Quesadillas are our top candidate for the imaginary category: Name a Food Everyone Likes. (Seriously, do you know even one person who doesn’t?) Quesadillas are a weeknight meal moms and dads can get on the table fast. And kids want to eat. They’re a cheesy-easy staple for college students. They’re a party food favorite—no problem making these treats in large quantities. They’re a cozy pick-me-up just on a cold day. And a light dinner on a super-hot day. See what we mean? Quesadillas are crave-worthy any time of year, for all ages, across the country.
The only slight downside of this popular food is that they aren’t the healthiest. The Tex-Mex version we gravitate to here in the States is usually made with enriched-flour tortillas, a ton of full-fat cheese, and just the teensiest bit of protein—so they’re not our top food candidate for health-conscious families and fiesta-goers.
To see if we could flip a Healthy & Delicioso version of quesadillas that taste good and are good for us, we turned to our favorite food and wellness coach Naihomy Jerez. Could she give these quesadillas one of her famous food flips and reimagine them with more saludable ingredients?
Naihomy, as always, came through and sent us two versions of quesadillas: shrimp and vegan: mushroom-jalapeño-tofu. Her main makeover was to ditch the enriched flour tortillas—and use almond flour ones, which have more fiber. She lists two fillings: shrimp or tofu, which are both high in protein and low in fat, as well as non-starchy veggies. Another healthy switch she makes is replacing the high-fat cheese for low-fat and/or vegan queso. Both are lower in cholesterol and sat fat. And to make sure these quesadillas are full of sabor, Naihomy spices things up. She calls for using oregano, cumin and turmeric, which research shows can help keep diabetes at bay, if anyone in your family is at risk for developing this condition that indexes higher in Latinos. One more ingredient tweak we love: Naihomy replaced regular salt with pink Himalayan, which has more calcium, potassium, magnesium and iron.
Quesadilla lovers, buen provecho, the Healthy & Saludable way! Garnish these quesadillas with your favorite granishes and toppings, such as sliced avocados, slivered radishes, red onions, minced cilantro, and, of course, red and green salsas.
For more of Naihomy’s Healthy & Delicioso food makeovers to popular Latino dishes, check out her: delicious ground-turkey nachos, traditional Dominican arepitas de yuca, arroz con pollo, moro de guandules, dulce con habichuela (for Easter, D.R.-style!), and pumpkin flan. Naiohmy also healthied up our favorite drinks: Check out her vegan coquito and lighter margarita and paloma. Gracias, Naihomy. 🥦