The movie Napoleon Dynamite has forever ruined me as I always see the word "quesadilla" and pronounce it in my mind like "armadillo". As if I didn't already mispronounce everything! It's an ongoing problem for me.
But other than my pronunciation issues, I do love quesadillas! So easy to make, and you can pretty much just fill them with leftover bits of this and that if you are running low on grocery supplies for the week. These, however, are a bit more intentional.
I think the inspiration behind this meal, on some level, was me trying to still hold on to summer but add in some flavors that remind me of autumn. I went outside to walk my dogs the other day and it FELT like autumn. I can't totally explain it… the leaves haven't changed colors yet, but something in the air felt distinctively like fall to me. And I both celebrated and felt a little sad since I love both summer and fall – it's complicated. :)
Anyway, if you like quick, easy, and delicious dinners, then you'll love these. I also have a fool-proof method for flipping quesadillas without all the filling flying out.
1 medium to large sweet potato, approx. 9 oz.
1 tablespoon chopped red onion
1 large clove of garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
salt and pepper
2 oz chopped kale
1 tablespoon oil (I used olive oil, but any cooking oil is fine.)
4-6 flour tortillas (4 if the larger "burrito" size, 6 if smaller. I used whole wheat flour tortillas. You could also choose something gluten free if you need.)
2-3 teaspoons mayo
5-6 oz shredded cheese (Colby or something mixed is great)
cilantro, lime, avocado, and/or sour cream to serve
Peel and rinse the potato and cut into small cubes. Chop the onion. Cook the potato and onion in a little oil over medium/high heat for about 8 minutes. Then add the minced garlic, cumin, chili powder, and season with a little salt and pepper. Cook for another 1-2 minutes until you can easily mash one of the pieces of potato with the side of your spatula. Remove to a plate.
In the same, still hot pan, add the chopped kale and cook just for 1-2 minutes until it turns a brighter green and begins to wilt. Remove to the same plate with the sweet potato. Turn the heat down to low.
Have two tortillas ready and sitting out on a cutting board or large plate. Spread a teaspoon or two of mayo over one side of each. Add one to the pan, mayo side facing up and top with 1/3 to 1/2 of the sweet potato and kale filling. Then sprinkle on 1/3 to 1/2 of the shredded cheese. Top with the remaining tortilla, mayo side down. Allow to cook for a couple minutes, then use your spatula to peek under the bottom tortilla to see if it's getting brown spots yet.
Once it looks crispy, but not burnt, slide it out of the pan and onto the cutting board or plate that previously held the tortillas. Top with another plate, so you've made a sandwich that is: cutting board or plate, quesadilla, another plate. Now flip this over so the uncooked tortilla is on bottom, and then slip this into the hot pan. If you need to add a bit more oil to the pan, do so before adding the quesadilla. Cook for another 2-3 minutes. Repeat for each quesadilla.
Credits // Author and Photography: Emma Chapman. Edited with A Beautiful Mess actions.