Mexican Pizza-dillas

Today’s recipe is SO quick and easy, and SO delicious! Try it and I bet everyone at your table will love it.:)

Today’s main ingredient was easy for me, since the hubs and I have been eating a lot of Mexican food lately. Now, a couple of years ago I would never have thought using tortillas (especially white ones!) would be easy, because I didn’t eat them. I tended to avoid anything with white flour in it. Why? Obviously, there are healthier wholegrain choices to be had. But the big reason I didn’t eat them was more because of the calories involved then the nutritional component.

Why do I eat things like white tortillas now? I’ve learned that it really is possible to include them in my diet healthy eating lifestyle and still stay fit. Given the choice, I probably would pick wholegrain tortillas over white both because of their nutritional benefit and because I prefer the taste. But I don’t cut any food out anymore, and it’s had wonderful results: My mind is happy because I’m not depriving myself of all of the fun things other people are eating, and my body is happy because there are still some good things in them too, like iron and a little bit of calcium and protein. With my balanced diet, I’m in better shape than I’ve ever been–I can lift more weight and I have energy throughout the day to get more done than I ever could have before.

When I picked today’s ingredient, it didn’t take me long to figure out what I wanted to make: Mexican pizza! Or, rather, Mexican Pizza-dilla as I like to call it, because it’s a little more (and better!) than just dumping some pizza ingredients on top of a tortilla and baking it. It’s kind of like a cross between a pizza and quesadilla. These are actually kind of like the pizzas you’d get at Taco Bell, but healthier because they’re baked instead of fried AND you can decide exactly what you want to put in them.

Hungry yet? Let’s get started!

Here’s what you’ll need:

!/2 small onion, diced

1/3 pound lean ground beef or turkey

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder, or to taste

1/4 teaspoon chili powder, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon paprika, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon cumin, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder, or to taste

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional)*

1 cup refried beans (I used the kind with added salsa)

1/2 cup salsa

2 large flour tortillas

1 small tomato, diced

Small handful of olives, sliced

1/3 cup shredded cheese (or more, depending on how cheesy you want it!)

Shredded lettuce, sour cream, salsa (optional) for topping

* I actually made my own red pepper sauce by grinding up some dried hot peppers and water in my food processor–it’s my husband’s favorite spice!!

Here’s what you do:

Place one of the tortillas on a sprayed baking pan. Brown the hamburger (or turkey) with the onion until the hamburger is done and the onion is soft; drain any excess fat. Season the meat with the next six ingredient, then stir in the refried beans and salsa and continue to heat everything until it’s nice and hot. Spread the mixture evenly over the tortilla on your pan.

Top it with your second tortilla, and then sprinkle the tomato and olives evenly over top.

Top with as much cheese as you’d like (my husband likes it extra cheesy so I don’t skimp!).

Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until the cheese is nice and melted.

Mmm, doesn’t that look great? It makes me want to eat it all over again! Top with shredded lettuce, sour cream, and salsa, and enjoy!

The Verdict: We both loved this one. Seriously. The hubby said it was one of those meals he could just keep eating even after he was full because it tasted so good. I also liked the fact that if you double (or triple or quadruple) the filling recipe, all you have to do for dinner the next night is roll it up in some tortillas, bake, and viola! Instant healthy burritos! Seriously, this recipe  is going to go into our meal rotation, in among the other234 recipes I’m going to test throughout the rest of the Healthy Plate challenge.

Our dessert for the night–magic layer bars. They’re delicious the way they are, but I’ve made a note to myself to try to come up with a healthier dessert along the same vein…

…all part of a balanced diet!

What are your favorite recipes using flour tortillas? What do you think of today’s recipe? How would you modify it to suit your tastes (ex: chicken instead of beef filling, different toppings, etc.)?

Keep in touch, and Keep it real!

Justine

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