Tasty Thursday: Make Yourself a Dang Quesadilla!

I love Mexican food. I don't think I have met a Mexican dish that I haven't liked, and with so many different varietes, there's an entree out there for everyone to enjoy. One of my most favorite Mexican meals to make are quesadillas. They are quick, easy, and can be a healthy dinner choice or fast snack on the go. At many restaurants, quesadillas are sold, but they are also rather pricey. I generally see them priced somewhere around $12-$14. For that same price, you can make enough quesadillas to feed more than just yourself, and  the good news is you can make these tasty treats either on the stove top or in the microwave. If you are someone living in the dorm, the microwave option is great and it allows you to eat something different once in a while. Sure, commons food is tasty, but it can get old quickly. Here are some tasty quesadilla choices I have found make a lovely meal.

Chicken Quesadilla

There's a few different ways you can make this creation. I like to start off with boneless chicken breast (wait for it to go on sale) and chop it up. After that, I add some taco seasoning and prepare it like I would if I was making a taco. After the chicken is cooked through, I I generally start off with a wheat tortilla shell(soft taco),  and place it in a slightly greased pan on the stove top. I then add my favorite cheeses (I find that cheddar and jack are quite tasty in a 'dilla') and fresh corn. I can't take credit for the corn idea. That was in inspiration of my younger sister. Even still, you should try it because it's tasty and amazing. After placing in those three ingredients, I fold the tortilla shell in half and essentially brown both sides. As soon as the cheese has melted, the meal is complete. Cut into quarters and enjoy. If you are in a dorm, and don't have access to an oven, instead of buying raw chicken, buy canned chicken chunks and use that. Better yet, buy a rotisserie chicken and take the meat off from there. It takes a bit more work, but worth it. I found a rather tasty looking recipe, which includes bacon and avocado as well to the chicken quesadilla. Check it out here.

Beef Quesadilla

This generally starts the same way as a chicken quesadilla, with the exception of cooking the beef instead. I wouldn't go too crazy with meat selections. A decent sirloin will do the trick. There is no need to be splurging on a filet or rib eye. Take the beef and grill it up to your desired temperature and set aside. I like to add peppers and onions to my beef quesadillas. I sauté them both up, which allows the sweetness of the onion to come through. After those three ingredients are cooked, start again with a tortilla and add your favorite cheeses on one side. After that, add the peppers, onions and steak, and fold the other half over. Grill it up so the cheese is nice and melty (I'm not sure that is a real word) and cut into pieces. All you have to do now is enjoy! This recipe I found adds a few elements to the beef quesadilla, like tomatoes and garlic.

Vegetarian Quesadilla

What's a quesadilla without meat you may ask? Actually, it's quite tasty and can be very healthy as well. Instead of using meat in your 'dilla', use some nice firm tofu. The nice thing about tofu is that it generally soaks up the flavor of whatever it is paired with so it's very versatile. Add this to your favorite veggies and some cheese and grill away. If you're a meat eater, you may be surprised at the results. Believe me, it's tasty.

These are just a few of the variations on the seemingly endless possibilities with quesadillas. I didn't even touch on the use of sour cream, salsa, guacamole or black beans. Make your own creations and share them with me! I'm always looking for new foods to try. You may not be able to teach an old dog new tricks, but you can put new spins on old favorites!

What kind of Mexican food do you eat?

Seth P.