Quesadillas have a terrible reputation as an unhealthy food that is rich in fats and high in calories. While this is true when it comes to most restaurant-ordered quesadillas, you can opt to change this by cooking at home. If you love cooking, and you also love quesadillas, here are some tips on how to make a healthy quesadilla at home.
Just before you start, if you need a brand-new quesadilla maker, take a look at one of the models from George Foreman.
Why is quesadilla bad for your health?
While numerous Mexican recipes are both tasty and healthy, think of ceviche, for instance, quesadilla is simply not one of them. Usually, restaurant-bought quesadilla consists of piles and piles of cheeses and meat that are squashed between white flour tortillas and, on top of that, pan-fried. Even worse, most restaurants serve quesadilla with sour cream and salsa.
As a result, one single serving of quesadilla is packed with more sodium and fat that it is recommended for one day. Regular consumption of foods that are rich in unhealthy fats and salt can lead to various health issues such as heart diseases, diabetes, and obesity.
According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, heart disease is the leading cause of death in the USA. On average, once every 37 seconds, a person dies from cardiovascular disease in the US.
However, if you switch from eating restaurant-bought quesadilla to a home-made version made with better and healthier ingredients, you can still enjoy this popular food, without worrying about the risks.
A typical quesadilla is packed with large amounts of over-processed cheeses such as Cheddar. If you are not ready to end your love affair with this type of cheese, the simplest thing that you can do is to cut back on just how much you use.
Another alternative is to opt for goat cheese, as this kind of cheese is very much creamy, but also low in calories and fats. You can also try using mozzarella, as this type of cheese is lower in saturated fats as well. If you are looking for a tasty quesadilla recipe that works well with mozzarella, you add fresh basil, Parmigiano, and tomatoes.
Quesadilla with feta and roasted red peppers is another great option that you can use when making Greek quesadillas.
You can also replace the sour cream with plain nonfat yogurt, as it can easily absorb the flavors of the other ingredients you use. This is also true in the case of green yogurt and quark cheese.
Whole wheat tortillas
Instead of going for white-flour based tortillas, one tasty change that you can do is to buy or to make tortillas made of whole wheat. The main difference between the two is that white flour has zero fibers, while whole wheat flour is packed with healthy fibers.
Fibers are great to introduce into your daily meals as they can help your body regulate how it uses sugar, and they can make you feel full easier. According to the researchers at Harvard, Americans need, on average, 15 grams on fibers.
Switch to vegetables
If you don’t mind the change in taste, one of the most obvious ways to make healthy quesadillas is to substitute the meat with vegetables. For instance, you can use shredded zucchini, mushrooms, cauliflower, beans, hummus, or avocado.
One of the most popular veggie quesadilla recipes can be made by using black beans, corn, bell pepper, and sour cream.
If you are not ready to give up meat, it is recommended that you substitute beef with chicken or with shrimp.