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Lighten Up – Black Bean Goat Cheese Quesadillas
Since the first time I tried Heather’s sweet potato and black bean nachos, I was hooked. The flavor combination of the smoky black beans, creamy goat cheese and starchy sweet potatoes was perfect. I’ve made this dish several times as a light meal or snack.
When we tried a new local restaurant, The Village Tavern, for the first time I was really excited to see a quesadilla on the menu – with black beans, goat cheese, roasted red peppers & onions.
They were generous with the goat cheese too – and served it in a sun-dried tomato wrap – one of the restaurant style ones that usually pack upwards of 300 calories.
Don’t get me wrong, it was incredibly delicious. I only had two triangles that night and finished the rest for lunch the next day. I decided I could definitely make them at home and save a lot of calories.
I also wanted to add in more veggies – green peppers, corn, and onions. When trying to make a lower-cal quesadilla in the past, I usually limit the cheese – but this is tough since the cheese acts as the glue to hold the quesadilla together. I had some spicy black bean dip (TJ’s) to use up, so I figured it could act as the glue instead. This also saved me from cooking & seasoning the black beans.
I mixed the black bean dip with the cooked veggies and topped each one with about 1 ounce of goat cheese.
To increase the cheesiness just a little, I added some low-fat shredded mozzarella. Just for good measure! 😉
Black bean dip is really not photogenic – but it tastes amazing! Using a 90 calorie high fiber tortilla cuts out a lot of calories, too.
Approximate nutrition (my version in bold):
Calories: 311 vs 542
Fat: 12 g vs 21 g
Carbs: 36 g vs 59 g
Protein: 17 g vs 23 g
I made three quesadillas and threw two in the freezer for back up lunches when I don’t have anything else to take to work.
There are really three ways to enjoy your favorite foods while still staying in your calorie goals: eat smaller portions, eat them less often, or modify them to fit your plan.
Do you “lighten up” your favorite foods or just enjoy them once in a while in smaller portions?