Thursday, October 22, 2009

Mushroom and Arugula Quesadillas (CEIMB)

This meal took me back to my college days.  It's the pick for this week's Craving Ellie in my Belly,  and it is a much healthier and more flavorful version of what I used to make in school when I was too lazy to make anything else.   It's every 20-something person's best friend in the kitchen - the quesadilla.

Granted, this is a much more sophisticated one.  Ellie's version features chicken, but I opted to make it a vegetarian dish.  There isn't that much cheese, there are veggies, there are spices, and there are whole grains.  Who knew you could cram all that into a quesadilla?  Well you can. 

I made my usual tweaks, some based on preference, and some based on what I had on hand.  I used baby arugula instead of baby spinach to bring a bit of extra punch to the meal.  I used cremini mushrooms instead of white button, because they are more meaty and compensate for my omission of the chicken.  I used jack cheese only, because, well, that's what I happened to have a lot of.

Also, I'm sure I'm not the only CEIMB-er who turned Ellie's 2-portion into a 1-portion.  Who ever ate just half a quesadilla?  No, no.  But if you feel like being dainty and calorie-conscious, by all means, share it with a friend.

This is tasty and easy, just what we always want from our supper.

Mushroom and Arugula Quesadillas
adapted from Ellie Krieger
serves 1-2


1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 small onion, thinly sliced
4 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
generous handful baby arugula
salt and pepper to taste
2 medium-large whole wheat tortillas
1/2 cup finely shredded Monterey jack cheese
cooking spray


1.  Heat the oil in a medium-sized skillet over medium-high.  Add the onion and mushrooms, and cook, stirring often, until browned and mushrooms release their moisture, about 4 minutes.  Add the garlic and stir for about a minute. 

2.  Add cumin, chili powder, and oregano, and stir.  Add arugula and a pinch each of salt and pepper.  Cook, stirring, until arugula is wilted.  Turn off the heat.

3.  Lay one tortilla on a flat prep surface and sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese.  Top with the vegetable mixture, followed by remaining 1/4 cup cheese.  Top with the other tortilla.

4.  Preheat a clean medium-sized skillet  over medium heat and spray with cooking spray.  Cook the quesadilla for about 3 minutes, then flip carefully with a spatula.  Cook on the other side for about 3 minutes, until both sides are lightly browned and the cheese is fully melted.  Cut into quarters and serve.

This is great with salsa, or if you really feel bold, fresh guacamole.  Enjoy!


  1. Oooo, arugula: great idea! I also ate two portions instead of one....
    Thanks for cooking with me this week!

  2. I love your modifications - mine were pretty similar! I added black beans and used 2 kinds of mushrooms. I have tons of filling left over and trying to figure out what to do with it...

  3. Use it to top a baked potato (response to outoftherabbithole).

  4. i love the baked potato idea! also it would be great mixed into scrambled eggs.

  5. This recipe was great as written, but your version looks equally worthy! I love reading everyone's ideas and creative bits. Thanks for sharing.

  6. Yours look great, as usual. I also omitted the meat in mine, and obviously ate a whole one. Ellie's serving size gave me a good chuckle, she just can't be serious with that.