Monday, February 4, 2008

Easy Post-Superbowl Quesadillas

Did you read that Americans consume 30 million pounds of snack foods while watching the Superbowl (about 1200 calories and 50 grams of fat - oh my!) and then also eat dinner? Well, my husband and I did eat our share of snack foods, but as these are really a treat for us, they were our dinner. We tried some of the new whole grain chips, some low-fat chips, some veggie chips, some fruit chips (yuk, don't bother buying these - they tasted like some overly-sweetened kids' cereal!) and served them with fat-free bean dip, homemade salsa (our last jar - next year we make much more of this!) and some guacamole. Actually, the bean dip, salsa, and guacamole were all really healthy foods.  

So what did I do for Monday night's dinner? I cleaned out the refrigerator, lined up all the little bits of this and that still hanging out from the last couple of days and combined them into some tasty, easy, and healthy quesadillas.

Here is what I found and put between 2 tortillas and grilled on my Jenn-air cooktop:
• Whole grain tortillas - 2 per serving (found at Trader Joe's)
• Leftover pinto bean dip from the Superbowl (2-3 Tbsp spread on one tortilla)
• Leftover Red Pepper Pesto Sauce (link is to the recipe on my web site) (1-2 Tbsp spread on the other tortilla
• Leftover chicken breast (about 1 ounce shredded on one tortilla)
• Leftover cooked and peeled sweet potato (about 1/2 cup cut into small pieces smashed and spread on one tortilla)
• Leftover cheddar cheese (about 1-2 Tbsp. shredded and spread onto one tortilla)

Put 2 tortillas together, heat on your grill, in the oven, or in a non-stick frying pan until the tortillas and fillings are thoroughly warmed through and ready to eat (be careful not to burn). 

Serve with any left over salsa and guacamole. I also serve this with a tossed green salad if I have not already eaten greens of some type earlier in the day. 

Obviously this is a flexible recipe. You may use anything you find in your refrig that sounds good to your family. I have added leftover cooked greens in the past. I would have loved to have had some caramelized onions ready to add. 

In addition, I have made quesadillas in the past using refried black beans instead of pinto beans, which I think gave the final recipe a fuller flavor. I have used small amounts of smoked gouda cheese, which is just downright scrumptious, and very little is needed because the cheese is so full of flavor. 

So enjoy an easy dinner night. Having some tortillas on hand (in the freezer is ok as they just take a minute to thaw at room temperature) makes this an easy dinner anytime when you have little bits of foods that need to be used up. 

Here is the grace I said tonight:

Let us live together, eat together
Together, let us do noble deeds and share the fruits
Let us understand each other, casting aside jealousy and ill-will
Let us all work for peace and peace alone.
~~Hindu Prayer

Diana Dyer, MS, RD

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