Veggie & Beef Taco Quesadilla’s

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Every few months I get a new brilliant idea – usually from Pinterest – for a way to organize my spices. I am currently sporting the tiny tins with labels.  Before that it was the spice organizer that was sold on infomercial (forgive me – I was post partum and very susceptible to silly purchases).  Previous – a jumbled pile of different bottles shoved into a cabinet.  Let me just sum this up – I have a lot of spices and organization is not one of my strengths.  But I am working hard to develop a good pinboard trying to disprove that. On the upside, with all these spices on hand, I can always throw together a mild taco seasoning that is toddler and grown up approved.  And it is so insanely easy there is no reason to buy a packet of spices that you probably already have in your cabinet.

I tried taco quesadilla’s because I was not mentally prepared for the mess of hard taco shells in the hands of 3 year olds and a 17 month old.  This kept everything nice and glued together.  And it was a perfect chance to include vegetables in a non-obtrusive manner for those delicate natured toddlers…

Veggie & Beef Taco Quesadilla’s

Ingredients

  • 1 small red onion, finely diced
  • 4 oz of fresh spinach (half of a salad bag of spinach) - could totally use entire bag however
  • 1 lb grass fed ground beef
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • shredded monterey jack cheese
  • flour tortilla

Instructions

  1. Combine all the spices in a bowl and mix with a small spoon until evenly distributed.
  2. Use cooking spray in nonstick pan and cook spinach until it wilts down - use high heat and just keep stirring it.
  3. Remove spinach from pan and replace with diced onion and sauté over medium heat.
  4. Finely chop spinach.
  5. Add beef to pan with onions still in it - sprinkle spice mixture over beef and break up with a wooden spoon, cook over medium-high heat.
  6. When you don't see any more pink in the beef, add 1/2 cup tomato sauce to pan and the chopped spinach - simmer until mixture thickens a bit. Just a minute or two.
  7. Pour this mixture into a bowl and wipe out pan with a paper towel.
  8. Take your tortilla of choice - I used the smallest ones I could find - layer of taco meat, double that amount of shredded monterey jack. For the small tortilla I was using 1/4 cup meat, 1/2 cup cheese. Fold in half and press together.
  9. Cooking spray the pan and place assembled quesadilla in pan. I cook them over medium heat and peek at the bottoms - once they start to brown, carefully flip over and wait for that side to brown.
  10. Serve with guacamole, salsa, greek yogurt, slices of avocado with lime or lemon juice and salt. Pick your poison. Finding a store that makes a great homemade guacamole is a bonus- we have two around us that make pretty darn good batches. I try to always keep a container on hand. But of course today I was out, so I just diced up avocados and grape heirloom tomatoes and sprinkled them with salt and fresh lime juice.
http://modernfamilycooking.com/2012/09/13/veggie-and-beef-taco-quesadillas/

Kid verdict? Well, one of the many wonderful things of having 3 toddlers, is that I have 3 chances to get some little person to enjoy what I make.  Will took 3 bites and declared it good, Emilie acted like I was poisoning her, and Matty – well – picture says it all.

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