One tool I’ve been using recently in my quest to form healthier habits is The Bikini Body 28-Day Healthy Eating & Lifestyle Guide by Kayla Itsines (that’s an affiliate link, though this is not a sponsored post–I just love the book!). I’ve done strength workouts by her for years (and am continuing to do routines regularly be her!), so I was excited to see that she’d compiled a book full of some of her best healthy recipes and exercise circuits. What struck me as different about this particular healthy-eating cookbook and guide (because trust me, I’ve read through many!) is that I actually WANT to make a lot of the recipes found therein. In my experience, oftentimes when I pick up a cookbook full of “healthy” recipes, they often require ingredients I don’t readily have on hand, recipes I don’t really want to actually eat, or the cooking skills required seem daunting (even though I’m a pretty seasoned cook by now!).
Not so with this book–I find myself wanting to try nearly everything, and I love that her daily meal plan suggestions are easily swapped out with other options (she has a whole chapter on swap-out recipes!). I also love that it’s not a super low-calorie plan (she keeps each day’s menu around 1600-1700 calories). Each of her daily plans comes with three meals and two snacks, and each day’s fare is balanced so that you’re getting all your required nutrients and food groups.
Now, while I have yet to actually fully try the 28-day plan, I have been working my way through some of the recipes to dip my toes in, so to speak. And this quesadilla has been in heavy rotation ever since I first tried it!
I’m often at a loss as to what to make for lunch, since we’re not huge sandwich eaters and many of our leftovers from the night before often go with my husband to work for his lunch. Enter this quesadilla, which can be made from start to finish in less than 15 minutes and is packed full of protein, fiber, and nutrients (not to mention deliciousness!).
So, if you’re looking for a quick and healthy lunch (or dinner!) option, give this one a whirl!
Note: I HAVE slightly altered this recipe to make it fit my personal taste preferences, and I’ve included those changes in the recipe below. The original recipe calls for whole wheat tortillas (which I know are healthier but which I can’t bring myself to commit to fully yet), but I’ve made mine using just a basic white flour tortilla. I also added a *little* bit of olive oil to the homemade hummus because I think it makes the consistency a lot better, and I’ve added some guideline measurements for some of the other ingredients in the hummus (since in the book, it just says “to taste”).
Hummus, Black Bean, and Corn Quesadillas (adapted slightly from Kayla Itsines)
1 medium-sized flour tortilla
1/5 recipe homemade hummus (see recipe below)
1/5 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1/5 can corn, drained
1 small tomato, diced
0.7 ounce shredded cheese (or about 1/4 cup)
1 can chickpeas (aka, garbanzo beans), drained and rinsed
1 large garlic clove, peeled and quartered
Lemon juice (start with one tablespoon)
Smoked or regular paprika (start with 1/2 teaspoon)
Salt (start with 1/4 teaspoon)
Olive oil (start with 1 tablespoon)
- First, make the hummus by putting all the ingredients into a food processor (minus the water) and blending until smooth. If the hummus is still super thick, add a tablespoon of water to make it a creamier consistency and blend again. The lemon juice, paprika, and salt are all to taste, so try the minimum amounts suggested here and then add more as you want.
- Spread 1/5 of the hummus mixture onto one-half of the flour tortilla.
- Top with black beans, corn, diced tomato, and shredded cheese.
- Fold the tortilla in half, flattening it down with your hand or a spatula.
- With the cooking spray, lightly spray the outside of both sides of the tortilla. (This is a great cooking secret I only recently learned! Rather than needing butter or some other fat to get that nice browned and crispy outside edge, all you need to do is use cooking spray. It works like a charm!)
- Place the folded quesadilla onto a medium-hot skillet, watching it carefully so it doesn’t burn on either side. Depending on your level of heat, you’ll usually cook it for about 2 minutes per side, or until the outside is a nice medium brown color and the cheese is all melted.
Serves: 1 (though you’ll notice that the full amount of everything makes enough for five, except for the tomatoes and tortilla, which you would obviously need to add more of.)
Nutrition Info: Each quesadilla clocks in at 402 calories, with 19 grams of protein and 12 grams of fiber in each one.
Notes: I keep leftover hummus and black beans/corn in the fridge in two separate containers, which I then pull out anytime I want to make this (which is a lot). If I don’t have to make the hummus, I can make one from start to finish in all of about 8 minutes.