As promised, Quesadilla Casserole! Because woman cannot live on oats alone…
I had a coupon for McCormick’s new Recipe Inspirations, so I picked up the one that included the spices and recipe card for Quesadilla Casserole. I chose that one because I happened to have most of the ingredients on hand at the time, and I’m SO glad I did!
Have you seen these?
They come with one recipe card and all of the individual spices needed to complete the recipe.
I’ll admit, at first I thought this was just a clever way to jack up the price of simple spices. But once I thought about it, it’s a great idea for people who don’t have full spice racks and those who won’t use a whole container of a given spice. This way, the spices are always fresh and if you really like the recipe enough to make it again, you can go buy the full sizes.
I found these at 2/$3, and I had 2 $1 coupons. I also found a tearpad at the store that gave me another $1 off fresh meat with the purchase of 2 McCormick spices, so I basically got 2 spice cards for the grand total of: FREE!
You can find the original recipe here, but I can never resist changing things up, ABCGP-style, and trying to up the health factor as much as possible.
Here are the tweaks I made:
–The original McCormick recipe called for beef, so I substituted extra lean ground turkey.
–I swapped out the white flour tortillas for a 100% whole wheat variety (white tortillas = gut glue!)
–I used organic tomato sauce, organic beans, organic corn and organic onion. I also amped up the veggie content by adding in some pureed organic carrots.
–I cut the cheese (Ha ha!) No really, I cut the amount of cheese called for by a lot. (I’m having a major anti-dairy moment in my life right now.) My husband just added extra cheese to his individual serving and all was well.
–Finally, I used frozen veggies instead of canned, lowering the sodium content. I have hypertension, so this is a big one for me. Any time you can use fresh or frozen veggies instead of canned, you’re lowering sodium in your recipe (also a good idea because of the BPA found in many canned goods.)
This recipe basically has 5 easy steps.
1. The browning: turkey and onion.
2 The dumping: this is the good stuff (tomato sauce, black beans, corn, chiles, carrot)
3. More dumping: the spices (chili powder, cumin, garlic, oregano, crushed red pepper)
4. The layering: Layer filling, tortillas, cheese, filling, tortillas, cheese, …you get the idea.
5. The baking: Bake at 350º long enough to heat through and melt the cheese, about 15 minutes.
I was a little short on tomato sauce, and the edges were a bit crisp (you can see it in the photo), but I quite liked them that way. In recipes like this, the tortillas tend to get really soggy, and these weren’t at all.
And there you have it! It’s as simple as that. You end up with a really affordable, flavorful meal that doesn’t have any “shady” artificial ingredients. Lots of fiber, lots of protein, lots of veggies, and very little fat or sodium: You can’t find that in many Mexican restaurants! And, you can personalize it to fit your tastes and dietary preferences, just like I did. A great option for those nights when leafy greens just don’t seem substantial enough (this one is a sure husband-pleaser.)
I’m thrilled to have a new recipe to add to my Favorites Collection.
A buck well spent! (…if I’d actually paid anything for it, that is.) Next up, the Garlic Lime Fajitas!
Have you tried McCormick Recipe Inspirations? Did you find them as “inspirational” as I did?
What are some of your favorite recipe substitutions?