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Give quesadillas with avocado lettuce salad a chance

Vegetarian meal flavored with cumin, cilantro

By Linda Gassenheimer, Tribune News Service
Published: April 17, 2024, 6:02am

You can let your oven do the work for these crunchy, vegetarian quesadillas. They’re filled with goat cheese and red kidney beans flavored with cumin and fresh cilantro.

Placing your baking tray in the oven while it preheats means that when you add the tortillas the bottom layers will be crisp.

I used a food processor to quickly mix the filling ingredients. Avocado tossed with lettuce adds a refreshing finish to the meal.


The heat of the salsa is up to you.

Jarlsberg or cheddar cheese can be substituted for Monterey Jack.

1 cup chopped fresh green bell pepper can be used instead if frozen green bell pepper.


Preheat oven.

Prepare all ingredients.

Fill tortillas and place them in the oven.

While the tray is in the oven make the salad.


To buy: 1 small package goat cheese, 1 bottle ground cumin, 1 can reduced-sodium red kidney beans, 1 bag frozen diced green bell pepper, 1 package light flour tortillas, 1 package shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese, 1 small avocado, 1 bag ready-to-eat lettuce, 1 bunch cilantro, 1 bottle tomato salsa and 1 bottle reduced-fat salad dressing.

Stacked Goat Cheese Quesadillas

Yield 2 servings., Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

2 ounces goat cheese (about 4 tablespoons)

2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

1 cup frozen diced green bell pepper

1/2 cup reduced-sodium red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

Four 8-inch light flour tortillas

1/4 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

1/4 cup tomato salsa, divided between two small bowls

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a large baking tray with foil and place it in the oven while oven preheats. Mix goat cheese, cumin, cilantro and green bell pepper together in a bowl. Mix in the kidney beans. Place two tortillas on a countertop and spread the goat cheese mixture over them. Cover with the remaining 2 tortillas and sprinkle the Monterey Jack cheese over the top. Bake 10 minutes or until the filling is hot and cheese is bubbly. Remove tray from oven and place tortillas on a cutting board. Cut them in half and then in quarters. Divide the quarters between two dinner plates. Serve with the salsa for either dipping or adding to the top of the quesadillas.

Per serving: 414 calories (36 percent from fat), 16.5 g fat (8.6 g saturated, 5.0 g monounsaturated), 31 mg cholesterol, 23.8 g protein, 52.3 g carbohydrates, 17.3 g fiber, 897 mg sodium.

Avocado Lettuce Salad

Yield 2 servings, Recipe by Linda Gassenheimer

1 small avocado

2 cups washed, ready-to-eat lettuce

1 tablespoon reduced-fat salad dressing

Cut the avocado in half around the seed and remove the seed. Remove the skin and cut into cubes. Divide the lettuce between 2 dinner plates and add the avocado cubes on top. Drizzle with the dressing.

Per serving: 127 calories (79 percent from fat), 11.1 g fat (1.5 g saturated, 6.8 g monounsaturated), 0.5 mg cholesterol, 2.0 g protein, 7.8 g carbohydrates, 5.6 g fiber, 12 mg sodium.