Sunday, August 24, 2008

Tex-Mex Love

The inevitable has happened. School starts tomorrow and with that the closing of summer with a soft click behind. As I turn around and look through the peep hole, I see scattered memories of sunshine and laughter, pool days and kayaking, walks on the square, late nights out with friends, movies, inside jokes and the genuine joy of being at work. Before summer started my friend Michael heard my long miserable tale of the summer before, grabbed me by the shoulders, looked me straight in the eye and said "You have never experience summer. This will be the best summer you have ever had." And you know what? He was so right. It was amazingly good. Better than that good. Truly, not a day goes by without me praising God for the blessings he has placed in my life, his will be done.

And as the summer comes to an end, the weather has gotten mildly cooler due to all our recent rains. Which means being next to a stove isn't near as bad, yet I still want something quick. Enter my favorite food of all time: tex-mex. Oh my gosh, my weakness. When I was a kid, nachos was pretty much all that I ate, literally. Taco Cabana's bean and cheese soft tacos was a staple in our family's diet and the must be seen at high school hang out places, full of drama and teenage jobs, was Los Palapas or Alamo Cafe. To this day I have never found any restaurant that can make tortilla soup better than my mom and my dad's homemade flour tortillas, which was rightly used to make breakfast tacos, cannot be beat. As you can see my love for tex-mex is deep. Unfortunately it is usually deep in calories as well. But if you know enough about nutrition it's easy to make switches for healthier versions. Like using black beans instead of refried pinto. Or whole wheat tortillas instead of flour. Last of the summer's fresh vegetables to brighten up the color, heart healthy guacamole, and reduced fat cheese all makes for a meal to give in to that Mexican craving without making sacrifices. So enjoy the last day of summer because tomorrow it begins!

Because school is starting back up, I'm worried about how often I will get to post. I've been trying to post at least once a week and my goal is to keep it up but if not, hopefully you'll will understand. In the meantime I've been thinking about doing picture Wednesdays, just a little pic of a recent cake or something funny my group did that week so it's not too boring to see the same post for weeks on end. I think I'll give it a try ;)

Black Bean and Vegetable Quesadillas

Whole wheat tortillas
Yellow squash, sliced
Zucchini squash, sliced
Broccoli, chopped
Tomatoes, chopped
Black beans
Reduced fat cheese (Monterrey, cheddar), grated
Red pepper flakes


I'm kind of a throw together and cook girl so that's why there isn't any quantities for this recipe but here's the gist. Saute the squash and broccoli with a little oil, red pepper flakes, cumin, salt and pepper under tender but still crisp, couple of minutes and set aside. Take a saute pan and heat to medium heat. Add a little oil and throw a tortilla down for a sec, then flip. Put grated cheese on, black beans, vegetables, and tomatoes and cover the pan with a lid so the cheese will melt. After only a minute or two, open it back up and fold the tortilla in half with a spatula. Slid onto plate and serve with salsa and guacamole.

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