katiejeancooks

Real Food For Families

Salmon Quesadillas

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I can’t believe that I have not done a post on quesadillas until now. There are so many, many reasons why I love them. It started back when I played in a golf league, years ago when I was single. We used to go out to eat afterwards and I think that every single time, I ordered some form of quesadillas. In fact, during my 20’s and 30’s, I may have ordered quesadillas 98% of the time when eating out. They never, ever disappointed me. Oddly enough, though, I never tried to make them at home. After I got married, I came to realize that my husband liked salmon. He liked salmon a lot…almost as much as I liked quesadillas. So one day, while searching for new salmon recipes, I stumbled upon Salmon Quesadillas. “This is awesome!” I said to myself…well, not really, this was before people said “Awesome!” so much. I probably said something like, “Holy smokes, Batman! This is the perfect meal!” So I went and bought canned wild salmon and basil and mozzarella cheese and tortilla wraps…and made my very first quesadillas at home. And holy smokes, Batman, they were awesome!!

SALMON QUESADILLAS
~4 soft tortilla wraps (100% whole wheat if possible)
~melted butter or olive oil
~1 can of wild pink salmon
~2 cloves of garlic, minced
~2 teaspoons of dried basil
~ground black pepper
~shredded mozzarella cheese, about 2 cups

1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
2. Drain the salmon and pick it apart to remove all of the bones (this is the most difficult part of this recipe…I hate doing this, tedious and kind of ick!)
3. Heat a tablespoon or two of olive oil or butter in a skillet and sautée the garlic for a minute or so.
4. Add the salmon, basil and a few grinds of fresh black pepper. Cook over medium heat for about 8 to 10 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat and let it cool while you prepare the tortillas.
5. Lightly brush one side of each tortilla wrap with melted butter or olive oil.
6. Place the wraps, buttered side down, on a large rimmed baking sheet.
7. On one half of each wrap, layer shredded mozzarella cheese, then 1/4 of the salmon mixture, then more shredded cheese. Fold the other half of the wrap over and press them down slightly to flatten.
8. Place the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 4 to 5 minutes, flip them over and continue to bake, 4 to 5 minutes on the second side.
9. Remove from oven and let cool slightly, then cut them in half with a pizza cutter or scissors.

Now, of course, my kids won’t touch these, so I make them a plain cheese version. And that is one of the great things about quesadillas…you can put whatever you want in them and it’s fairly easy to make a few different kinds at the same time to accommodate everyone’s tastes. Some combinations we have tried…sliced apples and cheddar cheese, diced cooked chicken and feta cheese, diced pepperoni and mozzarella cheese…the possibilities are endless.

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Chickpea Salad

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I found a version of this Ina Garten recipe while perusing the recipe archives of A Life From Scratch and thought it was a nice way to pretend that we live in a much warmer climate. It has been a looooonnnnng winter where we live and it is showing no signs of ending anytime soon. So dice up some cucumbers, slice some tomatoes, squeeze some lemons and think spring. It’s got to arrive eventually!

Chickpea Salad
For the salad:
~2, 15 oz. cans of garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
~cherry tomatoes, about 20, sliced in half
~one cucumber, diced (I remove the seeds also…slice in half lengthwise and scrape a spoon down the middle to remove them)
~6 scallions, thinly sliced
~handful each of chopped, fresh basil, mint and parsley (our grocery store sells small recipe ready quantities of fresh herbs that work well for this)
~6 oz. crumbled feta cheese

For the dressing:
~juice and zest of 2 lemons
~2 cloves garlic, minced
~1/2 to 1 teaspoon salt
~1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
~1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil

1. Combine all of the salad ingredients.
2. Whisk together the lemon juice/zest, garlic, salt and pepper.
3. Slowly whisk the olive oil into the lemon juice mixture.
4. Drizzle as much of the dressing over the salad as you prefer.
5. Check your calendar again…yes…it’s still February 😕.

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Game Day

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While the rest of the country is gearing up for tomorrow’s “Big Game Day”, here in Syracuse, our big game is today! Syracuse University’s Men’s Basketball team is undefeated and going up against the legendary Duke Blue Devils for the first time since moving from the Big East to the ACC. For those of you who don’t follow college basketball…I know this means nothing …but here in the ‘Cuse, where everyone bleeds orange…this game is going to be a lot of fun to watch!

So we’re serving up home made chicken wings, meatball sliders, macaroni & cheese, salad (I had to sneak something good for us in there!) and orange cheese doodles!! Yes, I am giving in for one day and letting the kids eat cheese doodles and Doritos. But that is the beauty of trying to eat well most of the time. When these special occasions come along, you don’t sweat the bag of artificial colors and flavors you’re letting your kids consume.

I do want to share the recipe for the chicken wings and sauce. I completely stole this from Catherine Newman’s blog, Ben & Birdy, so I will send you right over there. What I love about it…the hot sauce she recommends for making the classic Buffalo wing sauce…has 5 ingredients, all real food! Win! Enjoy the game!

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