Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Black Bean Chicken Quesadillas

I grew up in a meat and potatoes house. But dinner does not have to be a separated affair, with the food groups all in their respective corners on a plate. It has taken me a long time but I am finally starting to let go of this concept. I also have to remind myself that meat is not the only source of protein. Not that I truly forget these things, I just fall into a rut now and then.

  This quick and easy meal has 3 protein sources (chicken, beans, and cheese) sandwiched between whole wheat tortillas. We eat so much fresh fruit and veggies throughout the day that I think it's ok to let this dinner shine on its own. But you could certainly serve it with any veg your family loves, or even set out a veggie tray with hummus or dip for the kids to snack on while you make the quesadillas. (This takes the pressure off and they just may surprise you with how much they eat.)

Black Bean Chicken Quesadillas
Makes 4

What I use:
  • 8 whole wheat soft taco-sized tortillas
  • Refried beans made with black beans (or you could use a can)
  • 1 lb. boneless skinless chicken breast, cooked and shredded (I poach it)
  • 1 package taco seasoning mix, plus water called for on package
  • 1 c. shredded cheese (we like colby jack, but any cheddar is fine)

How I do it:

1. Prepare the chicken according to the taco seasoning package. Set aside.

2. Lay a tortilla down and spread the refried beans on it in a thin layer, leaving a 1/2 inch border all the way around.

3. Spread the seasoned chicken on top of the beans, again in a thin layer. (I know it's tempting to lay it on thick, but then your quesadilla won't hold together well.)

4. Sprinkle 1/4 c. of the cheese on top of the chicken.

5. Lay the other tortilla on top and lightly press down.

6. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and spray with a little cooking spray.

7. Cook the quesadilla for 2 to 3 minutes per side, until golden brown and crispy. (Spray a little cooking spray on the top tortilla before flipping so that side gets crispy.)

8. Let it rest on a cutting board for 5 minutes before cutting. (If you skip this step, the cheese will be runny and everything will squeeze out of the quesadilla.)

9. Using a pizza cutter (or a very sharp knife), cut the quesadilla into wedges. Slide it onto a plate and serve with sour cream and salsa.

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