Add some zest to your new year

Helen Keown


Helen Keown

A quesadilla is a folded tortilla, filled with cheese and other fillings that is a popular street food in Mexico
Hello and welcome to all about food. Need some inspiration? Look no further…

Hello and welcome to all about food. Need some inspiration? Look no further…

Ask gingergirl

Hello gingergirl,

I’m not the most imaginative person when it comes to snacks and with my teenager son and his friends eating constantly this is quite the challenge! Do you have any suggestions?

Many thanks,

Louise, Dooradoyle.

Hello Louise,

I have no doubt this is a problem in many homes, with teenage boys the kings of the insatiable appetite! What you need is something tasty and speedy and something that can be made with what ever is in your larder or fridge on any given day. Quesadillas spring immediately to mind; originating from Mexico, a Quesadilla is a folded corn or flour tortilla, filled with cheese and other fillings and cooked until the cheese melts.

Quesadillas are very versatile in terms of the endless combination of fillings -with cheese as the main filling - try: leftover meats and chicken, chorizo, olives, peppers, mushrooms, jalapeno peppers, refried beans or red onion. Here’s a classic to get you started.

Hot & Cheesy Quesadillas!

(serves 4 hungry teenagers!)

250g of cheddar cheese, grated

4 tomatoes, roughly chopped

1 green or red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped (a spring onion, finely sliced would also be good)

A handful of coriander, leaves roughly chopped

8 flour tortillas

Oil for brushing

Put the cheese, tomatoes, chilli and coriander leaves into a bowl with some seasoning and mix well.

Warm the tortillas in the microwave according to pack instructions - this makes them soft and easier to work with. Divide the cheese mix over one half of each tortilla. Fold over the other half to make 8 half-moons and press down to seal.

Brush the tops with a little oil, then sit, oil-side down, on a hot griddle or dry frying pan. Cook for a couple of minutes until crisp and golden, brush the uncooked side with oil, then flip over for another few mins. Slice into wedges and pile onto a warmed plate while you cook the rest. Quesadillas are delicious served with guacamole, salsa or soured cream and lots of crisp salad.

Green Acre 

The New Year brings resolutions and good intentions for many, for those of you thinking about growing your own produce, it’s time to check out Green Acre Allotments in the very beautiful setting of Murroe.

John and Marie Hassett are busy getting ready for the new season (January and February is potato planting time) so give them a call and get digging! Contact John on 087 6555 260 or email:

Contact gingergirl


Gingergirl aka Helen Keown is an artisan food producer who produces a range of handmade luxury jams, preserves and chutney’s made from local, seasonal or organic ingredients. Helen’s produce is available nationwide from independent food emporiums and is also available at selected food delis across Europe.

Letters to ‘gingergirl’ c/o The Limerick Leader, 54 O’Connell St. Limerick.

You can follow gingergirl on Twitter – under gingergirlfood or on Facebook – under ‘gingergirl’.