By Carrie Harshbarger
A few years ago I was lucky enough to work with a few incredible dieticians while teaching cooking classes centered around healthful eating on a budget. It was during these classes that I learned, you don’t have to completely eradicate “junk” food from your life in order to be healthy. In fact, thinking about foods as either your “sometimes” foods or your “always” foods can be a very powerful way to create a lifestyle that works for you.
While anything with queso is certainly not low-fat or low-calorie; I chose to make some slight adjustments like using beans instead of beef and Greek yogurt instead of sour cream to create a better-for-you version of this fast food classic.
A Few Quick Notes:
Oaxaca is a melty, Mexican cheese that is very similar to mozzarella. My local grocer stocks it next to the cheese aisle. If you are having trouble finding it, you can use a low moisture mozzarella (one that is not packaged in water). Oaxaca has a lot less sodium than what you’ll find in processed cheese or jarred queso. While it is still high in fat (it is cheese), another bonus comes from the short ingredient list so you know exactly what’s in it.
If you haven’t tried Greek yogurt as a substitute for sour cream, I absolutely encourage you to do so. For the same serving size (2 Tablespoons) you get 1 gram of saturated fat compared to sour cream’s 3.5 grams. Greek yogurt is also incredibly versatile and adds a lot of protein.
You can certainly double up on the pico de gallo and queso portions below, if you’d like to have extra of both. I’m a big fan of repurposing leftovers in dishes throughout the week!
Serving Size: 2 wraps
Total Cook Time: 1 hour
- 2 Large Tortillas
- 2 handfuls of tortilla chips
- 1 can of pinto or black beans- drain and rinsed
- Romaine lettuce-a few handfuls, shredded
- Greek yogurt
- Pico de Gallo:
- 1 large tomato, small dice (can alternatively use canned)
- 1 Tablespoon jalapeno, finely diced
- 3 Tablespoons cilantro, chopped
- ¼ cup red onion, finely diced
- 1 lime, juiced
- Salt to taste
- 5oz. Oaxaca (typically sold in 10oz so use half or use the full amount and double up on the below!)
- 1 red pepper
- 1/4 cup half and half
- 2 teaspoons Cumin
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
Step One: Make Queso
Preheat oven to 350.
Place red pepper on a sheet tray with a touch of olive oil. Roast for about 30 minutes or until tender and charred on all sides. If you have a gas stove, you can also place the peppers right on the flame and rotate until each side is charred.
Once the pepper is done, place in a bowl with plastic wrap over. This helps make the skin really easy to peel off.
While the pepper is cooling, cut the Oaxaca in large square chunks. In a small saucepan on low heat, combine the half and half with the cheese. Stir often until completely melted. Add cumin and cayenne if desired. Peel off the skins of the pepper and clean out seeds. Dice into small pieces and add to the queso.
Make Pico de Gallo:
Dice the tomato, jalapeno, red onion and cilantro. Combine in a bowl and add lime juice and a pinch of salt.
Heat beans in a small skillet. Smash with a fork and add water if necessary. Season with 2 teaspoon cumin, salt and pepper. ** We always soak and cook dried beans to use in different meals throughout the week. We typically season with a bay leaf, garlic, salt and pepper. If using leftovers, 2 cups should be plenty.**
Once all of your components are prepared, heat a tortilla for about 15-20 seconds in the microwave to make it easier to fold.
You’re going to want to put all the ingredients in the center of the tortilla, leaving about 2 inches from the edges. Start with the Greek yogurt, spreading about 2 Tablespoons in a circle. Add mashed beans on top, then shredded lettuce and the Pico de Gallo. Cover with healthy amount of queso (about a few large spoonfuls). Layer tortilla chips on top. Begin to fold taking one side at a time to the middle. It helps to crush the chips a bit to create a smooth top. On medium-high heat, grill the wrap, about 2 minutes on each side. Enjoy!