Friday, October 22, 2010

Five Dollar Friday: Spinach Cheese Quesadillas with Black Bean Salsa

This has become a stand-by meal at our home because I almost always have the ingredients on hand, it can be prepared in under 30 minutes and it's a great way to get my boys to eat their greens. If I put a pile of spinach on their plates, they wouldn't touch it. But in four-cheese stuffed shells/cannelloni, blueberry smoothies (actually they don't know they are having spinach this way, so we'll just keep it between us ;) or in quesadillas they gobble it up!

A few notes: Even though the spinach comes chopped, I chop it again...and again. I make sure the pieces are tiny so no one will get a stringy piece of spinach. That would be the end of this meal for my boys who are hyper-sensitive to textures (if stringy can be considered a texture!). Also, the first time I introduced these I barely put in any spinach, so little they couldn't even taste it -especially dipped in salsa and sour cream. Each time I added just a bit more spinach to where now I can pretty much do a 50/50 ratio of cheese to spinach.

Also, the total cost of this meal is slightly more than $5.oo but the amount of food I have listed below will feed my family for one dinner (dh eats three and the boys and I each eat one) with enough leftover cheese and spinach to make three more quesadillas for lunch the next day for the boys. And still more extra spinach to put in blueberry smoothies for a snack that afternoon!

Spinach Quesadillas
with Black Bean Salsa

One package of flour tortillas (10 count)
4 T butter
8 oz shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach - thawed, most of liquid squeezed out and finely chopped
1 can black beans
1/2 bag of organic frozen corn (we only do organic corn to avoid GMO's)
2 medium Roma tomatoes
juice of one lime (or less if desired - we like lime around here though!)

favorite salsa
sour cream

Directions for preparing black bean salsa:

1. Drain and rinse black beans
2. Cook the corn according to package directions
3. Finely chop tomato(es)
4. Mix all three together and squeeze juice of one lime over it all.
5. Add salt and pepper to taste

Directions for preparing Quesadillas:

1. Heat large skillet over medium heat.
2. On one half of each tortilla add a layer of cheese, a layer of spinach & more cheese on top. Fold each tortilla in half.
3. Add 1 T butter to pan and half of your quesadillas (you may need to adjust amount of butter and number of quesidallas you cook at a time depending on size of your pan)
4. Cook until tortilla is brown and crisp; flip to the other side and cook until second side is done (add one more T of butter if needed when you flip)
5. Cook second batch of quesadillas the same way.
6. Remove and serve with salsa, sour cream and black bean and corn salsa.

Cost Breakdown: $6.29 which for a meal that revolves around cheese is not bad ;) You can get the price even cheaper if you can get MJ cheese for less but in my area I rarely do. Also my butter wasn't on sale ($2 a lb) nor was the frozen spinach or black beans.

$ 1.oo - 10 tortillas (on sale)
$ 1.25 - Monterrey Jack (when it goes on sale for this price I buy in bulk and freeze)
$ .25 - 4T butter
$ .79 - one box frozen chopped spinach (store brand)
$ .25 - sour cream (1/4 of 16 oz store brand container on sale for $1)
$ .50 - half a jar of salsa (on sale with coupon)
$ .60 - can of black beans
$ 1.00 - 1/2 bag of organic frozen corn
$ .40 - 2 medium roma tomatoes
$ .25 - lime


Mandy said...

funny... I make quesadillas for my boys for lunch every week, and I never thought about putting spinach in them. Will have to try your strategy of a tiny bit added each time. i don't even want to know about spinach smoothies though. :)

Jennefer said...

Oh the smoothie thing is just too easy not to share! Frozen blueberries and orange juice in the blender. Throw in some spinach (fresh or frozen - cooked or not)and the kids will never know...unless you go waaaaay overboard. Then they still won't get that it's spinach but the smoothies won't be as sweet. That dark blue covers up the green of the spinach perfectly!!!