Friday, September 24, 2010

Acorn Squash Quesadillas

While Joe and I have always been active, we recently started the Couch to 5K program. I have this crazy idea that we should run. We’re surrounded by gorgeous parks, Nashville has relatively good weather for most of the year, and I wanted a challenge. Plus, my best friend and her boyfriend have had a lot of success with the program. Since we weren’t quite “Couch”, the first few weeks were pretty nice. Last night, however, was the dreaded Week 5 Day 3 workout. Twenty solid minutes of running. I know that for some people that’s no big deal, but neither Joe nor I are natural-born runners. It also happened to be about 90-degrees in the evening when we headed to the greenway to do it. But we did it!


Those stats include our 5 minute warm-up walk and 5 minute cool-down walk. I was pretty impressed by how we did. We ran all of Lap 2, and a 10:40 mile sounds pretty good to me.

The problem with running as exercise, particularly with it being so hot, is that, even though I only burned about 250 calories, I felt like I deserved a bunch of beer and ice cream. Instead, I got these delicious quesadillas.


Smoky roasted poblanos, spicy jalapenos, and nutty acorn squash plus melty cheese. Joe is also hereafter going to be the quesadilla-maker, as long as I’m not watching to see how much cheese he puts in and how much oil he uses in the pan, because these were perfect. The tortilla got super crisp while the filling stayed hot and creamy. We will be making these again, particularly if our CSA keeps giving us winter squash.

Acorn Squash Quesadillas
source: Erin’s Food Files
Yields 2 or 3 quesadillas depending on how full you stuff them

1 small/medium acorn squash
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
3 tablespoons diced white onion
1 tablespoon minced jalapeno
1 clove garlic, minced
2 poblano chiles, roasted, peeled and cut into strips
Salt and pepper to taste
10-inch flour tortillas
1 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend of your choice
Butter for frying quesadillas
Garnishes: sour cream and/or salsa verde cruda


First, roast the acorn squash. Preheat the oven to 400° and lightly oil a baking sheet. Halve the squash, scoop out the seeds (you can save them to toast later, if you wish) and cut each half into half-inch slices. Lay them on the baking sheet and roast for about 20 minutes, until soft but not cooked to mush. (You’ll finish it in the pan.)

When cool enough to work with, use a paring knife or your hands to peel the skin off each slice. Lightly chop the squash and put it in a bowl.

Saute the onions, garlic and jalapeno in the oil until translucent. Add the poblano strips and cook for a couple minutes more. Add the squash and cook for another 5 or 10 minutes, until the squash is tender and the flavors have melded. Season with salt and pepper and take off heat.

Spread a few tablespoons of the cooked squash mixture onto one half of a 10-inch flour tortilla. Sprinkle with a couple tablespoons of the cheese. Fold over and place in a hot pan with melted butter, and fry until crispy. Cut the finished quesadilla into triangles and top with your choice of garnishes. Eat while warm.