A basic chicken and cheese quesadilla is the answer to your hunger for filling comfort food that doesn't have to be unhealthy. Quesadillas are easy to customize to fit your taste preferences and are a filling & delicious snack or meal when paired with fruits and veggies.
What are you favorite cooking memories from childhood? What are you earliest culinary recollections?
That's a question I find almost impossible to answer. I have too many, which is a great thing in my opinion, so it was tough to think of my recipe for this month's Recipe ReDux.
But whenever I think of cooking memories, my brain instantly hops to my grandmother Nan.
If you've been reading the blog for awhile or are following me on Instagram, you've undoubtedly "met" Nan. If you've had the luxury to meet Nan, then you know why I always think of Nan when I think of cooking.
Nan is the best, and she's my primary inspiration for my love of cooking.
I feel so blessed to have a Nan. Whenever I am brainstorming recipe ideas or need to ask a question, I call Nan. She's better than Google.
Fun fact about Nan: she's not known for her health food. That's not to say Nan can't cook something fresh & healthy & delicious, but Nan is better known for her hash, cheese dip with bacon, beef tenderloin, and ice cream pie.
Another fun fact about Nan: never ask her for something to eat. Next thing you know the entire kitchen island (which is huge) is covered in God knows what and you're left feeling full from just looking at all that food.
Moral of the story: Always know exactly what you want to eat.
Ok so to the real point of this post: First Cooking Recollections and Chicken Quesadillas.
Chicken quesadillas are the first thing I really remember cooking regularly. Nan had a quesadilla maker so I always asked for a quesadilla (and fruit because Nan always had fruit for me and still does) whenever I went to Nan's.
I didn't have to worry about making any decisions. It was just "hey Nan, can you make me a quesadilla?"
She pulled out the butter, tortillas, cheese, and chicken, and in less than five minutes, I had a warm, cheesy, tasty meal made with love right in front of me.
[clickToTweet tweet="This chicken quesadilla fills your hunger for comfort food that isn't unhealthy. #TheRecipeReDux" quote="This chicken quesadilla fills your hunger for comfort food that isn't unhealthy. #TheRecipeReDux"]
So maybe it wasn't the healthiest meal on the block but it doesn't have to be that way.
Using a large whole grain tortilla (instead of a giant flour one) and just a tiny bit of butter (instead of a lot) makes these quesadillas a nourishing snack or light meal.
Eventually, Nan gave me my own quesadilla maker (which actually turned out to be an electric tortilla press - totally genius), and I made at least one quesadilla per week for my entire four years of high school.
Now when I make my quesadillas, I usually add in a few extra veggies with the chicken & cheese, but a basic chicken quesadilla brings me back to sitting at Nan's counter watching her cook and eating all the fruit in her kitchen.
- 1 ounce cooked chicken about 1/4 cup chopped
- 1 large whole grain tortilla
- 1 tsp butter
- 1 ounce cheese 1/4 cup, shredded
- salsa for serving
- Heat a skillet over medium-high heat.
- Spread butter on one side of a tortilla. Flip the tortilla so the butter side is down.
- Add the chicken to half of the tortilla (on the non-buttered side). Sprinkle the cheese over the chicken. Fold in half.
- Transfer to the skillet, and cook for 2-4 minutes per side until the cheese has melted and the tortilla is golden brown and crispy.
- Cut into slices and serve with salsa. Enjoy!
*Use any protein you like. Beans, turkey, steak, or tofu.
*Add 1/4 tsp garlic powder, 1/4 tsp paprika, and 1/8 tsp salt if desired.
*If your tortilla is frozen, thaw before filling.
Here are the other Recipe ReDux member's favorite memories from cooking: