12 December 2012

Baby Bites: Quesadillas with Sautéed Greens and Onions

The Nerd and I visited my mom a couple of months back. She was making herself quesadillas for lunch and wanted to share them with her toddling grandchild. The Nerd loved the crispy bites of tortilla and melted cheese with refried beans and veggies, so I decided to put our garden to use to make some of our own. We have two beds filled with greens, giving me inspiration for a veggie-only meal.

Ingredients:
  • olive oil
  • small onion, diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced (optional)
  • 2 handfuls of greens, washed and chopped well
  • shredded cheese of choice (we used Colby Jack)
  • pinch of cumin
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 10-inch flour tortillas (the number will depend on how much you stuff them)
Directions:
Heat 2-3 tbsp. of olive oil in a sauté pan on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, allowing to cook until they become translucent. Throw in the greens and the seasonings. Stir every so often as they cook, making sure they cook long enough to make the rigid parts of the green leaves soft. Younger babies' veggies should be soft enough that a fork will mush them. For toddlers (especially those with teeth, like our Nerd), the veggies can be a little firmer than that.


I love sautéing vegetables. It's healthy and delicious.

In a new sauté pan, heat just a little olive oil over medium and spread the oil from edge to edge. While it warms, spoon the sautéed vegetables onto one side of a tortilla and spread to your desired thickness. Sprinkle with cheese (seriously, just a sprinkle--too much gives you a stopped-up baby) and fold over to make a half-moon. Ease the tortilla into the pan and allow to cook until it browns and crisps. Using a wide spatula, flip to the other side and finish to the same shade of golden crispy awesomeness. Continue making the half-moon tortillas with your sautéed vegetables and cheese until you run out of the filling. Cut into pieces that your child can handle easily. Or if they still love being fed from a fork, cut as you go.


Perfect for toddler hands. Serve warm, not hot!

Mmmmmm...gooey... :)
When I made these quesadillas, I ended up with about 4 of them. I froze two and kept 2 in the fridge. They keep amazingly well in both the fridge and freezer.

Alternatives:
  • Child hate greens (or maybe you can't bring yourself to cook greens for him)? Try spinach. Both greens and spinach are packed with nutrients and vitamins, so you can't go wrong with either. Plus, spinach tends to have a richer flavor than greens.
  • Don't have flour in your diet? Forgo the tortillas and serve the sautéed vegetables over brown rice.
  • Feel it needs a little more color? Serve with a very mild salsa or chopped tomatoes.
  • Trying to hide extra veggies in your child's meals? Shred carrot or mince bell pepper into the sauté pan. Don't worry--I'll never tell!
  • Feel the meal needs "more"? Here's what I did. I made a black bean puree as a side item. I soaked dried black beans overnight and cooked them in a pot of low sodium chicken broth cut with water for over an hour (high boil for a few minutes, then simmered the rest). Pinches of cumin, cinnamon, and garlic powder flavored it. Then once the beans were good and soft, I pureed them in a blender and served over the tortillas. The Nerd LOVED this combo.

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