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Farmers markets are showing their bounties, which have the makings for delicious quesadillas packed with affordable, seasonal vegetables.

Zucchini, corn, peppers, and tomatoes are tossed with lime juice, cilantro and Monterey Jack cheese to create a flavorful filling. Whole wheat tortillas are spread with heart-healthy, creamy mashed beans and topped with the vegetable mix.

The beans add a boost of protein and help lower the fat by reducing the amount of cheese needed to hold the filling together. While similar to refried beans, these mashed beans require no cooking and are much lower in sodium and fat.

Baking the quesadillas is a time-saver; all four can be quickly cooked and on the table at the same time. Both kid- and grown-up friendly, these quesadillas are a surefire way to get your family to eat their vegetables.

Keep the sodium lower by choosing your ingredients wisely. Opt for canned beans that have no salt added. Tortillas can be a hidden source of sodium; be sure to compare labels for both tortillas and cheese before purchasing. Serve with low-sodium salsa or non-fat Greek yogurt.

Ingredients

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 small zucchini, shredded
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 small ear of corn, kernels removed or ½ cup frozen corn kernels, defrosted
½ small bell pepper, thinly sliced
Optional: 1 small jalapeño, minced, seeds removed
½ bunch green onions, chopped, green tops and white bottoms separated
1 lime, divided
1 small tomato, diced, seeds removed
¼ cup cilantro, divided, washed and chopped
4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, reduced fat, shredded, about 1 cup
1 15 oz can pinto beans, no salt added
½ teaspoon chili powder
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon cumin powder
4 8-inch whole wheat tortillas
Nonstick cooking spray or olive oil
Optional: Non-fat Greek yogurt and low-sodium salsa for serving.

Directions

  1. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over medium heat. Add zucchini, garlic, corn, bell peppers, jalapeño if using and the chopped whites of the green onions. Sauté, stirring frequently, until zucchini, pepper and onions are tender, lowering the temperature as needed to prevent the vegetables from browning or sticking, about 10 minutes.

  1. Add mixture to a large bowl and set aside to cool. Drain and rinse beans, reserving the bean liquid. Add beans, 1 tablespoon cilantro, the juice of ½ a lime, cumin, chili powder and garlic to a food processor. Add 2 tablespoons of the reserved bean liquid. Process until beans are a thick but spreadable consistency, adding an extra tablespoon of liquid only if necessary. Do not make it too watery. Alternatively, add beans and other ingredients to a large bowl and mash with a potato masher.

  1. Preheat oven to 425° and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Add juice of remaining lime half to the bowl of cooked vegetables. Stir in diced tomato, remaining sliced green onion and cilantro and shredded cheese. Mix well.
  2. Lightly brush one side of tortillas with olive oil or spray with nonstick spray. Set tortillas prepared side down on a baking sheet. Spread each tortilla with ¼ cup bean pureé. Top half of each tortilla with vegetable mix (approximately 1 heaping ½ cup), dividing equally among the 4 tortillas. Fold tortilla in half, sandwiching all ingredients together. Place sheet pan in oven and bake for 5 to 7 minutes. Flip quesadillas and bake for an additional 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown, watching closely so they do not burn. Slice into wedges and serve hot with Greek yogurt and salsa if desired.

Serves 4.

Nutrition

Calories 356 Total Fat 12 g
Saturated Fat 4 g Monounsaturated Fat 2 g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0 g Trans Fat 0 g
Cholesterol 15 mg Sodium 539 mg
Potassium 721 mg Total Carbohydrate 49 g
Dietary Fiber 13 g Sugars 6 g
Protein 18 g
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