Speaking of homemade dinners, since one of my biggest passions in life is cooking and trying new foods, you will see me post lots of new recipes here. I do have quite the lovely collection of cookbooks but these days you don't even need to invest in cookbooks to get cooking. Their are a wealth of websites full of FREE recipes on the internet waiting to be attempted. A couple of my favorites include www.myrecipes.com and www.foodnetwork.com. A friend also recently introduced me to a particularly thrifty version called www.5dollardinners.com. If recipe browsing on the world wide web isn't your thing, your local library should offer a host of cookbooks available for FREE checkout and a good collection of cooking magazines to thumb through.
Below is a new recipe I tried this week. At first I was a little weary of the cranberry pear salsa and when I taste tested by itself I wasn't that impressed. However, it is the combination of ingredients between the quesadilla and salsa together that is really outstanding. This is an excellent fall recipe for when pears are at their peak and thus least expensive. A restaurant such as Red Robin charges $9.99 for their equivelant menu item Chicken Quesadillas. With Tax and Tip you are looking at a total of $13.00 the same amount for the entire recipe below which could feed up to 6 to 8 people. That's at least a 600% return on investment. Additionally, the ingredients are fresher, healthier, and available in the convenience of your own home.
Cranberry Sauce $2.00
Green Onions $0.75
Anjou Pear $0.75
Jack Cheese $3.00
Pantry Items - Cumin, Cooking Spray, Sour Cream
Jack Quesadillas with Cranberry Salsa
This salsa is also great on turkey sandwiches. To make meatless quesadillas, use sautéed vegetables in place of the turkey.
1 cup whole-berry cranberry sauce
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
2 tablespoons chopped green onions
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 Anjou pear, cored and finely diced
1 jalapeño pepper, seeded and minced
1/4 cup (2-inch-thick) slices green onions
1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Monterey Jack cheese with jalapeño peppers
8 (8-inch) flour tortillas
2 cups chopped cooked turkey
1/2 cup fat-free sour cream
To prepare salsa, combine first 7 ingredients. Cover and chill.
To prepare quesadillas, heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 1/4 cup sliced onions to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until tender. Remove onions from pan; reduce heat to medium. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons cheese over each of 4 tortillas. Top each cheese-covered tortilla with one-fourth of onions, 1/2 cup turkey, 2 tablespoons cheese, and 1 tortilla.
Recoat pan with cooking spray. Add 1 quesadilla to pan; cook 2 minutes on each side or until lightly browned and cheese melts. Repeat with remaining quesadillas. Cut each quesadilla into 6 wedges. Serve with cranberry salsa and sour cream.
Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 3 wedges, about 1/4 cup salsa, and 1 tablespoon sour cream)
CALORIES 356 (25% from fat); FAT 9.7g (sat 4.2g,mono 3.5g,poly 1.2g); IRON 2.7mg; CHOLESTEROL 42mg; CALCIUM 218mg; CARBOHYDRATE 47.8g; SODIUM 372mg; PROTEIN 19.4g; FIBER 3g
Cooking Light, NOVEMBER 2004