Wednesday, January 19, 2011

What's for Dinner? Spinach-and-Mushroom Quesadillas

What's for Dinner?

Spinach-and-Mushroom Quesadillas

Spinach-and-Mushroom Quesadillas
courtesy of

 *$- dinner cost less than $25. We still had leftovers the following day.  It says serves four, but it's more like five or six.


Serves 4

  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 8 ounces (2 1/4 cups) button or cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced
  • 6 ounces (about 8 cups) prewashed spinach, shredded
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 8 flour tortillas (8-inch)
  • 8 ounces (2 cups) pepper Jack cheese, shredded


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a 12-inch skillet over medium heat, warm 1 tablespoon oil. Cook the onions, stirring occasionally, until lightly golden, about 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms; cook, stirring occasionally, until they're tender, 6 to 8 minutes.
  2. Add spinach in two batches, letting the first batch wilt slightly before adding the next; cook until spinach is completely wilted and mixture is dry, 2 to 3 minutes total. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Brush one side of tortillas with remaining tablespoon oil. Place 4 tortillas, oiled sides down, on two baking sheets. Layer each tortilla with cheese, spinach mixture, and more cheese, dividing evenly. Top with the remaining 4 tortillas, oiled sides up, and lightly press to seal.
  4. Bake until cheese has melted and tortillas are golden brown, turning them once, about 10 minutes. To serve, cut quesadillas into quarters.
From Everyday Food, March 2004
Read more at Spinach-and-Mushroom Quesadillas - Martha Stewart Recipes
I started out prepping for dinner as usual, when I asked Sarah if she'd like to help.  Sarah let me know that she was ready to rock.  Knowing that she needs a boost of at least three feet, I pushed her chair up to the counter.  Now she is able to participate. Since Christmastime, I've been borrowing Jordan's radio.  I keep it in the kitchen and crank it up whenever possible.  Sarah must know the drill because once her chair was next to me, she reached for the radio.  It's so cute watching her enjoy herself in the kitchen.  To me, this is how it should be in the kitchen.

These quesadillas are a little more work than the usual, plain cheese quesadilla.  I suggest prepping beforehand and sauteing earlier in the day, if possible.  If you can't, no big deal.  As usual, it took me a long time to make dinner.  I started shortly after 5pm and we ate at 7pm.  With small children it is hard for me to remain totally focused on the recipe.  I have to take many breaks to "break up", monitor and re-direct the kids.  They are interested in cooking, but only for so long.  I know you probably have the same dilemma.  You are not alone.  This is reality cooking. 

The Process:
To slice the onions, I used the mandolin.  It makes slicing much faster.  Every time I slice into any onion the tears start flowing down my face like a river.  Does this happen to you, too? Sur La Table sells goggles (I'm serious) that are supposed to protect your eyes while slicing onions.  They even have pink ones.  How cool is that?  Until I find the time to buy those, I light a candle next to me.  This burns off the sulphuric acid that irritates the eyes.  Do the same and it will help you avoid the tears and discomfort significantly.
Getting ready to slice on the madolin.  Sounds like I'm getting ready to bust out the guitar too!

In order to speed up slicing  1/2lb of mushrooms , I use a mushroom slicer.  Here is what it looks like.  I recommend purchasing one since it is a time saver.  Anything that can shorten your prep time is a good thing.

Ahhhh, grating the cheese.  I love cheese, including pepper jack.  Here, you can see me using the grater.  This also saves you time.  The grater can be used by children 6yrs and up.  It does not have any exposed blades that could be risky.

The Himalayas.  Jordan set up the food here.  Check out the wonderful "cheese mound".  Yum!

Jordan sauteed the onion, mushroom and spinach.  Great job, Jordan!

The baby spinach.  I bought it pre-washed are ready to go! Jordan is rocking the "baby spinach"

I caught Jordan trying to sneak a bite of cheese. 

Finally, the quesos are ready to be put into the oven for ten minutes.  They do have a top that goes on before cooking. I left it off so you could see inside.

The Spinach-and-Mushroom Quesadillas are complete. Jordan kept telling me all evening that he was probably not going to like the quesadillas.  He ended up eating half a quesadilla, along with his salad.  He really liked it!  I wonder if it had to do with the fact that he was involved with the cooking process ?  Interesting concept to ponder.

Jordan likes it!  He is eating spinach, red onion and mushrooms along with a whole wheat tortilla.  I succesfully snuck them in ;)
                                                                       Dinner is served!

*Healthy Spin*
We used organic, whole wheat tortillas instead of white flour tortillas.  
Instead of salty salsa, everyone sprinkled a touch of cilantro onto their quesadilla. 
~ Dinner Has Been Served~


Carl said...

I enjoyed seeing Jordan sauteing he looks like he knows what he is doing...does he? If so, is is all your teaching about heat control that did it. And rocking the baby spinach, lol!

Sarah on her cooking chain is precious, and the shot of the two of you together is a classic, a keeper!

The Quesadillas look so good. I cannot read this blog when I am hungry, torture.

Carl said...

I meant chair, not chain...Sarah is not a chain person, I am sure.

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