An easy midweek dinner that easily turns into lunch the next day!
These quesadillas are packed with delicious vegetables. Kale, peppers and balsamic onions paired with sharp cheddar cheese. Plenty of avocado with salt and lime for dipping make it a perfect dinner. I like to make balsamic onions to go with pretty much anything. It’s important to use good balsamic vinegar (look for ‘from Modena’ on the bottle). I also prefer purple onions. I read a lot of interesting scientific articles on purple onions. In the study, “Storage Temperature and Type of Cut Affect the Biochemical and Physiological Characteristics of Fresh-cut Purple Onions” by Natalia Dallocca Berno, Jaqueline Visioni Tezotto-Uliana, Carlos Tadeu dos Santos Dias, and Ricardo Alfredo Kluge, the researchers looked at the affects on onions when cut in two different ways and stored at 3 different temperatures. They cut the onions into cubes and slices. There is an advantage to knowing the best way to cut an onion. This study shows you can cut an entire onion all at one time, keeping you from the painful crying and smell on your hands every time you need to use some. This gives you, “minimally processed onions, which makes the product more convenient and ready for consumption while maintaining its freshness” (Berno et al. 91). They found that slicing the onions affected them the least, “sliced onions exhibited higher values of luminosity and hue angle as well as lower values of chromaticity, thereby leading to a fresher appearance than the diced onions” (Berno et al. 93). They found these sliced onions could be stored for up to 15 days! (Berno et al. 96). Instead of just cutting off what I need I’m going to start pre-slicing my onions and storing them in the refrigerator!
There was another study looking at onion extract against strains of Vibrio Cholerae. In the study “In Vitro Antibacterial Activity of Onion (Allium Cepa) Against Clinical Isolates of Virbrio Cholerae” by Abdul Hannon, Tabisis Humayun, Muhammad Barkaat Hussain, Muhammad Yasir, and Sumayya Sikandar they looked at V. Cholerae treated with extracts of purple and yellow onion. They found that purple onion had a greater effect, “Both the extracts exhibited antibacterial activity against V. Cholerae. The antibacterial activity of purple type of Allium cepa extract was found to be better as compared to yellow type of Allium cepa extract” (Hannon et al. 162). I have always loved onions and I’m happy to know a little bit more about them! Try out my recipe for these quesadillas today :)
Makes 4 quesadillas
4 10 inch tortillas
1 cup sharp white cheddar cheese, shredded (or more)
2 cups kale, chopped
1 purple onion, sliced
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar (from Modena)
1 tsp olive oil
1 red pepper, cubed
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
3 tsp salt, separated
1. In a medium sized sauté pan add 1 tsp olive oil over medium heat. While that is heating up, thinly slice your onion. I like to cut it in half and slice from there. Add them to the pan with 1 tsp of salt, stir until combined and let cook for 3-5 minutes. Add balsamic vinegar and allow to reduce for 10 minutes or until all the balsamic vinegar is cooked off.
2. Remove the ribs and thinly chop the kale. Add to a large bowl with 1 tsp salt. Massage the kale with your hands until all the salt is incorporated and the kale is fragrant.
3. Shred cheese, prepare avocado, and cut up pepper. Place avocado, chopped cilantro, juice of ½ a lime and salt (to taste) in a bowl and mix until combined.
4. Prepare your quesadillas. To a tortilla, add ¼ cup of cheese to half of the circle. Place ¼ cup of kale, ¼th of the onions and ¼th of the peppers. Fold the other half on top and set aside. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas.
5. In a large sauté pan, add a small amount of butter or oil over medium heat. Just enough so the tortillas don’t scorch. Place two of the quesadillas into the pan and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes. Flip and repeat until the cheese is melted. Repeat with the remaining 2 quesadillas.
6. Slice and serve with avocado dip.
Berno, Natalia Dallocca, et al. “Storage Temperature and Type of Cut Affect the Biochemical and Physiological Characteristics of Fresh-Cut Purple Onions.” Postharvest Biology and Technology, vol. 93, 2014, pp. 91–96.
Hannan A, Humayun T, Hussain MB, Yasir M, Sikandar S. In vitro antibacterial activity of onion (Allium cepa) against clinical isolates of Vibrio cholerae. Journal of Ayub Medical College, Abbottabad : JAMC. 2010;22(2):160-163.