Quesadillas are one of those Tex-Mex restaurant dishes that's just as good, if not better!, made at home. Perfect for a family, they're easily customizable, delicious, and both quick and easy to make. Anyone can make these and I'm talking to you, Aunt Kay! All you need is some kind of already cooked meat (or skip it and go vegetarian!) and at least a vegetable (or not and go carnivorous) and a hot skillet. But since the goal is to eat healthier and get in those 5 servings of veggies a day, I went with the cooked chicken breasts that I had simmered in the chicken and orzo soup I made earlier in the week, and the onions, mushrooms, and red and yellow peppers that magically appeared in my crisper. By magically, I mean that Auntie Miranda found on sale at Aldi's and was kind enough to pick up enough for both of our homes since they were so cheap--thanks Auntie!
Recipe by Glenna Anderson Muse
Makes 4 8" Quesadillas
1 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 Large Onion, cut into crescents
1 Lrg Red, Green, or Yellow Bell Pepper, cut into strips
4 oz White Button or Cremini Mushrooms, Sliced
8 8" Flour Tortillas (homemade are even better if you have time)
1 cup finely shredded, Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Garnish if desired: sour cream, salsa, jalapeno slices
Before firing off the quesadillas, have your ingredients prepared and handy because it goes pretty fast once you start cooking them.
Photos below directions of the step-by-step process.
1) Chicken breasts can be grilled, pan sautéed, or from rotisserie chicken. The most important part is they just need to be fully cooked and chopped into bite-sized pieces. Set aside
2) In a heavy skillet over medium heat, sauté the onions, mushrooms, and peppers in the tablespoon of olive oil until they are crisp tender. Remove from heat and set aside.
Once those two things are done, you're ready to make quesadillas
3) Using the same skillet as for veggies and/or chicken (and wiped out thoroughly) heat over medium heat. Spray one side of one tortilla (or lightly butter) and place that side down on the heating surface.
4) Scatter 2 Tbsp of cheese over the tortilla. Top with 1/4 of the vegetable mixture, 1/4 of the chicken, another 2 Tbsp of cheese, and top with another tortilla. Spray top side of top tortilla lightly with cooking spray or pre-butter it before placing on the stack. I use cooking spray because I like heats to a nice crisp non-greasy crust without adding calories, soaking lots of oil into the tortilla, but butter works fine.
5) Cook until the top layer of cheese is starting to melt, the insides are warmed, and the bottom tortilla is browned and crisp. Carefully and quickly flip the whole thing over. It sounds trickier than it is. The cheese keeps everyone in it's place. Continue to cook another minute or so until the 2nd tortilla is browned and crispy.
6)Serve by cutting into quarters or 6ths with a pizza cutter.
Garnish as desired with any or all: sour cream, salsa, pico de gallo, sliced jalapenos, etc.
May be served whole as a complete meal or as halves along with refried beans and a Tex-Mex rice.
Nutrition per each full 8" quesadilla: Calories 625; Protein: 44; Carbs: 51; Fat: 20; Fiber 3.
That is a plate full of food! Gene ate the whole thing in one sitting (I served it alone on it's own since it's meat, veggies, and bread) but I could only eat half in one sitting and then ate another slice a couple of hours later. The next day I made a half (1 tortilla) and it was plenty along with a small salad.