I first posted this in 2007, when I had a house full of young men. Things have changed and it is quiet around here now. We still love these Quesadillas. Buy some flour tortillas and cheese and clean out your refrigerator for leftovers to use as fillings — meat, vegetables, whatever you have. I cook these on my electric grill.
My Original Post:
I’m not really a football fan, so to me the Superbowl not a note-worthy event. I never planned a party, never intended to have a party. However, it seems that if you have give birth to four boys, then you are automatically drafted to host the party on short notice 18-25 years later.
Our house is always full of teenage boys, so I should have planned ahead I guess. Anyway, I am now hosting a Super Bowl Party.
I am choosing to serve Quesadillas, mainly because they are so cheap, easy, and versatile. If you have tortillas and cheese, you can make Quesadillas with whatever is in your fridge and pantry. I’ll also serve some Nacho’s. Maybe even throw in some Hot Wings if they are nice to me. (They always are.) I probably should buy some munchies and sodas as well.
Here is a recipe and some further ideas for Quesadillas. You can toast these in a skillet, in the oven, or I usually just throw them on the George Foreman, two at a time. No need for a quesadilla maker. (The grill does put ridges on them, but who cares?) Don’t stuff these too heavily, a little filling makes a nice easily manageable finger food. Just make (and eat) more of them.
4 flour tortillas
1 cup Monterey jack cheese, shredded
1 cup stemmed, coarsely chopped watercress or arugula
1 tablespoon thinly sliced red onion
1 tablespoon tomato, finely chopped
1 tablespoon garlic (optional)
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, finely chopped
Salt and pepper to taste
Lightly oil the grill rack and place it about 4 inches above the coals.
Over medium heat, grill the tortillas for about 1 minute. Turn over and sprinkle with the remaining ingredients. Cover loosely with heavy-duty foil (or the grill hood) and cook until cheese melts (about 1 minute), checking to ensure that tortillas do not burn.
To serve, remove from grill and cut into wedges. Serve with salsa, guacamole or sour cream.
Other Filling Ideas
Use a mixture of Morzarella and Feta Cheese, greek olives, and diced onions. Flavor with fresh or dried oregano, basil, and rosemary.
Use Monterey Jack cheese and cheddar cheese mix with diced roasted chicken. Add fresh or grilled onions and bell peppers.
Stuff with grilled or lightly stir-fried vegetables such as zucchini, onion, mushrooms, peppers… any that you like. Add a slice of provolone cheese or freshly grated parmesan.
Getting a healthy meal on the table every night does not need to be a struggle. The key is to have a healthy meal plan that is flexible enough to accommodate the stresses of working families. The USDA recommends that Americans increase the consumption of vegetables, fruits and whole grains, while eating less fat and sugar. Traditional Southern meals often contain far more fat and sugar than they should, but healthier options are available. Aim to eat healthy versions of your favorites on an everyday basis and save the high fat and high sugar versions for special occasions.
Eat Seafood Twice a Week
Not only is fish a healthy menu option, but it is quick to prepare. Save the fried fish for special occasions and opt for grilled salmon or salmon patties, Cajun blackened fish , seafood gumbo, shrimp and grits or shrimp etouffee. Serve with brown rice or wild rice, okra or green beans and tomatoes. Finish with a serving of fresh fruit.
Beef or Pork Once a Week
Throw a small pot roast in the crock pot in the morning for an easy week night meal. Add a little beef broth and an assortment of vegetables. It will be ready to serve when you arrive home after a long day. Thicken the juices to make gravy or serve it au jus. Use 1-inch pieces of beef to make a hearty crock pot stew in the winter.
Serve grilled or broiled pork chops with mashed sweet potatoes and a green salad. Stewed apples or ginger spiced pineapple are a nice sweet finish for this meal.
Poultry Once a Week
When you think of Southern chicken you probably think of fried chicken, but there are a lot of healthy options available. If you prefer your chicken fried, try a healthier oven-fried chicken recipe. Serve with homemade biscuits, corn-on-the-cob and a salad or green vegetable.
Prepare weeknight barbecue chicken: broil chicken breasts or chicken tenders in the oven or cook them on the grill pan, topping them with barbecue sauce during the last few minutes of cooking.
Stew chicken pieces with whole wheat noodles to make a healthy version of chicken and dumplings or cook them with rice for the Southern chicken and rice favorite. Offer green beans and tomatoes on the side.
Current nutritional recommendations include eating meatless meals two or three times a week. Traditional Southern foods offer many options for healthy meatless meals. Try a low-fat version of macaroni and cheese or center your meal around Southern peas and beans. Offer a variety of fresh vegetables and fruits and a square of cornbread with these meals. Sweet potatoes, baked potatoes or corn make good starches for these meals.
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