TriathlEats: Quesadilla Del Sol

A healthy, spiced-up twist on a cheesy favorite.

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A healthy, spiced-up twist on a cheesy favorite.


For quesadilla:
½ red and ½ green bell peppers, sliced
¼ cup red onion, sliced
¼ cup pineapple, sliced
¼ cup plantains, sliced and sautéed to crisp
¼ cup tomatoes sliced
¼ cup black bean hummus
½ cup shredded mozzarella cheese
3 8-inch flour tortillas

For guacamole:
3 avocados, smashed with fork
Juice of 1 lime
Salt, to taste
1/3 cup pico de gallo

For Mexican rice:
2 cups long-grain white rice
¼ cup each frozen corn and peas
Salt, to taste
2 tomatoes
½ cup crushed canned tomatoes
½ onion
2 garlic cloves

For hummus:
1 cup canned black beans
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt, to taste
2 garlic cloves
2 T tahini paste


Make the guacamole by combining all ingredients together in a medium-size shallow bowl. For the black bean hummus, combine all ingredients in a blender until you reach the desired consistency (use the juice from pico de gallo or water as needed). To make the Mexican rice, in a blender, combine the tomatoes, crushed tomatoes, onion, garlic and enough water to give you 3 cups of liquid. Heat skillet on medium, and once hot, add enough canola oil to cover the pan. Add rice and stir to coat with the oil. Continue to stir rice every two minutes, until rice is golden brown. Slowly add tomato mixture from blender, corn, peas and salt, and stir. Bring to simmer, turn heat to low and cover. Cook for 15–20 minutes, turn heat off, and let sit for 10 minutes. To prepare the quesadilla, heat a nonstick pan on medium-high heat. One at a time, cover each tortilla entirely with cheese. Once cheese is melted, spread hummus on top of cheese, and set the tortillas aside. In a separate pan, combine all other ingredients and sauté with canola oil until tender. Add sautéed mixture on top of one tortilla, add second tortilla on top of tortilla with the mixture, add more sautéed veggies on top of the second one. Finally place last tortilla on the very top with hummus/cheese side down, then cut into quarters. Serve with rice, guacamole and pico de gallo.

RELATED: Chef Adam Gangewere’s Pico De Gallo Recipe

Meet the Triathlete-Chef

Almost 10 years ago, Adam Gangewere, armed with both a culinary arts degree and business degree, opened the Mexican restaurant Cactus Blue in Bethlehem, Pa. “At the time there weren’t many Mexican restaurants, and my wife and I enjoyed the cuisine,” he says. The small restaurant serves traditional dishes from chile rellenos to chimichangas and Baja-style fish tacos, and Gangewere acts as chef and owner. With a busy restaurant to run, he found that triathlon training was the most reliable way to make time for exercise. “I have three children, so I had to find something I can do and still have family time, something that I don’t need to rely on a whole team for, like basketball or softball,” he says. After doing sprint and Olympic distances, he recently tackled his first half-Ironman and hopes to eventually race an Ironman. Gangewere says the solitary pursuit suits him just fine: “I love competing against myself, I love trying to break previous race times.”

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