Quesadillas for Travelers

by Britta on March 12, 2011

in Recipes

Quesadillas always remind me of after-school snacks, and the “Mexican” version of a plain hamburger. Cheese and tortillas — it doesn’t get much simpler for a picky child. Except that quesadillas were never my favorite; in fact, I wanted nothing to do with them when I was a kid. Not being a cheese lover, it equalled too much of the one thing I really hated. My sister ate them up with gusto, though, and I still think of her and her after school snacks when I think of quesadillas.

My taste buds have matured since childhood, though, and I’m now open to new experiences and tastes and flavors. I’m still not a cheese lover by any stretch, but just a little cheese to round things out is ok with me. And now that I’ve discovered what an adult quesadilla is like — filled with all of the other stuff I really love, like bell peppers and cumin, I’ve grown to actually like quesadillas. As long as there isn’t too much cheese.

The recipe here, as usual, uses spices and oils found in the spice kit.

The Traveler’s (and Non-Cheese-Lover’s) Quesadilla

Traveler's Quesadillas

Traveler's Quesadillas, with black bean variation

1 small onion, coarsely chopped
1 small red bell pepper, coarsely chopped
1 mango, thinly chopped
½ small spoonful olive oil
½ small spoonful chili powder
½ small spoonful cumin
pinch black pepper
2 or 3 flour tortillas
Grated jack cheese

1. Heat olive oil in small skillet. Add onion and bell pepper. Stir until veggies are coated with oil, and add spices. Cook until onion and peppers are soft. Add mango and heat through. Remove from heat.

2. Heat clean skillet over medium heat. Place tortillas in pan one at a time and sprinkle with cheese. Add onion mixture on one side of the tortilla, and fold the other half over. Heat until tortilla crisps, flipping if necessary. Cut in half and serve.

Variations & Leftovers
I love black beans in my quesadillas, but they’re usually only available in larger quantities. However, sometimes they’re available, cooked, in salad bars or other types of choose-your-quantity options. If they are, I’d add them to the recipe. If you’re not in a tropical location or would prefer a more savory flavor, leave the mango out.

If the onion and bell pepper you buy aren’t very small, you may have some leftover and, depending on the quantity of tortillas in the package, you may have some of those leftover. If you can buy a couple of eggs along with your ingredients, you can make a breakfast burrito the next morning, with any leftover cheese sprinkled on top.

Have your own version of quesadillas? Share it in the comments!

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