Wednesday, September 25

Pumpkin Spinach Quesadillas (Rachael Ray Recipe # 4 of 30)

Hello fall. Its pumpkin time again!! So are you enjoying the fall season so far? I totally am. This is the 2nd pumpkin recipe I have tried! Super excited to eat all things pumpkin again. I have been watching tons of football, starting to not need my a.c. so much, and enjoying being outside at the park again with my kiddo. Yay for cooler weather! Speaking of football I have something perfect for sitting and eating at your next game (or sitting, eating, and yelling at the giants defense). Don't ask it was a rough week in fantasy football land. 

Pumpkin. Spinach. Cheesy Quesadillas. Having a spinach and cheese quesadillas would be healthy or just having a pumpkin quesadilla would be healthy but this combines both powerhouse veggies into one inviting cheesy meal. The diverse textures such as melted cheese, fresh veggies slightly softened to a tender crisp, and a small crunch from the walnuts give your taste buds a change from the ordinary. This is something fun, cheesy, you can eat with your hands. It can't get much better than that, right?

When I say quick I mean like 10-15 minutes and you're eating. This recipe was an emergence from a Rachael Ray recipe from her October 2012 issue Everyday and from the blog Taste For Life. I liked several aspects of both so I came up with this unusually tasty gem. The textures in this dish are so much fun.... cheesy melted cheese, fresh veggies, and a small crunch from the walnuts. 

Makes 2 large Quesadillas - Serves 2-4 depending on appetites - 16 wedges
Cook time: approximately 10 minutes

1/2 cup canned pumpkin (make sure its only pumpkin not the pie mix)
1/4 cup packed fresh baby spinach
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted in a dry pan for a few minutes over medium
2 oz of low moisture mozzarella cheese, shredded (about 2 handfuls) or more
1 green onion
1/2 tsp Mexican oregano (regular oregano is okay too)
4 large or burrito size tortillas 
1 chicken breast, flattened or use 1 cup of chopped leftover chicken
1/2 tsp ground cumin

1. Mix the the pumpkin, oregano, and cumin together in a bowl. 

2. Lay two of the 4 tortillas down and begin to layer the ingredients. First spread out the pumpkin mixture. Second sprinkle half of the shredded cheese on both tortillas. Third layer the sliced green onion, toasted walnuts, and fresh spinach. Note in the picture above I didn't even cut my baby spinach... just washed it and was good to go.

3. If you have leftover chicken shred it and put it on top of each tortilla next. If you don't have any leftovers, poach 1 chicken breast in 1/2-1 cup of water for about 6 minutes each side or use leftover chicken until it is well down. Let it rest for a minute and thinly slice the chicken. Place it over the spinach.

4. Top the chicken with the remaining cheese to act like glue and hold it together. Put the remaining tortilla on top like a sandwich.

5. Use two hands or a spatula to set the fully layered tortillas into a quesadilla maker on a flat skillet. and cook until golden brown and cheese is melted. Flip once if using a skillet. Sometimes even putting a dinner plate & a can of something from the pantry on top of the quesadilla while it cooks on a skillet helps compact the ingredients so the cheese binds things together faster.  

6. Cut into wedges and serve with some chips, salsa, &/or guacamole

Lets get into the fall spirit with a fun easy meal 
everyone will enjoy. 
From my kitchen to yours

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Please feel to comment about the pictures or recipe above. Looking forward to reading your comments. Happy reading, cooking, eating, and sharing good food!