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Healthy Quesadillas 2 Ways: Shrimp + Vegan

healthy quesadillas naihomy

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 guandulesdulce 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. 🥦

Ready to Make these Healthy & Delicioso Quesadillas?

Healthy Quesadillas 2 Ways: Shrimp + Vegan

5 from 1 vote
Recipe by Naihomy Jerez Cuisine: Mexican
Servings

10

servings
Prep time

20

minutes
Cooking time

20

minutes

Ingredients

  • For the Mushroom-Jalapeño Filling
  • 8 oz 8 mushrooms, sliced

  • 2 2 jalapeños

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 pink Himalayan salt

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 black pepper

  • 2 Tbsp 2 extra virgin olive oil

  • For the shrimp:

  • For the Shrimp Filling
  • 1/2 lb 1/2 shrimp, large, about 12

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 pink Himalayan salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 oregano

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 cayenne powder

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 cumin powder

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 turmeric powder

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 onion powder

  • 2 Tbsp 2 extra virgin olive oil (divided)

  • For the Tofu Filling
  • 14 oz 14 extra-firm tofu

  • 1 tsp 1 pink Himalayan salt

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 black pepper

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 garlic powder

  • 1/2 tsp 1/2 oregano

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 cayenne powder

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 cumin powder

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 turmeric powder

  • 1/4 tsp 1/4 onion powder

  • 4 Tbsp 4 extra virgin olive oil (divided)

  • Plus: Tortillas, Fillings & Garnishes
  • 1 cup 1 spinach, shredded

  • 2/3 cup 2/3 tomatoes, chopped

  • 1 cup 1 Mexican cheese (cheddar or monterey jack), low-fat, shredded

  • 1 cup 1 vegan cheese, shredded

  • 10 10 almond flour tortillas

Directions

  • Cook the Mushroom-Jalapeño Mix
  • Cut the jalapeños into slivers. De-vein and de-seed, according to your heat tolerance.
  • Place a sauté pan over high heat and warm the olive oil for 30 seconds.
  • Stir in the mushrooms, so they are coated with the oil and evenly distributed in the pan.
  • After about 4 minutes (once the mushrooms have released their natural juices), add the chopped jalapeños. Stir together and evenly distribute across the pan.
  • Cook for about 1 minute. Sprinkle in salt and pepper.
  • Cook and stir for about 5 minutes, or until the mix has lightly caramelized and looks golden-brown. Remove from the pan and set to the side.
  • Saute the Shrimp
  • Clean the shrimp, Cut in half or thirds (depending on size of shrimp) and place in bowl.
  • Sprinkle the shrimp with all the spices and 1 Tbsp of the olive oil. Mix well until the shrimp is thoroughly covered with spices.
  • Put a sauté pan over high heat and add 1 Tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil. Warm for about 1 minute.
  • Add shrimp and spread evenly across the hot pan.
  • Stir shrimp after about 2 minutes and let them sizzle on the hot pan, untouched. Repeat 2 more times for a total of about 6 minutes cooking time.
  • Stir and let cook for 1 last minute, ensuring the shrimp has cooked all the way through.
  • Remove from the pan and set to the side.
  • Cook the Tofu
  • Squeeze the excess water from the firm tofu and cut into small squares.
  • Sprinkle in all spices and 2 Tbsp of the olive oil.
  • Gently fold in the tofu and stir, ensuring all the pieces are well-covered with seasonings.
  • Place sauté pan over high heat and add 2 Tbsp of the olive oil. Warm for about 1 minute.
  • Add the tofu–spice mixture and spread evenly across the hot pan. Do not stir to prevent the tofu from falling apart.
  • Let the tofu sizzle for about 3 minutes. Gently stir the tofu, turning it over so that all sides brown. Do this 2 more times—for a total of about 9 to 10 minutes cooking time.
  • After all sides have browned and the tofu is cooked evenly, gently toss and cook for 1 more minute. Remove from the pan and set aside.
  • Heat the Quesadillas
  • In a wide frying pan set to medium heat, place two almond-flour tortillas. Let them to warm up t for about 30 to 45 seconds per side, so that it turns slightly golden.
  • To Make the Shrimp Quesadillas
  • Place a toasted almond tortilla on your work surface. On one half of the tortilla, add about 1 Tbsp of Mexican cheese, add a layer of the chopped tomatoes and shredded spinach. Add a layer of the spicy shrimp. Sprinkle more cheese on top, and fold over the flap of the tortilla.
  • To Make the Mushroom, Jalapeño & Tofu Quesadillas
  • Place a toasted almond tortilla on your work surface. On one half of the tortilla, add about 1 Tbsp of vegan cheese. Add a layer of the mushrooms-jalapeño mix. Add a layer of the spicy tofu. Add another layer of vegan cheese, and fold over the flap of the tortilla.
  • Cook the Tortillas
  • Let each quesadilla cook in the hot pan on one side for 3 to 5 minutes. Check it every minute or so to make sure that the tortilla does not burn and the cheese is melting on the inside.
  • Using a wide spatula, flip the quesadilla to the other side. Try to not lift the quesadilla high off the pan or to flip it with open side facing down (the risk is you can lose your filling). Let the other side cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  • Gently press each quesadilla to help its ingredients come together with cheese and get all melty-mixed.
  • Remove the quesadillas from the hot pan and place on a cutting board. Let them rest for a minute, cut each one in half, stack on serving plate—and they are good to go. Buen provecho, the Healthy & Delicioso way.

Notes

  • Buy a block of low-fat cheese and shred it yourself. Pre-shredded cheeses often contain extra ingredients to prevent caking and preservatives.
healthy quesadillas naihomy
Mushrooms and jalapeños are mixed with tofu and vegan cheese for this Healthy & Delicioso quesadilla.
healthy quesadillas naihomy
Naihomy layers the spicy shrimp, spinach, tomatoes and low-fat cheese on almond-flour tortillas.

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