Friday, February 3, 2017

Two chicks quesadillas: vegetarian with chickweed, chickpeas, feta and wild mushrooms

Finished chickweed, chickpea, feta and wild mushroom quesadilla

Like pretty much everyone, I'm sure, one of my goals in the new year is to eat better and hopefully loose weight. The second is hard, but the first is relatively easy, if you devote the time and effort into it, and treat it as an investment in yourself.

Of course, that's easier said than done. 

One problem I've always had was being so busy in the work week that I just get some fast lunch, usually something fried. Then I work late, so I don't feel like cooking when I get home. . . Eating out can quickly get out of control.

Enter the meal prep. I've decided to take time when I can, on the weekends, and make healthy, easy to re-heat meals that I can eat at my desk if I absolutely have to. Last week's mushroom pizza was a good one, and so is this week's chickweed, wild mushroom, chickpea and feta quesadilla, high protein, healthy fat and quality carbs, clocking in at under 400 calories. 

This vegetarian meal can easily be made vegan, if you use vegan cheese, or omit the cheese entirely. 

Chickweed, at the perfect stage for harvest

Chickweed, Stellaria media, is a super nutritious wild plant, which is finding it's way back into cultivation. Eat chickweed for a lot of vitamin C, as well as B vitamins and beta carotene. It's also got more minerals than your average plant, boasting high amounts of calcium, magnesium and potassium.

Because of the CHICKweed and CHICKpeas, I'm calling this the Two Chick Quesadilla!

I've heard of chickweed starting to be shipped out in CSAs, so you reading this post might not be a forager, you might just be wondering "what the heck can I do with this stuff!?!" In any case, welcome! This is a great recipe to use chickweed in, and requires no other wild ingredients. (I have other chickweed recipes here)

Check out all that flavor!

Two Chick Quesadilla

Makes 8 quesadillas, recipe can be halved.
Each quesadilla clocks in at under 400 calories and has a full serving of vegetables.

16 Fajita-sized tortillas, the smallest size. I used these  (they also come in whole wheat)
2 cans of chickpeas/garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
8 cups fresh chickweed, roughly chopped
2 cups fresh wild mushrooms, (I used velvet foot/velvet shank), chopped
8 oz. part skim feta cheese, cubed
2 oz. part skim grated mozzarella, optional
2 tbs. ground cumin
2 tbs. ground coriander
1 tsp. cayenne, optional
Olive oil

Preheat the oven to 375 F. Add 2 tbs. olive oil to a non-stick pan over medium heat. Add your mushrooms, season with salt and pepper, and continue to cook until the mushrooms release their liquid.

When the mushrooms have released their liquid, increase the temperature to medium high, and continue to sauté, stirring occasionally, until the liquid is re-absorbed, reduce heat to medium. Add your chickweed, and stir, cook only for about 1-2 minutes, or until wilted. Remove from heat, and transfer to a bowl.

Wild mushrooms and wilted chickweed, still with a little crunch!

Add 2 tbs. olive oil to the same non-stick pan, over medium heat. Add in your chickpeas, coriander, cumin and cayenne, if using. Season with salt and pepper. Toss or stir to coat the chickpeas evenly. Cook for about 5-7 minutes, stirring occasionally and toasting the chickpeas lightly. Remove from heat.  Add the chickpeas to your chickweed and mushrooms and add in the cubed feta.

Quesadilla filling, ready to go!

Grease two foil-lined baking sheets with olive oil. Arrange half your tortillas out on them, without touching. Evenly spread your two chicks mixture over the top of each tortilla, and sprinkle with mozzarella, if you're using it. I like it because it adds a little bit of melty goodness!

Cover with the remaining tortillas and bake for 5-7 minutes. Flip and bake for another 5-7 minutes, till both sides have some nice browning, and the cheese is melted. Serve with fresh salsa or guacamole!

Want to know how to ID chickweed in the wild? Check out my post here!

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