Joy Magazine

Quick Quesadillas

Mexican flair with little fat
This quesadillas recipe uses flour tortillas filled with a savory bean mixture, melted Monterey Jack cheese and ham. Jicama, a root vegetable with a thin brown skin and white crunchy flesh, can be served raw or cooked.MCT

You can whip up a quick Southwestern dinner without all the fat found in tacos and burritos by making quesadillas. Though quesadillas usually are served as an appetizer, these are large and filling enough for supper.

This recipe uses flour tortillas filled with a savory bean mixture, melted Monterey Jack cheese and ham. Once prepared, they only take 2 minutes to cook under a broiler.

Jicama is a root vegetable with a thin, brown skin and white, crunchy flesh. Served raw or cooked, it retains its crisp texture similar to water chestnuts.

While in an open market in Mexico City, I tasted sliced jicama with a squeeze of lemon. It's a refreshing and tasty snack. If jicama is difficult to find, simply add a green salad to the meal.



1 teaspoon minced garlic

2 tablespoons diced red onion

1/2 cup drained, sliced canned pimento

1/2 cup rinsed and drained, canned pinto beans

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1/2 cup diced low-fat ham

1/2 cup shredded, reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese


Combine the garlic, onion, pimento and beans in a food processor and puree. (Or mash beans with a fork, chop pimento and mix together with garlic and onion.) Add the salt and pepper to taste.

Spread 2 of the tortillas with bean mixture. Sprinkle the ham and cheese on top.

Top prepared tortillas with remaining 2 tortillas.

Place tortillas on a foil-lined baking tray. Broil 5 inches from heat for 1 minute. Remove from broiler and turn quesadillas over with a spatula. Return to broiler for 1 minute. Watch to make sure they don't burn. Cut each tortilla in half and serve.

Makes 2 servings. Per serving: 500 calories (27 percent from fat), 14.9 g fat (5.6 g saturated, 5.9 g monounsaturated), 25 mg cholesterol, 22.1 g protein, 69.6 g carbohydrates, 7.1 g fiber, 1170 mg sodium.



1 small jicama (about 2 cups cut into sticks)

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste

2 tablespoons chopped, fresh cilantro


Peel the jicama. Cut it into 4 (1/2-inch) slices. Cut slices into half-inch sticks. Toss with the lemon juice. Divide between 2 dinner plates. Sprinkle with the salt and pepper, to taste, and the chopped cilantro.

Makes 2 servings. Per serving: 53 calories (2 percent from fat), 0.1 g fat (0 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated), no cholesterol, 1.0 g protein, 12.8 g carbohydrates, 8.5 g fiber, 6 mg sodium.

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