That lil’ quesadilla probably won’t hurt you! But lose the tomato, por favor

diabetes mexican food quesadilla

MEXICAN FOOD!!!!!!! Obviously, I can’t get enough.

Tacos constitute an unreasonable portion of my diet. I can’t quit Taco Bell. And I’ve also discovered the magic of enchiladas, or at least the bastardized (but still delicious!) version that is currently available to me here in Korea.

So, let’s say hola (or 안녕하세요) to quesadillas! And if you truly have no idea how to make a quesadilla, scroll down to the end of this post for a photo tour of how I make mine.

diabetes mexican food quesadilla
Quesadilla #1, overflowing with deliciousness

Honestly, I’ve been eating quesadillas for a long time already. Ever since I discovered that diabetes don’t mind the cheese, I’ve been chowing on quesadillas in secret.

I figured it must be safe to eat quesadillas because tacos are just fine on the blood sugar. And let’s face it: there are a lot of Mexican foods that are basically just different permutations of the same group of ingredients.

diabetes mexican food quesadilla
This isn’t Food Network. I show you the ugly pictures, too.

In other words, assuming you have the necessary variety of tortilla sizes, you can use the exact same ingredients to make a taco, a burrito, a quesadilla, an enchilada, a Chalupa, a Crunchwrap Supreme …

*ahem* Anyway, let’s see just how friendly quesadillas are to goddam diabetes!

I did three tests on three different quesadillas. All were on the same kind of tortilla: 8-inch flour tortilla, each weighing 41 grams.

For meat, I used ground pork. And I had plenty of sour cream, hot sauce, and jalapenos on these things ‘cuz that’s the way uh-huh uh-huh I like it.

diabetes mexican food quesadilla

41 grams is pretty slim for a tortilla, so if you’re gonna start making your own tortillas, be sure to check the weight (it’s probably listed on the package). Tortillas that are bigger or more doughy are definitely going to push your glucose up higher.

As is usually the case, I ate each quesadilla at a time when my blood sugar was relatively low and I hadn’t eaten or taken any medicine for several hours.

diabetes mexican food quesadilla
Quesadilla #3 under construction

Quesadilla #1, with tomato: 114 → 183
Quesadilla #2, no tomato: 106 → 141
Quesadilla #3, no tomato: 103 → 132

And you know what? The amount of tomato on Quesadilla #1 wasn’t even all that much! It was just ONE slice of tomato that I cut up into little pieces.

diabetes mexican food quesadilla
Quesadilla #3, ready to eat!

So having that little bit of tomato pushed my blood sugar up by +69 mg/dL. Not horrible, but is that tomato really worth it?

The other two quesadillas, sans tomato, increased the glucose by +35 and +29 mg/dL respectively.

And so, to answer the question of whether the tomato was worth it or not, the answer is a resounding NO!!!!

But the good news is that quesadillas are definitely on the menu, and that is very bueno.

How To Make a Quesadilla!

I make my quesadillas on a flat cast-iron griddle that sits on top of two burners on my stove, but you can just use a couple of pans if you don’t have a griddle.

The only thing that a beginner might screw up on a quesadilla is burning the tortilla! So watch out for that. Otherwise, it’s incredibly simple.

OH … and be sure to have your meat cooked and seasoned BEFORE you start the quesadilla! If you’re not sure how to season it, just cook it in a pan and mix it up with some salt, chili powder, and cumin powder. Or use one of those crappy “taco seasoning” envelopes from the grocery store.

diabetes mexican food quesadilla
I start with low-medium heat. Heat up one side of your tortilla until it starts to brown a little bit, then turn it over and spread out some cheese on it.
diabetes mexican food quesadilla
Lower the heat on your cheesy tortilla while you heat up your chicken or pork or whatever meat you’ve got.
diabetes mexican food quesadilla
With your cheesy tortilla still on low heat, add the meat …
diabetes mexican food quesadilla
Add onions …
diabetes mexican food quesadilla
DON’T add tomato!
diabetes mexican food quesadilla
Add jalapenos … and remember, you’re gonna fold this thing in half, so don’t go too crazy. Putting the jalapenos on only one side of the quesadilla would have been smarter, but I am not smart.
diabetes mexican food quesadilla
And you’re done! The tortilla should be crispy and a bit brown. With an overstuffed quesadilla like this, I usually put it on the plate before I flip it open to add sour cream and hot sauce.