A Recipe Chock Full of "Good" Fat

There's a reason avocados are sometimes known as butter pears — their smooth, luscious flesh and nutty flavor are as unique as their rough-textured skin and oval shape. There's a fair amount of fat in avocados, so you want to use them sparingly; however, the fat is a good kind — monounsaturated — that helps lower cholesterol. I like to add avocado to this quesadilla recipe because it's just plain delicious.

Avocado Quesadillas

Ingredients

1 ripe avocado, pitted, peeled, and finely chopped
1 medium tomato, chopped
1/4 cup chopped green onions
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 teaspoon finely chopped jalapeño pepper (wear plastic gloves when handling)
1/2 teaspoon salt
4 reduced-fat whole-wheat tortillas (8-inch diameter)
1 cup shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack cheese

Preparation

In a small bowl, mix the avocado, tomato, green onions, cilantro, jalapeño, and salt.

Fill 1 tortilla at a time. Sprinkle 1/4 cup of the cheese over half of each tortilla; top with 1/2 cup of the avocado mixture. Fold the tortillas over to form half circles.

Heat a nonstick griddle or 2 large nonstick skillets over medium-high heat until a drop of water sizzles and bounces when dropped on the surface. Away from the heat, spray the surface with cooking spray just before using.

Place the tortillas in the pans and press down slightly. Cook for 2 minutes; carefully flip with a nonstick spatula. Continue cooking for 2 minutes more. To serve, cut each tortilla in half.

Makes 4 quesadillas

Per quesadilla: 270 calories, 29 g carbohydrates, 12 g protein, 13 g total fat, 15 mg cholesterol, 5 g dietary fiber, 783 mg sodium

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