And...we're back!! It may still officially be summer, but as far as the real world is concerned that is only a calendar technicality. Vacations are done, school has started, sports schedules are back in full swing, the new TV lineup is starting--who are we kidding--summer is gone and with it the slower, calmer pace we've all gotten used to over these past weeks. Yep, regular life has begun again and with it that frenetic pace that leaves one with little time to say, breathe, much less contemplate what's for dinner!! Can't help you much with the breathing part, except to remind you all (and mostly me) to stay calm, but I can offer up these easy and wonderful Mushroom and Spinach Quesadillas. Not only will they solve your dinner problem but they're extremely fun and will help you to conjure up some of that laid-back summer magic!
We've been on a big "let's-fill-a-tortilla-with-something-and-call-it-dinner" kick this summer-note the sharing of these Chicken, Mango, Scallion Tacos, Corn and Black Eyed Pea Tacos, Korean Short Rib Tacos and Mushroom, Zucchini and Feta Tostadas. There's just something ultra-fun and decadent, like we got to go out to eat at our favorite Mexican place, every time we fill a tortilla with something and make it a meal. These quesadillas are truly one of my family's favorites--I've made them many times before and only the lack of a good enough picture, partly because everyone eats them up so quickly that I have barely any time to set up a good shot, has kept me from posting them already (not that these pics are amazing but I just didn't want to hold out any longer). Besides being truly easy to prepare, the spinach, mushroom, red onion mixture is scrumptious (It would make an amazing omelet filling as well) and when gooey melted cheese enters the picture combined with that crispy tortilla...well, words fail me, mostly because I'm stuffing my mouth!
Plus, these are a good way to add a vegetarian dinner into your repertoire--something I know that many of us are trying to do more and more of. And they're totally versatile too--add in any other veggies you like or change up the cheese or add in some cooked chicken, beef or shrimp for a more substantial meal.
And, any leftovers make a terrific lunch the next day. Not that that often happens in my house (unless I hide them), but when both of our boys are away at school, we have a fighting chance!! Make these tonight! I promise they'll become one of your new favorites and will keep that dinnertime stress to a minimum!!
Mushroom and Spinach Quesadillas
Makes 4-5 servings as a main course
Prep Time: 35-40 minutes (about half of this is hands-off)
- 2 tablespoons canola oil
- 2 medium or 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 8 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced (I usually use cremini but you can use whatever you like)
- 5-6 ounces baby spinach (prewashed)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Eight 8-inch flour tortillas (if you use smaller ones, you will need more)
- 8 ounces, freshly shredded cheddar cheese (or any kind you like-Monterey Jack works well here too)
1. Preheat oven to 400ºF. Heat the 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Add the onions and cook for about 5 minutes, until lightly golden, stirring every so often. Add the mushrooms and cook for another 7-8 minutes, until tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Add the spinach in two batches, allowing the first batch to wilt a bit before adding the second batch. Once all the spinach has been added, cook the mixture for a few more minutes, until the spinach is fully wilted and the mixture is completely dry. Season with salt and pepper to taste and remove from the heat.
2. Place 4 of the tortillas on a large rimmed baking sheet and brush one side of each with the remaining tablespoon of oil (you should have some oil leftover). Turn them over so that the oil side is facing down. Sprinkle the non-oiled sides with 1/2 of the cheese. Then divide the spinach mixture evenly among the four tortillas and top with the rest of the cheese. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas and brush those tops with the remaining oil. Lightly press down on the tops to help seal them.
3. Bake the tortillas for about 5-7 minutes per side, turning them once. Tortillas should be golden brown and cheese should be melted and bubbly. Remove from the oven, cut into quarters and serve immediately.
4. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container or wrapped well in the refrigerator for 2-3 days and reheated in the oven or toaster oven.
Note: Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart. Feel free to tinker around with this and add or omit what you like. It's a very versatile recipe.