Monday, March 21, 2011

Mexico for Lunch

My kids are hard workers. They play sports, do well in school and help out around the house. By the time the weekend comes, we are all ready for a little fun and a little relaxation. This weekend we invited the kids' friends over for a Mexican inspired lunch and lots of laughs.

I decided to make a favorite of ours, which also happens to be a pretty kid friendly meal.  I made a platter of quesadillas stuffed with peppers, cilantro and cheese.  To go with the quesadillas, I served tortilla chips along with a few toppings so the kids could make their own nachos.  It was a fun meal and all the kids had a great time.

I found this nifty little wire holder.  I added a few half pint canning jars of guacamole, salsa, sour cream, and nacho cheese so the kids could scoop out a few condiments for their tortilla chips.  They loved it and it was so handy.

For fun, I made a tres leches cake.  It was a bit sweet and rich after this meal, but the kids did not care.  They mostly all loved it. Next time I would probably go for a different dessert though.  

Now onto the main attraction.  These are our absolute favorite quesadillas.  They are meatless, but yet still filling and so satisfying.  They are an easy fix for any night of the week and the board of ingredients are simple items that you can find in any grocery store.  I just happened to find these little mini bell peppers in the store.  They were so cute I had to get them. 

To start, we need to cook our bell peppers.  I am going to show you how I cut down peppers.  I start by cutting off the top of the paper. 

The bottom comes off next. 

Then stand the pepper up on the widest end. 

Then cut one side, or one third of the pepper off leaving the ribs and seeds in the pepper.

Then turn the pepper and cut another third off. 

Then cut the last third off.  Your pepper is ready to slice and you can toss the entire middle of the pepper. 


Now you can slice the peppers up and get them ready to cook.

I add all the sliced peppers to a bowl and give them a tiny pinch of salt and a generous pinch of black pepper.  Then toss the peppers and seasoning altogether.

In a non stick pan over medium heat add a drizzle of olive oil to the pan and let the pan heat up a bit.

When the pan is heated, add the peppers to the pan. 

Cook them, stirring occasionally until they are slightly charred and softened like this.

Now it's time to assemble the quesadillas.  Start with a few tortillas, the cooked peppers, fresh cilantro and freshly grated cheese.  I am using Colby-Jack cheese.  

Add about 3/4 of a cup of cheese to the tortilla.

Add a few cilantro leaves.  You could also finely chop the cilantro and sprinkle it all over the cheese if you wanted to.  We like the whole leaves.

The trick to the peppers is to make sure you spread them around so you get pepper in every bite.  So yummy.

Top is all off with another tortilla.

Then they go into a dry non stick pan over medium heat.  Keep an eye on them.  They burn so quickly.  I usually make a whole stack of quesadillas and then cook them so I can keep a close eye on them.  Cook the quesadilla on both sides.

When the tortilla is toasted on both sides and the cheese is melted, then remove it from the pan.  I always put the quesadillas right on a cutting board.

Cut it into quarters.

Look at that oozing cheese.

You can see the peppers and cilantro peaking out along the cut lines.  I can't wait to eat this.

Pepper and Cilantro Quesadillas


3 Bell Peppers, Cut into thin strips
Olive Oil
Salt & Pepper
Fresh Cilantro Leaves
1 Pound Freshly Shredded Cheese
10 Medium Size Tortillas


1. In a large bowl, add peppers, a pinch of salt and a pinch of pepper. Toss the peppers and seasoning until the seasoning is well distributed. In a medium non stick skillet over medium heat add a drizzle of olive oil and peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally until peppers are slightly charred.

2. Lay out 5 tortillas. Divide cheese between the 5 tortillas. Add peppers and cilantro leaves on top of the cheese. Cover with a second tortilla.

3. Cook the quesadillas one at a time in a dry non stick skillet over medium heat. Keep a close eye on the tortillas so they do not burn. Cook on both sides.

4. Put the quesadilla on a cutting board and cut into quarters.

5. Serve immediately with your favorite condiments like low fat sour cream, nacho cheese, salsa, guacamole, or pico de gallo. Enjoy! Makes 5 medium sized quesadillas.

For a printer friendly version of this recipe click here.

No comments:

Post a Comment