Do your kids eat their vegetables? Mine have a short list of what they like, and they aren’t all that great about broadening those horizons. And really, it isn’t just the kids either. There are some veggies Jim says (or at least thinks) he dislikes. So sometimes I have to kinda trick everyone into eating what’s good for them. A mom’s gotta do what a mom’s gotta do.
Enter my sneaky quesadillas. I used lentils to make a spicy “meat” mixture, and at the same time they were simmering, I had an acorn squash roasting in the oven. Now, I wasn’t trying to trick anyone into believing that the lentils were ground beef or anything. They’re on board with the lentil taco, so it was just the squash I was sneaking in there.
Everything finished at the same time, which was mighty convenient. I peeled the skin off the squash, and I pureed everything together in small batches. You can puree this as much or as little as you like, depending on if you want the mixture to be smooth or chunky.
To assemble the quesadillas, simply spread the lentil mixture on a whole wheat tortilla and top with cheese and whatever else you like. The lentil “meat” is similar to refried beans, really. So if you want to add some chicken to your quesadilla, go for it.
Recipe: Sneaky Quesadillas
1 Tbsp. + 1/2 tsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. garlic powder
3/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. paprika
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 c. dried lentils; picked over, rinsed, and drained
2 1/2 c. low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
1 acorn squash, cut into wedges
1 Tbsp. olive oil
Rinse and drain lentils. Place lentils in a saute pan with spices. Heat for about one minute until lentils begin to dry and spices are aromatic. Pour in broth and bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer lentils until tender, about 25-30 minutes. Pour mixture into food processor and pulse until lentils are desired consistency. If using lentils as a dip, allow to cool, then mix with sour cream to lighten texture.
For acorn squash:
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place cut wedges of acorn squash on sheet and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until tender and slightly caramelized, 30-40 minutes. Remove from oven. Remove outer skin from squash.
Combine lentil mixture and squash in small batches in your food processor. Pulse until mixture reaches your desired consistency. Use in place of ground beef for tacos or quesadillas.