Who Needs Taco Bell Anyway?

One thing I’ve been missing since we went local and largely unprocessed for our food is tortillas. Quick to prepare food has been a small challenge since we switched our grocery habits, but we’ve filled the gap by preparing larger quantities of meals and freezing leftovers for quick reheating, eating more salads, and having bases like pizza crusts ready to go for easy topping.

My love for quesadillas began years ago, when I was a vegetarian and I lived a few blocks from a Taco Bell. With their big tortillas oozing cheese and special tex-mex white sauce, combined with their inexpensive price tag, I ate more than my fair share of these treats. I don’t even want to know what I was ingesting in those meals. After we cut fast food from our diets, we began making quesadillas at home, mixing up our own special sauce to try and recreate the effect of the ones I used to eat. We used to keep a pack of tortillas in the fridge at all times so that we could quickly whip some up if we were in a rush, but since we don’t shop at grocery stores anymore, tortillas have been lacking. Since I hadn’t had the guts to try making these simple flat breads, we had been quesa-deprived for about a year.

So, last week, I gave tortilla making a try, and I can confidently say there will no longer be tortilla shortages in this household! They cost pennies to make, and since I was preparing them from scratch, I could control the quality of ingredients that went in. Next time, I might try doing a blend of whole wheat and white flour to make them a little less dense, but these were flavorful and hearty. They also freeze well, so make a bunch a save them to have on hand.

Take a look below the tortilla recipe for my basic quesadilla recipe!

Whole Wheat Tortillas

Ingredients:

Whole Wheat Tortilla Ingredients

Super Inexpensive Ingredients

  • 2.5 c. whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 c. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 c. warm water

Directions:

  1. Put flour, oil and salt in mixer bowl. Mix until crumbly, about 3 minutes.

    Crumbly Flour & Oil Mixture

    Crumbly Flour & Oil Mixture

  2. With mixer running, gradually add warm water and continue to mix until combined.
  3. Knead dough for 3 minutes or until smooth, either by hand on a lightly floured surface or using the dough hook on your stand mixer.
  4. Shape dough into a log about 3 inches wide, then cut into 16 equally sized portions.

    Portioned Dough

    Portioned Dough

  5. Roll each portion into a ball and slightly flatten it on to a baking sheet. Cover baking sheet with plastic wrap and let sit 20 minutes.

    Dough Balls

    Dough Balls

  6. Preheat cast iron skillet or griddle.
  7. On a very lightly floured surface, roll a dough ball into a circle about 8-9″ inches in diameter.
  8. Place the rolled circle into the hot skillet and cook until surface begins to bubble.
  9. Flip and cook until light brown spots appear on bottom. (You may have to test a few the first time to get the timing right—If you cook too long, they will harden as they cool.)

    Cooking Tortilla

    Cooking Tortilla

  10. Remove and set aside. Repeat with remaining dough balls. (I found that the time it took me to (rather clumsily) roll the dough balls was the amount of time it took to cook on both sides.)
  11. Use immediately or store in refrigerator or freezer.
Stack O' Tortillas

Stack O' Tortillas

A Few Steps Up From Taco Bell Quesadillas
Makes 4 Quesadillas

Ingredients:

Filling Ingredients

Filling Ingredients

  • 8 tortillas (homemade are best!)
  • 4 T. fromage blanc or sour cream (I used fromage blanc from Keepsake Farm)
  • 8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese (Groffdale Meadows Dairy)
  • 1/2 c. cooked protein or veggies (we used shredded cooked turkey)
  • Aw Shucks seasoning, to taste
  • chili powder, to taste
  • cumin, to taste

Directions:

  1.  Mix fromage blanc or sour cream with Aw Shucks seasoning, chili powder and cumin.
  2. Spread 1 T. of fromage blanc mixture on 4 of the tortillas.

    The "Special Sauce"

    The "Special Sauce"

  3. Sprinkle protein or veggies over fromage blanc.
  4. Grate cheddar cheese over protein.
  5. Place each of the plain tortillas over the topped tortillas.
  6. Cook quesadillas in hot skillet or on hot griddle, flipping once, until each side is golden and cheese is melted.
  7. Serve with salsa.
Quesadillas!

Quesadillas!

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4 responses to “Who Needs Taco Bell Anyway?

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