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Quesadillas With A Mediterranean Twist
This Mediterranean Steak Quesadilla recipe is fusion cuisine at it’s finest. You get a blend of flavorful ingredients in this Mediterranean twist on a classic Mexican dish made with lean sirloin steak. The best part is that you can whip up this steak quesadilla recipe in under 30 minutes! This hearty quesadilla recipe, made with a tasty muscle-building protein source and a nutritious blend of carbohydrates and fats, makes a perfect post-workout meal.
A recent study published by Purdue University found that unprocessed lean red meat can be included as part of a heart-healthy Mediterranean-style diet.¹ The Mediterranean diet focuses on vegetables, fruits, legumes, lean protein sources and healthier fats. Protein sources included in the Mediterranean diet vary in different countries and regions.
We know that phytonutrients from plants are incredible for overall health. Including plants in our meals is extremely important and pairing fruits and vegetables with a high-quality
protein, like beef, brings a balance of nutrients and flavor to
your meal. Including quality protein is also important for muscle-building, maintaining muscle mass for good body composition and exercise recovery.
Quality protein sources, like lean beef (rich in protein, iron and zinc), helps me to build and maintain muscle mass and recover from my strength training sessions. There is always room for splurges, in my opinion, but consistent daily eating habits that contain nutrient-dense foods make the biggest impact on overall health.
Tips For Making Mediterranean Steak Quesadillas
Start by making the tzatziki sauce. You’ll want to make this dipping sauce at least an hour before serving or the night before for best flavor. If you are short on time, make it in advance. The tzatziki sauce will keep for several days in a sealed container in the refrigerator. Just give it a good stir before serving.
Start by peeling the cucumber and slicing it in half. With a small spoon, scoop out the seeds. Then chop into small chunks.
Add all of your tzatziki ingredients into the bowl of a food processor.
Pulse until smooth but small pieces of cucumber remain. I like this sauce with a little bit of texture.
Next, toss the Sirloin Steak strips with the remaining lemon juice and zest. Cover and allow to marinate for about 10 minutes in the refrigerator.
Drain steak in a colander and pat dry. Heat 1 tbsp of olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat and add the steak. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, or to your desired doneness. Drain off any excess liquid in the pan to allow the steak to sear. The steak will cook quickly in small strips.
Set steak aside and wilt the spinach. You know the joke about spinach. You start with all of this…
And end up with a few bites, lol…
Assembling The Steak Quesadillas
I only cook the spinach until just wilted, or it will get too soft. Now it’s time to layer your ingredients into the tortilla. Start with the shredded cheddar and finish with the feta. Spray the skillet with olive oil spray and add the tortilla. Carefully fold the top over and press down gently. I use a cast iron press on top to heat the tortilla all the way through before flipping over.
Serve immediately with tzatziki dipping sauce.
I used a high fiber, low-carb tortilla in this recipe to boost the fiber content. Fiber is great for digestive health, and most of these high fiber tortillas have a higher protein content, as an added bonus. *The macros on the wrap I used are: (calories: 100; Fat: 3.5 g; Carbs: 16 g; Protein: 8 g; Fiber: 7 g)
The flavor combination in this Mediterranean Steak Quesadilla recipe is an absolute winner.
You can’t go wrong with layered cheesy goodness, flavorful steak, and tasty vegetables in a crispy, pan-seared, high fiber tortilla shell. Don’t forget the tzatziki sauce for dipping! It’s the ultimate finishing touch on this easy and nutritious beef meal.
Want a bite?!
Mediterranean Steak Quesadilla Recipe
- 12 oz Sirloin Steak, cut into thin strips
- 4 High fiber, low-carb tortillas *the brand I used had 7 grams of fiber per tortilla
- 1 large lemon zested and juiced
- 4 oz feta cheese, crumbled
- 4 oz extra light sharp cheddar cheese shredded from the block
- 4 oz roasted red peppers, cut into strips
- 4 tsp fresh dill
- 16 kalamata olives, pitted and sliced
- 5 oz fresh baby spinach
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 8 oz non-fat plain Greek yogurt
- 1 large cucumber, seeded and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and smashed
- ½ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- olive oil cooking spray *for pan
- Either the night before or at least one hour before serving, make the tzatziki sauce.
- In a food processor, combine yogurt, chopped cucumber, 1 tbsp olive oil, 2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp of the lemon zest (should be about half of the zest), 2 tsp fresh chopped dill, salt and pepper.
- Pulse until blended but still has some texture to it (I like to have some small pieces of cucumber remaining).
- Chill for at least one hour or overnight to blend flavors
- Toss steak with remaining lemon juice and zest. Allow to marinate in the refrigerator in a covered bowl for about 10 minutes while you prep your other ingredients for assembling quesadillas.
- Heat remaining tbsp of olive oil a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Drain steak and pat dry with a paper towel. Cook steak in heated skillet for 2-3 minutes per side or until cooked to your desired doneness. Since we are working with thin strips, it will cook quickly.
- Remove steak from the pan and set aside.
- Add the fresh spinach to the pan and cook until just wilted, stirring frequently. Set spinach aside.
- Now you're ready to assemble your quesadillas. Layer ingredients on one side of the tortilla starting with a layer of cheddar cheese on the bottom and finishing with the feta on top.
- Spray skillet with an olive oil cooking spray and cook quesadillas on medium-high heat for a couple of minutes each side until lightly golden and cheese is melted.
- Serve immediately with a side of the tzatziki for dipping
For more Mediterranean beefy goodness, be sure and check out these recipes!
1.Purdue University. “Mediterranean-style eating with lean, unprocessed red meat improves heart disease risk.” ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 13 June 2018. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2018/06/180613113743.htm>.