“Fake-Out” Taco Bell Quesadilla

I haven’t eaten fast food in quite a while. About 7 months ago I gave into temptation after a late night at work and an even earlier morning back at work and picked up a breakfast sandwich from McDonalds on my way in. Boy did I regret it. That greasy (albeit tasty) breakfast bomb hit me about 30 minutes later and I felt terrible the rest of the day. So while I officially gave up fast food almost a year and a half ago, I definitely gave it up 7 months ago.

In the interest of fairness I have to admit that I was once the queen of greasy fast food. Especially cheeseburgers. My dad likes to remind me when I start on one of my health-rants that once upon a time I had an eating contest with two high school guy friends of mine – where we all sat down to see who could eat the most Monster Thick Burgers at Hardees. And I held my own. And loved it.

But after my transition to a processed-food free diet (which is a continuous work in progress!) I just can’t eat like that anymore. And I think that’s a good thing. I’ve never felt more healthy and energetic than I do now – without the weight of a dozen greasy burgers a month weighing me down. [Sadly, that’s not an exaggeration. It may be understating it] However, from time to time, I still fight fast food temptation. After all, it’s their job to make fast food convenient and look delicious so that they can make money. Most of the time I can stave off temptation by planning ahead, and by remembering how terrible I’ll feel afterwards if I give in, but this doesn’t work in all cases. I am helpless when it comes to the Taco Bell quesadilla.

Damn that quesadilla. It haunts my dreams. I try to tell myself how disgusting the ingredient list is (probably littered with GMOs and trans fats) but my taste buds defiantly yell ‘damn the trans fats!’ and try to prove that, small though they are, they are the ones really in control of my decisions. Fortunately I’ve been able to hold off the little devils in recent months, but this past Sunday on a long, traffic-filled, exhausted road trip home I almost gave in.

When I finally got home Sunday night, I decided something had to be done about this quesadilla’s hold on me. Dissecting the food in my head, I realized that if I could just re-create the creamy, spicy, sauce on the quesadilla – the rest should be easy. A quick Google and Pinterest search later, I had a plan. May I present to you, my “fake-out” Taco Bell quesadilla!

20130502-091156.jpg
Get it? “Fake-out” instead of “take-out”? I am too easily amused…

”Fake-Out” Taco Bell Quesadilla
Makes 2-3 quesadillas

    For the sauce:
    – ¼ cup mayonnaise (I used an organic, olive-oil based mayo)
    – 2 teaspoons minced jalapeno slices (pickled, in a jar)
    – 2 teaspoons of the pickled jalapeno juice from the jar
    – ½ teaspoon cumin
    – ½ teaspoon smoked paprika (regular works too)
    – A dash of cayenne pepper
    – A dash of garlic powder
    – A dash of salt
    – A dash of sugar

    For the rest of the quesadilla:
    – 2 or 3 flour tortillas (depending on how many you’re making)
    – 1 cup chopped or sliced cooked chicken
    – 2 cups (approximately) of shredded Monterey jack cheese (I like a jack/cheddar blend)

Place the tortilla into a hot (medium-high heat) pan, or on a hot griddle (I like my cast-iron griddle for this purpose). Place chicken and cheese onto one half of the tortilla. Spread a tablespoon and a half on the sauce on the other side of the tortilla. Fold the tortilla in half and press to seal. Cook on one side for 5 minutes or until brown and the cheese is melty then flip and continue to cook for another 3-4 minutes.

I have to say, this recipe did not disappoint. It is by no means a health recipe but it sure is healthier than fast food! And I’m in control of the ingredients. And best of all, I may have defeated my fast-food arch nemesis.

What is your strongest unhealthy food craving?
Are you ever tempted by fast food?

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26 responses to ““Fake-Out” Taco Bell Quesadilla

  1. I LOVE quesadillas – we will definitely be trying this one!
    I allow myself to eat Chick-Fil-A occasionally, but no other fast food. It has been seven years since I had Taco Bell! I used to love the beef meximelts!!! O_O And bean burritos. Now, I don’t even eat beef! lol

    • It’s amazing how our diets grow and change 🙂 and I hope you like the quesadillas! The sauce recipe is truly delicious – just what they needed! And hopefully now my last fast food craving will be banished! 🙂

  2. Yum! I am so happy I found your blog! I would love for you to come by and link this or another recipe at my link party!! http://domesticsuperhero.com/2013/05/02/sharing-with-domestic-superhero-link-party-9/ Hope to see you!

  3. Growing up, we rarely, if ever ate fast food – everything was home-grown, home-made, natural, authentic and delicious. As a result, I get these insane fast-food cravings every once in a while, and when I indulge, I feel horrible the rest of the day. My strongest craving is always the BigMac…but last year, my brother and I made our own at home, and we nailed the flavor. We used chicken instead of beef. I’m definitely trying this quesadilla recipe and after reading this, I’m motivated to start making my “fast-food” very slowly at home!

    • I’m always so jealous when people grew up with a lot of home-grown food! But it’s something I’ve learned about and grown to love in recent years 🙂 I think we all still get fast good cravings no matter what – but it’s so much better to find ways to make it at home!

  4. Pingback: Mexican-Style Rice, Beans and Spiced Steak | Foxy [Whole] Foodie

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  6. Quesadillas are a go-to quick lunch for me. Love them with tons of pico de gallo, hotsauce, and some guacamole. Thanks for sharing and happy SITS Day!

  7. The next time I’m craving Taco Bell I will be using your recipe. I gave up on Taco Bell a long time ago, because my stomach does not agree with it. But, I still eat McDonald from time to time. Coming to from SITS Girls

  8. Sounds like a good alternative. I stopped eating fast food quite some time ago. I had to eat it once (due to no other alternatives while traveling and poor planning on my part) and I immediately regretted it. My tummy revolted big time!

    Happy SITS Day!

  9. I’m going to make that sauce and put it on rice. Thanks for the internet search you did. Enjoy your SITS Day.

  10. We love quesadillas around here and I love my quesadilla maker that makes them perfectly each and every time. We make chicken, beef, veggie, and for the kids just cheese. Happy SITS day!

  11. I am pinning this! That’s the type of mayo we use at my house. Thanks for sharing. Visiting from SITS!

  12. This looks like a really great and tasty idea and like it could possibly ‘fake out’ my Hubby! LOL Happy SITS Day!

  13. It’s wonderful that you could find a way to make your quesadillas healthier.

  14. Ooh i like those too, but i refuse to eat fast food! Thanks for sharing this recipe, will be trying it out! I think my husband will be thrilled too!

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