I already made a healthy, hearty quesadilla last week (recipe), so it was only natural to keep going with the stack of uncooked flour tortillas in my fridge.
Ditching the fold for the roll, we opted for chicken burritos with more of the leftover tostada chicken breast (recipe). I had the foresight to leave some of the breasts whole instead of shredding all the meat. I chopped one breast into large chunks and it was enough for four mini-burritos.
The trick to healthy burritos is to reverse the quantities of all the worst stuff with the best stuff. That means more meat and beans, less rice and cheese. Here’s what each burrito looked like:
My burritos had about 2T each of beans and Mexican rice, 1/2 oz. of Oaxaca cheese and 1/4 of a chicken breast. If you’re looking to make Mexican rice at home, here’s a recipe.
I like wrapping the burritos and finishing them on the cook top to make sure they have a bit of a crust. Top each one with 1t each of low-fat sour cream and guacamole (mashed avocado, flavored with a little salt and lime).
It won’t be the hulking beast from the taqueria or Chipotle, but this smaller-sized burrito hits all the right flavor notes and doesn’t leave you feeling carb heavy and bloated.
If a quick meal is what you need, look no further than the versatile quesadilla. The quesadillas of my youth were nuked in the microwave and made with Mission flour rounds filled with a couple of Kraft singles. Not healthy and totally uninspired–a sad meal for my 10-year-old self.
My grown up tastes have led me to greener pastures, quesadilla-wise. I’ve found pure bliss in wonderfully-gooey Oaxaca cheese, salty cotija crumbles and the acerbic bite of pickled jalapenos.
To make the quesadilla at top, use 1 uncooked flour tortilla (about 140 calories; less fake/processed ingredients) and 1.5-2 oz. of Oaxaca (Mexican white) or cheddar cheese. The chicken from our chicken tostadas (recipe) makes a flavorful addition to the meal, and I always throw a handful of pickled jalapenos into the mix.
Click here to learn how our friend Gustavo Arellano of OC Weekly cooks up a proper quesadilla.
I chose to add black beans (recipe) and pickled red onions (recipe) because extra ‘good stuff’ never hurt–especially the addition of the black beans, which really turn this snack into a fiber-filled meal. Finish with some chopped cilantro, a sprinkle of cotija and a spritz of lime juice to round out the flavors of the dish, if you happen to have those items on hand.