Butternut squash and kale are two of my favorite fall veggies.
Every fall, my dad used to make a butternut squash “sabji” – which is basically butternut squash sautéed with a ton of Indian spices – cumin, coriander, turmeric — the works. It was delicious and I’d look forward to it like a kid in a candy store (and since butternut squash is so sweet, the analogy kind of works 🙂 ).
Kale is such a trend right now — kale salads and kale chips are everywhere! I’m definitely on the kale bandwagon – I love the texture and flavor of these curly, leafy greens. But I really wanted to do something different with kale, because you can use it in almost anything you’d use spinach, lettuce, or any other green. It’s super versatile and it’s so, so good for you.
So as I was trying to come up with a new way to use these two veggies together, I decided to go the Mexican food route, since the husband loves quesadillas.
To cut down on the prep time, I used Earthbound Farm’s frozen butternut squash and kale – which, when heated up, tasted just like the fresh version (and not all frozen veggies will retain their flavor and texture when going from frozen to fresh, so I was pleasantly surprised at that).
I threw in a bunch of warming spices, added cheese of course, and browned the quesadilla in a skillet. In about 30 minutes I had the most delicious and hearty quesadilla that we could really feel good about eating!
- 4 Whole Wheat Flour Tortillas (I used the kind from Trader Joe’s – pictured below)
- 8oz Frozen Butternut Squash cubes (like the kind from Earthbound Farm)
- 8oz Frozen Kale (like the kind from Earthbound Farm)
- 1 red onion, diced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup Mexican Shredded Cheese Blend (you’ll use 1/4 cup per quesadilla)
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- optional: 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes (if you like things on the spicier side)
Step 1: Heat a skillet over medium heat. Saute the onion and garlic until translucent.
Step 2: Add in the butternut squash and kale, saute until cooked through.
Step 3: Once the veggies have defrosted, add in all of your spices (salt through ground coriander; or through crushed red pepper flakes – if using). Cook for another 10 minutes until all of the ingredients have combined and the squash is slightly soft.
Step 4: Assemble your quesadilla! Take one whole wheat tortilla and sprinkle 1/8 cup of Mexican cheese on half of the tortilla. Top with 1/4 of the butternut squash/kale mixture, and top again with 1/8 cup of cheese.
Step 5: Spray a skillet with cooking spray and brown your quesadilla on both sides until slightly crispy.
Step 6: Let cool for a couple minutes after removing from the pan, then slice and serve.
Thanks to the size of the whole wheat tortillas and the heartiness of the filling, one quesadilla (sliced into 2-4 pieces) is more than enough for one person. And each quesadilla is less than 300 calories!
The husband and I both absolutely loved it. We served it with a bit of fresh guacamole and salsa – but you can top it with anything you like (some other options are 0% Greek Yogurt and Pico de Gallo).
It’s Mexican comfort food at its best.