Monday, February 22, 2010

Quesadilla Casserole

This came about as I was standing in line at the grocery store buying new pinto beans to make the Last Minute Pinto Bean Dip. A magazine boasting many casserole recipes was taunting me because I love the ease of one pot meals. The front page showed a picture of a Quesadilla Casserole with peppers, olives, chicken, red beans and cheddar..... yum. I made it out of the store without buying the magazine, yay me :)

I got home and was disappointed that we didn't have olives.. or many of the other ingredients for that matter. But a quesadilla can be filled with so many different things, why not a Quesadilla Casserole? So while this was delicious, it could be equally good or even better with some added ingredients like avocado, olives, sharp cheddar or a Mexican cheese blend, onion or even beef or no meat at all.

This was so easy and fast, just what I was looking for because I was so tired last night.


5 tortillas
1 can chicken
1 large tomato (chopped)
1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
3/4 cup salsa of desired heat (we used mild)
1 cup mozzarella cheese (shredded)


Heat oven to 350 F and grease a 9X9 pan.

Layer two tortillas along the bottom of the pan so they cover the entire bottom (they will go up the sides a bit)

Mix all ingredients except for the cheese and tortillas.

Top the tortillas with half of your filling mixture and top with some cheese (a little less than half)

Layer two more tortillas on top of the cheese and top with the remaining mixture and some more cheese (leave just a little for the very top)

Lay last tortilla in the middle of the casserole on the top and top with the remaining cheese.

Lightly grease any uncovered pieces of tortilla on the top of the casserole to help it brown rather than burn.

Cook for 18-20 minutes at 350 F

Slice this into 6 pieces and each one is under 200 calories (using whole wheat tortillas)!

You can top it with salsa, guacamole or sour cream. Serve with Pinto Bean Dip & chips.

Last Minute Pinto Bean Dip

I just got the dry blade attachment for my VitaMix so I was searching for flours to make and other recipes where I could grind stuff up :) I'm terrible about remembering to soak my beans overnight so a recipe using dry pinto beans jumped out at me.

After my first attempt it stayed gritty, the beans just wouldn't cook as I thought might happen. The beans were just too old. So I tossed our old beans and went to the store for some new ones. At the store I was attacked by Girl Scouts who forced cookies upon me. Thin Mints and Samoas... there's really no substitute for either, but I'm tempted to try some day.

Second try with fresh beans this time and some changes to the base recipe and we had a great bean dip to go alongside our Quesadilla Casserole.

Last Minute Pinto Bean Dip:

3/4 cup dry (fresh) pinto beans
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
2 1/2 cups vegetable stock (I actually used chicken because it's what I had & the original recipe called for water)
1/2 cup salsa of desired spiciness

You could always garnish with sliced olives, tomatoes, jalapenos or whatever you'd like.


Grind dry ingredients in your food processor (or new VitaMix dry blade container!)

Place in a large saucepan and whisk in stock.

Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring occasionally.

Cook an additional 15 minutes or so. Taste it to be sure the beans are done.

Remove from heat and stir in salsa.

Monday, February 15, 2010

Banana & Chocolate Ice Cream Treats

Playing off of the Breakfast Ice Cream I just posted about I wanted some other fun ways and combinations to eat this healthy treat. Banana and chocolate? Absolutely. I was going to actually mix the chocolate and some peanut butter, but I didn't have any peanut butter so that nummy combination will have to wait for another day.


4 very ripe bananas (make sure they have brown spots covering the peel, this is when they are at their sweetest!)
2-4 Tablespoons yogurt (I used honey greek yogurt, but use any yogurt of your choice)


Cover muffin tins with liners (about 20 small or 10 regular), it would probably work fine with no liners but I haven't tried. You could also use those cute silicone ice cube trays in fun shapes!

Mix bananas and yogurt in a blender

Pour banana mixture into each muffin cup (fill them all the way)

Cover and freeze overnight.

Unwrap frozen tarts and put on a serving plate. Top each with some Nutella. As you can see I need to work on my topping technique so it doesn't look like someone pooed on my tart....

You can put them either way on the plate, I tried both and I'm not sure which way looks better, what do you think? Muffin or upside down muffin?


Some ways I will experiment with this recipe:

Add some peanut butter into the banana mixture before freezing and then top with Nutella.

Mix peanut butter in with the nutella.

