Thursday, February 3, 2011

baja bonanza.

this week was the first week back to teaching after school cooking classes to elementary students.  goodbye sweet primary kids, hello defiant intermediates.  

what's the best way to introduce the 4 food groups and balanced meals to a room full of pre-teens?
quesadillas, of course!  tortillas, cheddar cheese, sliced turkey and peppers.  all kid friendly... right?  wrong.

imagine my delight when a 9 year old student approached me and said, "actually, I don't particularly like orange cheddar.  I'd much prefer honey infused gruyere."  I'm sorry.. what?!

to this, I only have one retort: "I don't particularly like cheddar cheese, sliced turkey quesadillas.  I'd much prefer the baja bonanza."  so here it is friends: moxies made it.  I modified it.  the wait is over.  I'm revealing my secrets.    

feel free to substitute your favorite infused cheese as you deem necessary.  

mexican inspired quesadillas:

the goodies:

- 1 whole wheat tortilla
- 1 small yam
- 1/4 bell pepper
- 1/4 onion
- 1/4 c. black beans
- 1/4 c. corn kernals
- 1/8 c. shredded cheddar cheese
- 1 tsp. chopped cilantro
- 1 tsp. dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp. cayenne
- 1 tsp. bbq sauce
- 1 tsp. pureed chipotles

the fun part:

#1.) cut your yam into small pieces, and put in a pot of boiling water.  cook for  5-10 minutes, or until tender.

#2.) meanwhile, chop the onion and bell pepper into bite size pieces and sauté them until soft.

#3.) toss in the beans and corn, turn off heat and set aside.

#4.) when yam is ready, mash it up.  spice things up a bit by throwing in the cilantro, oregano and cayenne. mix.

#5.) get your quesadilla ready by spreading the bbq sauce and chipotle puree on it. next add the yam goodness, and spread over half of the tortilla.  top with delicious bean and veggie medley.  sprinkle with cheddar cheese.

#6.) fold the neglected half of the tortilla over your masterpiece, and place your moon-shaped quesadilla onto a skillet and cook until all the goodies inside are nice and warm, and the one side is crispy. cautiously flip, being careful not to have all your hard work spill onto the stove.

#5.) enjoy your yummy (and balanced) meal.

what your body will like:

#1.) balanced meal: as I said, you've got your 4 food groups covered, and they are all in proportion to how much you should be getting of each.  the highest percentage is fruits and veggies: yam, pepper, onion, corn.  secondly, grains: tortilla.  next, milk and milk products: sprinkle of cheese.  lastly, your meat and alternatives: beans!  more food groups = more variety = more nutrients = more health!
#2.) saturated fat: by substituting yam instead of cheese, you are drastically reducing the saturated fat content.  did you know that 1/2 cup of shredded cheese = 20 grams of fat, which is more than vanilla ice cream which measures in at 16 grams at the same serving size?  so next time you think you're making the healthy choice by choosing cheese over ice cream... think again!  cheese is delicious and shouldn't be eliminated all together... just remember, all things in moderation!


  1. You are a force to be reckoned with.

  2. Mmm yummy! I know Rebar has a recipe for a yam does our favourite date place (the Treehouse)..honestly, I cannot imagine a more delicious (and good for you) mexi-type meal! SO GOOD!

    *and excellent call on the chipotles!