The Healthy Breakfast Quesadilla This Dietitian Loves

Yes, breakfast quesadillas can be healthy

If you’re a fan of breakfast sandwiches and the ever-popular breakfast burrito, it’s time to give a breakfast quesadilla a try. It’s like a breakfast burrito in some ways: it’s a trendy twist on a traditional Mexican dish that makes the most important meal of the day even more delicious. They’re both delicious wrapped in a tortilla, but it’s what’s inside that counts.

A breakfast quesadilla can be healthier and more balanced than a breakfast burrito because it’s not loaded with extra carbs from hashbrowns. Instead of eating fast-burning carbs that can make you sleepy, a high-protein breakfast quesadilla will keep you energized and alert all morning. Filling it with vegetables will also give you a head start on your vegetable quota for the day.

Breakfast and lose weight

The research is mixed when it comes to the effect of breakfast on weight. Skipping breakfast can lead to increased hunger and cravings, making it difficult to make healthy choices and avoid overeating later in the day. A study, published in 2020 in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism, suggests that eating a small or low-calorie breakfast can also make you crave sugar. That sounds like a compelling reason to enjoy a more hearty morning meal.

The National Weight Control Registry tracks more than 10,000 adults who have lost at least 30 pounds and maintained it for a year or more. And most of them — 78 percent to be exact — eat breakfast every day.

What to do in a breakfast quesadilla?

My breakfast quesadilla recipe is a great starting point to give this fun breakfast or brunch option a try. You can put your own spin on it by changing the vegetables or adding other ingredients you like. Go with classic Mexican ingredients or venture to other cuisines for a fusion breakfast quesadilla. For example, you could make a French version with brie or Gruyere cheese and mushrooms. Or you can try a Mediterranean-inspired breakfast quesadilla with tomatoes, bocconcini, and fresh basil.

How do you make a healthy breakfast quesadilla?

Here are some tips to help you keep your breakfast quesadilla lighter and healthier:

Start with a healthy tortilla

  • Go for a whole wheat or a sprouted tortilla so you get more fiber and nutrients. Whole grains such as whole grain, whole grain corn, quinoa and millet are rich in B vitamins, which help your body convert food into energy. And sprouted grains help make some of their nutrients more bioavailable, meaning they’re easier for your body to absorb, according to a review of studies published in a 2019 issue of nutrients.
  • If you’re gluten-free, you can find gluten-free tortillas made from gluten-free grains like corn, rice, or teff.
  • For paleo folks, there are tortillas made from plantains and root vegetables like sweet potatoes.
  • For low-carb enthusiasts, egg-based wraps are now available at most grocery stores, along with cauliflower and cheese-based tortillas.

(Corn vs Flour Tortilla: Here’s What You Need to Know.)

Limit the saturated fat

To control fat and calories, saute ingredients with a little olive oil or use avocado oil spray instead of loading up on butter.

Add some protein

Cheese is essential – you need gooey cheese to hold all the fillings together and to keep them in the tortilla. Here’s how to enjoy cheese while limiting calories and saturated fat:

  • Choose low-fat options such as semi-skimmed mozzarella, low-fat cheddar, or pepper jack cheese.
  • Use half as much regular cheese (to cut calories) and rely on other ingredients to fill up your quesadilla.
  • If you’re vegan or dairy-free, try a tasty alternative to cheese.

Add eggs for high-quality protein

Eggs are another important protein that puts the “breakfast” in a quesadilla. In this recipe, each serving contains two large eggs to provide 12 grams of high-quality protein. You’ll also get choline, an essential nutrient that many of us can’t get enough of.

Another benefit of including eggs in your morning meal? A study, published in 2020 in the International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, found that participants who ate eggs for breakfast had fewer hunger pangs and ate less at lunch compared to those who ate a higher-carb, low-protein breakfast.

More protein ideas for your breakfast quesadilla

  • Beans are another protein source that adds deliciousness and fiber to your breakfast quesadilla. Pinto beans, black beans, and lean beans are all nutritious options.
  • Brown some lean ground beef or ground turkey or add leftover chicken or pork. (For best results, shred before adding to your quesadilla.)
  • If you want to make a sweet breakfast quesadilla, natural nut butters like almond butter, walnut butter, or peanut butter provide delicious plant-based protein. Add some berries for a fun twist on a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

Add vegetables

Adding veggies to your breakfast quesadilla ensures that you increase its nutritional value. My breakfast quesadilla recipe includes spinach, an excellent source of vitamin K for healthy bones. It contains quercetin, a phytochemical that may help promote brain and heart health; along with the antioxidant kaempferol which may help prevent and fight cancer.

Some other nutritious vegetables for your quesadilla:

When making a sweet quesadilla, you can use fruit instead of vegetables. Peaches, berries, thinly sliced ​​pears or apples, figs, mango, banana or pineapple are all delicious options.

How to avoid a soggy quesadilla?

You want the meltiness on the inside and crispiness on the outside. Filling your quesadilla with too many vegetables or too many fruits can cause it to fall apart. Because fruits and vegetables give off water during cooking, it’s best to cook them ahead of time and let the water evaporate from your skillet. You can also serve vegetables or fruit in a salsa or use them as a topping.

Dip it or top it

Another fun part of eating quesadillas is dipping them. This is another chance to pack the nutrition along with the flavor. If dipping isn’t your thing, you can whip some of these delicious additions onto your quesadilla.

Tasty dip/topping options:

  • Salsa (go for low sodium and low sugar or make your own salsa)
  • Pico De Gallo
  • Guacamole (or mashed or sliced ​​avocado)
  • Slightly sour cream or Greek yogurt

How do I make my healthy breakfast quesadilla

My tasty and healthy breakfast quesadilla features a whole wheat tortilla filled with eggs, pinto beans, spinach and green onions. It’s dietitian approved because it contains the nutrients for a filling breakfast that’s simple to make and oh-so-tasty.

Christy Brissette, MS, RD – Owner of 80 Twenty Nutrition

Protein Packed Breakfast Quesadilla

Christy Brissette, RD, owner of 80 Twenty Nutrition

Serves 2

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 8 minutes

Total time: < 15 minutes

Ingredients:

3 large eggs

⅛ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup spinach, roughly chopped

½ cup canned pinto beans, drained and rinsed

1 thinly sliced ​​green onion

Two 8-inch whole-wheat tortillas

1 cup shredded semi-skimmed mozzarella cheese

Dips and Toppings:

salsa

Avocado or guacamole

Hot sauce (optional)

Instructions:

In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and pepper.

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the olive oil. Pour in the eggs and stir, stirring frequently, for about 2 minutes.

Add spinach to pan and stir, cook until wilted (about 1 minute). Remove from heat and stir in beans and green onion. Put aside.

Fold each tortilla in half. In a large skillet over medium heat, add each folded tortilla to half of the pan. Sprinkle ¼ cup cheese into each tortilla, add half of the egg mixture and sprinkle with the rest of the cheese. Close the tortillas, fold the top half so that it rests on the filling. Press each with a spatula or flipper to compress and even out the fillings. Cover the pan with a lid.

Reduce the heat to medium-low. Heat one side of each of the quesadillas until crisp and golden brown on the bottom (about 2 minutes), being careful not to burn them. Turn over and let the other side become crispy as well.

Place your quesadillas on a cutting board and let them cool for 1 minute. Cut in half or quarters to make triangles. Serve with dips and sauces of your choice. Enjoying!

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