One Recipe, Two Meals: Beef Quesadillas for the Kids and Street Tacos for You

Make tacos — well, tacos and ooey-gooey cheesy quesadillas for those little ones biting at your heels.

It's hard to go through life without an unabashed obsession for tacos, am I right? It's tacos, for crying out loud. Tiny carb canoes with seasoned meat, maybe a fruit here, a veggie there, a sprinkling of delicious cheese, and a burst of fresh lime juice or maybe even a delightful salsa or sauce. I mean, tacos.

I kept these particular tacos on the street side, with simple seasoned grass-fed beef (regular beef is fine!), fresh onion and cilantro, and a bit of crumbled queso fresco, but I added a creamy side with cubed avocado and mango. Mmmm mmm. What makes these most street-y, though, is the use of corn tortillas, especially when you lightly char each one over an open flame on your stovetop — oooooooWEEEE. They're so amazing. So street-y. I like street-y. That came out wrong.

If your little ones aren't yet into seasoned, street tacos, I pause toward the beginning of the recipe and slide a little of the beef into tortillas with melty cheddar cheese for some quick quesadillas. Boom. Errrrrone's happy.

Get street-y! Err, you know what I mean.

One Recipe, Two Meals: Kiddie Beef Quesadillas and Street Beef Tacos

What it took for 2 kid quesadillas and 4 adult tacos:
1 pound grass-fed ground beef
1 teaspoon ground cumin
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup water
1 pinch salt and pepper
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
8 corn tortillas, divided
1 tablespoon chili powder
3 cloves garlic, minced

Toppings include: cubed avocado, cubed mango, thinly sliced red onion, crumbled queso fresco, cilantro and lime wedges

Heat a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add the ground beef and brown all over. Drain, if needed. Add the beef back to the pan and add 1 teaspoon cumin, a small pinch of salt and pepper, the halved cherry tomatoes and 1/4 cup water. Let simmer for 30 seconds. At this point, spoon out about 1/2 cup of beef. We're gonna make some quickie quesadillas for the little ones.

Heat another saute pan over medium heat. Place two tortillas in the pan and top each with half the shredded cheese. Add the reserved beef mix and top with remaining cheese. Place two more tortillas on top, and sear the quesadillas for about a minute per side, until the cheese has melted. You can even do this in the microwave to save time! (Also, flour tortillas work just as well.)

Slice quesadillas into fourths and serve to your kiddos!
Now, back to our tacos:

To the beef mix, add a tablespoon of chili powder, the minced garlic and maybe a little more water, if needed. Let simmer for another 30 seconds, once combined and fragrant.

If you have a gas stove, this is the fun part. Lightly char each corn tortilla right over the flame until you get some nice char marks on each side. Continue with the remaining tortillas.

Spoon the beef mix into the four taco shells, followed by an array of the toppings listed above. Serve with lime wedges.

Follow Bev on her blog, Bev Cooks, if you think you can even handle more.

Keep Reading