green bell pepper (diced)
- 1/2 medium sweet onion (peeled and diced)
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms (your choice of variety)
- 1 15- ounce can black beans (drained and rinsed)
- 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 cup baby spinach (roughly chopped)
- 1 teaspoon coconut oil
- 1 cup cheddar or non-dairy cheese (shredded)
- Four small whole-wheat or corn tortillas
- 1/2 fresh tomato (chopped)
- 1/4 cup cilantro for garnish
- Heat a large heavy skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil, garlic, bell pepper, onion, and mushrooms over medium heat. Cover to steam, stirring on occasion. Cook until veggies are soft, about 4-6 minutes. Add black beans and salt and cook for an additional 4 minutes, then add spinach, remove from heat and set aside. Wipe pan clean and heat over medium heat, melting coconut oil. Place a tortilla on the griddle and sprinkle it with 1/8 cup of cheese. Top cheese with ½ cup of vegetable/bean mixture. Sprinkle with 1/8 cup of cheese once more before adding a second tortilla on top of the mixture and pressing down with a spatula. Cook for 2-4 minutes until the tortilla is golden brown and flip to cook on both sides. Quesadilla is done when both sides are lightly browned. Cut into quarters and serve warm with freshly chopped tomato and cilantro as garnish.
Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO
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