Steak and Cheese Quesadillas

009I am on a constant adventure to find healthy and tasty meals.  I always aim for low sodium and low fat, and low calorie if I can help it.  I love, love, love starch.  Breads, pastas, any type of carb really.  You name it, I love it.  So usually, I try to save my two daily servings of starch for dinner, which is my favourite meal of the day.  I try to enrich the rest of my meals with servings of protein and veggies (with one of my tasty bakes for dessert once a day…usually one of my healthy bakes).  I love how I feel when I’m eating healthy. I love eating real foods and finding new recipes that actually taste good.  I can’t tell you the amount of times I’ve tried a new recipe that deems itself healthy and flavourful, and then end up with some bland wannabe that just did not do the trick.  It’s awful, and I hate when it happens. Like alot.  So, you can imagine my excitement when I find a really great tasting meal option.  The meal I’m going to share with you today is my steak and Cheese Quesadilla, a favourite at my house.  What really puts the icing on the cake with this one is it takes about 15 minutes to made (this includes bake and prep time).

This recipe is relatively low in fat, and the only real source of sodium is the Montreal Steak Spice 010(which you can skip – but I’d suggest the salt free version) and the whole wheat wrap which holds about 460 mg.  Calorically it’s a little high, but you can change that by reducing the amount of cheese (i use about 2 oz).  Now, let’s get back to the “this is a very simple recipe” part.  This has been one of my go to meals because really it takes no time at all.  You know when you get home from work, and you’re just having one of those days where you could literally eat a small country for dinner?  And the only thing preventing you from chewing your own arm off is the  promise that you will be eating dinner in the next 20 minutes? I have those often, which is why alot of my meals need to be quick and easy.

Some ingredients you will need include large wraps (white, whole wheat, or flavoured wraps, like sun dried tomato and spinach), shredded cheese (I prefer a mix of mozzarella and orange cheddar, chili powder, lime juice, Montreal Steak Spice (again, try to opt for the salf free or lower sodium version), 12 oz. of beef strips, and your favourite vegetable medley.  I use a red pepper, about 1/2 a white onion, 1/4 cup of sliced pickled jalapenos (I love spicy), 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms, and about 1/2 cup of chopped baby spinach.  First, throw all your veggies in a pan and drizzle with olive oil.  Saute until veggies a cooked through and beginning to brown.  While they are cooking, slice your beef strips into even smaller, bite sized chunks.  Toss the beef strips in a bowl with 3 tbsp of lime juice, 1 tbsp of chili powder, and 1 tbsp of Montreal Steak Spice.

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Add the beef into the veggie medley, and continue to heat until the beef is cooked through.  Once the medley is cooked, all you have to do is prepare the Quesadilla and boil until done.  I recommended layering your Quesadilla.  Cheese on the bottom, then the steak and veggie mix, and then more cheese. Only put the mix on one side of the tortilla wrap, and then fold in half once the mix is on.  I recommend using some sort of straining spoon.  The beef mix get incredibly liquidy with the lime juice and spice mix.  Adding too much of this liquid to the tortilla wrap will cause the bread to be soggy and your Quesadilla will become one messy meal.

004I usually turn on my broiler right when I’m about to throw in the Quesadillas.  Broil for approximately 2 minutes take out and flip, and then broil for 2 more.  Keep an eye on them!  These are estimates and are oven dependent.  Another tip – bake in a pan lined with parchment paper.  NO cooking spray or oil needed.  I strongly recommend this and I must say that I have not once successfully made this recipe without parchment paper…and trust me…there were alot of attempts to finally get this right!

Steak and Cheese Quesadillas

Serves 2.

Ingredients

  • Two large whole wheat wraps
  • 8 oz. of beef stir fry strips
  • 1 large red pepper
  • 1/2 white onion
  • 1/4 cup of sliced pickled jalapenos
  • 1/4 cup sliced mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped baby spinach
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Chili Powder
  • 1 tbsp salt free Montreal Steak Spice
  • 1 tbsp oilive oil
  • 4 oz. shredded cheese

Baking Directions

  1. Dice red pepper and onion and place in pan.  Add sliced mushrooms and pickled Jalapenos.  Drizzle with olive oil and saute on medium until vegetables are cooked through and the onions begin to brown.
  2. While vegetables are cooking, chop beef stir fry strips into small, bite sized chunks.  In a small bowl, mix the beef strips with the lime juice, Montreal Steak Spice, and Chili Powder.  Set aside.
  3. Add chopped baby spinach to the vegetable mix and mix until the spinach is oil covered and wilted.  Add in the beef mix.  Continue to pan fry until beef is cooked through.
  4. Lay two large tortilla wraps on a baking pan lined with parchment paper.  Add 1 oz of shredded cheese to half of each wrap.  Add the steak and veggie mix on top, followed by another 1 oz of cheese.  Using a strainer spoon to scoop the steak and veggie medley will help remove any excess liquid from the mix.  Fold the tortilla wraps in half, pressing them down to ensure they don’t open.
  5. Broil the Quesadillas for approximately two minutes.  Remove from oven and flip and then broil for an additional two minutes, watching them to ensure they do not burn.  The Quesadillas should be browned and slightly crispy, with all the cheese melted.  Allow to cool for 1 minute, cut in half with a pizza cutter and serve.

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I find this meal quite filling, so I generally do not need a side for this – but it is paired great with a salad.  I will sometimes quickly toss a spinach salad with strawberries, blueberries, dried unsweetened cranberries, and walnuts, topped with goat’s cheese and a raspberry vinaigrette.  It makes an excellent meal and I have never had any complaints!  I usually dip mine in hot sauce…again I love spicy foods…but you can also dip in low fat sour cream or salsa…or both…or none! A variation of this recipe with an even lesser fat content is to use chicken rather than the beef.  I have not tried it yet so if you do please link to your recipe or at least tell me how it turned out!  I know this is the first time I’ve posted a recipe that isn’t some sort of sweet treat, but I thought it would be a nice change to add an everyday cooking category.  Let me know what you think! Happy Baking!!

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