The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

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Torch Delights

As the sunlight creeps through the clouds and the worst of the winter months blow past us, we can almost feel the weather of spring approaching.

However, upon stepping out of the house and hopping off the bus or out of the car, the truth is apparent. We’re still shivering in New York’s Siberian climate. The bitter wind is still blowing and the temperatures are inclined to plunge at any moment. Commuting is taxing enough without having to battle the piercing cold and arctic blasts of wind. Not only do I have to trudge the streets with bags full of books, but now I have to fight with mother nature to arrive safely at my destination.

For those of you gearing up for summer with exercise and dieting, a recurrence of bitter weather just when it seemed to be warming up can be sorely discouraging. It may even make you want to ditch the gym in exchange for uninterrupted time with a bag of doritos and the remote.

But before you reach for unhealthy snacks, try this recipe for Italian Quesadillas that is both indulgent and healthful, and won’t leave you feeling unsatisfied. Salty, cheesy and delicious, these quesadillas are perfect when you’re craving something savory that won’t throw a wrench into your get-fit plan.

Packed with cheese, which is a natural food that provides a dense source of nutrients, this recipe is full of calcium and protein. The bell peppers in this recipe offer a hefty dose of vitamins A, C and K, which are all antioxidants that support immune function. The whole-wheat tortilla is a great source of fiber, which contributes to feeling fuller longer.

Although not skimpy in terms of calories, this recipe has the right kind of calories, i.e., from healthy fats and fiber.
All things considered, I think we deserve a little comfort food.

What You’ll Need

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more as needed
2 large onions, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sugar
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
9 (8-inch-diameter) whole wheat tortillas
3 cups shredded Fontina
3/4 cup jarred roasted red bell peppers, drained well and patted dry
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh Italian parsley leaves, plus sprigs for garnish
1/3 cup freshly shredded Parmesan, plus 3 tablespoons for garnish

What to do:

Heat 2 tablespoons oil in a heavy large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onions and sugar, and cook until the onions are golden brown, about 20 minutes. Season the onions, to taste, with salt and pepper; set aside.
Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
Sprinkle some Fontina over half of a tortilla. Arrange some bell peppers and sauteed onions on top of the Fontina. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and Parmesan. Sprinkle more Fontina over. Fold the clean half over the filling to cover and press gently to seal. Repeat with remaining tortillas evenly dividing the filling ingredients.
Heat 1 tablespoon oil on a heavy large griddle over medium heat. Working in batches, cook the quesadillas until the cheese melts and the tortillas are golden brown, adding more oil as needed, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer the quesadillas to baking sheets and keep them warm in the oven while cooking the remaining quesadillas.
Sprinkle the remaining Parmesan over the quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 4 wedges. Arrange them on a platter. Garnish the platter with parsley sprigs and serve.

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