Use different fruits and corresponding toppings:

Strawberry (or any berry) with a little whipped cream on top?
Apple with a caramel or peanut butter topping?
Mango and.....

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Ice Cream for Breakfast

Okay, technically more like frozen yogurt, but who doesn't love the sound of ice cream for breakfast? This has more protein & fiber with less sugar than most breakfast cereals! And to save 50 calories and 3 grams of sugar eat it in a bowl instead. Or to go the other direction, throw some colorful sugar sprinkles on top and watch those little faces light up! Perfect for breakfast, as a snack or dessert.

I'll get a picture up soon....

This came about because I had a pack of sugar cones to use up. I bought them to make the Cub Scout Camping Cake. We rarely have ice cream cones at home, it's really something we go out and do. The last thing I need in the house is a carton of ice cream, it wouldn't even make it into the cone before meeting it's fate.

If I have too much fruit that is really ripe and I know we can't eat it before it turns, I chop it up and freeze it for smoothies.... or this recipe :)


1 cup chopped frozen fruit of your choice
2 Tablespoons honey greek yogurt
1 sugar cone


Put fruit and yogurt in your blender and blend until smooth. Hold on, it's rough going at the start :)

You can scoop it into your cone with a spoon or put it into a plastic bag, cut the corner and squezze it into your cone all pretty like.

The nutrition facts are using one cone with apple as the fruit, but use whatever fruit you have or love! Mango, banana, berries, pear, orange......

Nutrition Facts

User Entered Recipe

1 Serving

Amount Per Serving
Calories 118.2
Total Fat 0.7 g

Saturated Fat 0.1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g
Cholesterol 0.0 mg
Sodium 25.7 mg
Potassium 204.3 mg
Total Carbohydrate 23.9 g

Dietary Fiber 3.1 g

Sugars 3.9 g
Protein 5.5 g

Vitamin A 1.2 %
Vitamin B-12 3.3 %
Vitamin B-6 3.4 %
Vitamin C 10.5 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 2.1 %
Calcium 7.5 %
Copper 2.7 %
Folate 2.6 %
Iron 1.9 %
Magnesium 3.0 %
Manganese 3.6 %
Niacin 1.3 %
Pantothenic Acid 2.9 %
Phosphorus 7.8 %
Riboflavin 8.4 %
Selenium 0.7 %
Thiamin 3.2 %
Zinc 0.5 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Rice & Black Bean Casserole

This turned out so good! We ended up with no leftovers, but this would make excellent leftovers wrapped up in a tortilla, yum! I recently bought a case of canned black beans to try and get them into our diet more. I have dried as well, but I rarely plan far enough ahead to soak them overnight... something for me to work on I guess. I love when a recipe full of healthy ingredients turns out so super tasty.

We were hungry and this was gone in a flash... before the flash actually, so no pictures for now, but it's full of color. I love pretty food that tastes good.


* 1 can black beans (drained and rinsed)
* 1 cup Carrot Juice
* 2 cups fresh baby spinach
* 1 cup Cherry Tomatoes (cut in half)
* 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
* 1 cup Mozzerella Cheese (shredded/part skim)
* Canned Chicken, 1 can
* Cayenne
* Thyme
* Cumin
* 1 cup cooked Brown Rice (I cooked mine in chicken broth for extra flavor)


Heat oven to 350 F and grease a 9x13" pan.

Mix spinach, mushrooms, tomatoes, black beans, carrot juice, cayenne, cumin and 1/2 cup of cheese in a bowl. Lay in casserole dish.

Top with chicken and remaining 1/2 cup of cheese. Sprinkle Thyme over cheese.

Cook on 350 F for 30 minutes. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Enjoy as is or in tortillas!

Nutrition Facts

User Entered Recipe

6 Servings

Amount Per Serving
Calories 228.4
Total Fat 8.6 g

Saturated Fat 4.1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.7 g

Monounsaturated Fat 2.5 g
Cholesterol 34.7 mg
Sodium 381.3 mg
Potassium 344.0 mg
Total Carbohydrate 21.1 g

Dietary Fiber 4.2 g

Sugars 4.8 g
Protein 17.0 g

Vitamin A 258.2 %
Vitamin B-12 1.1 %
Vitamin B-6 9.1 %
Vitamin C 22.0 %
Vitamin D 0.0 %
Vitamin E 1.3 %
Calcium 4.8 %
Copper 6.0 %
Folate 16.2 %
Iron 13.2 %
Magnesium 12.4 %