Blogging to: …the tap tap tap of my cat swatting the wall with his paw as he tries to catch the dust dancing in the daylight savings time sunlight.
As a brief update to the cake fiasco, my wonderful best friend gave me the absolute BEST idea with what to do with the three Tupperware containers I have of crumbled chocolate cake: cake balls! From what I gather, you basically mix the cake with frosting or a sweetened cream cheese, chill them, and roll them in yummy toppings. Perfect!! I will do this at some point and post a follow up.
Aside from the cake, we made homemade margherita pizza last night, which made everyone happy – especially me, because now we have leftovers.
But since this post is titled, “Sweet Potato and Spinach Quesadillas,” let me start talking about that.
I saw a recipe on the Pioneer Woman for butternut squash and kale quesadillas that was really intriguing, but I’ve never had much luck with butternut squash or kale, so I decided to play around with this idea and use what I had on hand: sweet potatoes and spinach. And the result was a yummy meatless entree that was fun to add to the weeknight line up.
To start, we had to cook some sweet potatoes. I used her method and basically cubed up these puppies in a pan. It took longer than I would have liked, probably close to 25 minutes, but it was a nice texture and the pieces got nice and flavorful brown bits all over them. Yums.
As an aside, has anyone else had the worst time cutting up sweet potatoes, russet potatoes, squash, or any other hard, starchy vegetable? It’s always a fight for my knife to easily slice through them. When I cook sweet potatoes, Ben tends to hear a lot of grunting and cursing coming from the kitchen. I hate fighting with my food.
Once the darn sweet taters are cubed up and in the pan, get yourself a big ol’ bunch of spinach. This bunch here happens to be freshly spun in my handy dandy brand new salad spinner! My new favorite toy. The final preparation for this spinach will be, as usual, wilted down and chopped. Again, use the frozen and thawed stuff if you want.
Toss the sweet potato cubes (those little devils) into a hot pan with some extra virgin olive oil (my oil of choice). Season the cubes with salt, pepper, and chili powder, and cook until they’re tender and covered in yummy brown seasoned bits.
Next, to the cheese…
Grate up whatever ol’ kind of cheese you like. I recommend anything with a very strong flavor, because why the hell not? And in this house, we are most definitely an extra sharp kind of family. (A thousand apologies for the blurry picture. I need to have a talk with the photog. This is unacceptable.)
See, browned bits!! Yum. Next, we assemble…
Now, I don’t have official confirmation on this, but in my observations I have found that quesadillas typically include two tortillas. But I actually found that by using one tortilla and folding it over like an omelet, I was more comfortable during the flipping process. Not as much filling falls out and you also get a nice edge to hold everything together. Plus, it’s always good to put years of omelet flipping skills to work in a different capacity.
Here, I put the cheese on the bottom, then sweet potato, then spinach. I let that sit for a minute or so until the tortilla got brown, and then…
Flip! Make sure each side of the tortilla gets nicely browned and crispy, evacuate to a cutting board, use a pizza cutter to slice it up, and promptly burn your mouth on the hot cheese because you’re an impatient idiot who didn’t want to wait for it to cool down.
These quesadillas are a wonderful meatless alternative for a weeknight meal, and the chili powder on the sweet potatoes gives things a nice subtle kick.
- 2 whole wheat tortillas
- 1 sweet potato, cubed up into 1/2-inch dice
- 5 oz. cooked spinach, chopped
- Extra virgin olive oil
- 2 1/2 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tsp chili powder
- Dash of cayenne pepper (optional)
- Salt, to taste
- Pepper, to taste
- In a large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil until it starts to shimmer. Then throw in the sweet potato, salt, pepper, chili powder, and cayenne (if desired). Cook until the sweet potato is tender. This could take close to 30 minutes depending on how much sweet potato you have. Be sure to turn it frequently so the brown bits on the bottom get evenly incorporated all over the sweet potato.
- In a medium pan, heat 2 tsp of oil until it starts to shimmer. Place one tortilla on the pan.
- On one side of the tortilla, put half of the cheese on the bottom, followed by about 1/2 cup of sweet potato, then about 1/4 cup of spinach. (These amounts aren't exact, so just pile it on in the best way that makes sense so you'll still be able to flip it.)
- Fold the other half of the tortilla over the side with the filling and press down with a spatula.
- Flip the quesadilla over until both sides are golden brown and crispy. Put the quesadilla on a cutting board and using a pizza cutter, slice the quesadilla into three triangles, and serve.