Quesadilla Explosion Salad

Take THAT Chili’s!

This salad is for anyone that went to a restaurant and thought, “I could probably do that better.” Or, in my case, “I could probably make that healthier.” They have a similar salad to this at Chili’s, buuuuut mine is MUCH healthier for you.

When my friend Francee came over last night, we went to the grocery store and I asked her, “What do you want for dinner tonight?”

She looked at me, puzzled and said, “Don’t you have a recipe? Or a list already?”

We ended up settling on salad – and who needs a recipe for that?!?!

Oh, you do? Okay, well here’s a bit of our fun from last night, and I suppose I could also include a “recipe.”

First, get your friend to start making the guacamole.

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Here’s the basic idea behind guacamole:

  • 1 Avocado (cubed and then mashed – make sure it’s ripe)
  • 1/4 C chopped cilantro
  • Juice of one Lemon (or as much as you need to make it creamy)
  • diced onion
  • diced tomatoes (we used cherry tomatoes and halved them)
  • Sprinkle of cumin and salt

Have a friend mix together until you both agree upon desired taste. :)

For added heat, you can also add in jalapeno pepper (diced very small) and make sure you remember to take the seeds out. Also, do not even think about rubbing your eyes or face during the cutting process. You’ll regret it later.

Alright. The guacamole is ready, now it’s time to prepare the salad.

First step, roast the corn. This is how I do mine, but for any of you with an electric burner stove top, you could also do it over a grill.

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I keep it going until it looks pretty black on the outside – don’t worry. You haven’t ruined it. It’s not ruined until the corn kernels start looking deflated – at that point, you’ve cooked it too long and dried it out.

After the corn is roasted, cut the kernels off. You’ll use these to top your salad later. Put them in a safe place where you won’t forget them.

Next, I would probably start on the chicken. I made mine in a little skillet with some olive oil. I did take the chicken breast and pounded it out a little – just enough to make it all the same thickness. This way, you won’t have to dry out part of the chicken to cook the thickest part. After I pounded it, I sprinkled it with a little seasoning. This time I used adobo spice, cumin, garlic, and salt. Anything mexican inspired would do though.

While I was cooking the chicken, Francee was peering over my shoulder – asking me, “How do you know when the chicken is done?” I know when it’s done by poking it. If I poke it with the tongs or fork and it seems squishy, it’s not done. If it seems firm – it’s probably done. I always chance it and if I’m wrong, put it back on for a little bit. After all, it’s very easy to fix some undercooked chicken – but impossible to fix an overcooked chicken.

After the chicken is done, I set it aside to rest. It’s been through a lot, so you want to give it some time.

Use the same skillet that you cooked the chicken in to cook your onions and peppers. I just added a smidge more olive oil and and let them cook until they started looking a little soft. Once, I had them right where I wanted them – I took them off the heat and set them aside.

Next I made the little triangles of cheese quesadillas. I didn’t use a lot of cheese – just enough to stick the two sides of tortilla together. Why? Cheese isn’t really very good for you. But it is delicious. I always recommend that my patients use real cheese, but try to use less of it. In this case I used a sharp cheddar because it has a strong taste, you won’t feel like you’re getting shorted on cheese.

They’re pretty simple to make. Make sure the pan has a teeny bit of oil or butter, but the tortilla down, sprinkle cheese, fold over the other half of the tortilla. Wait a minute or so, and then flip. Really hard. I know. You want me to go over it again, or do you think you have it?

After that it’s basic assembly until you have something that looks kinda sorta like this:

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I may not be the best food photographer YET, but I only expect to get better in time.

Here’s the entire list of ingredients:

Quesadilla Explosion Salad

  • Romaine Lettuce, chopped
  • Sauteed Onions and peppers, chopped into large chunks
  • 1 Ear of Roasted Corn, cut off the cob
  • Cherry Tomatoes, halved
  • Chicken, grilled or sauteed in pan
  • A teeny drizzle of olive oil
  • A generous splash of Rice Vinegar (very important – this is your “dressing”)
  • A sprinkle of Chopped Cilantro
  • A sprinkle of shredded cheddar cheese
  • Triangle Cheese Quesadillas
  • A spoonful of guacamole

Assemble ingredients as desired.

Thank your friend for his/her help… Ahem, thanks Francee. You’re the best.

Enjoy. :)

6 thoughts on “Quesadilla Explosion Salad

  1. I love me some cilantro Sarah! It makes everything more…alive, don’t you think? I’ve actually had “people” ask me how you know when chicken is done (people we may both know) and now, I’m glad that I can refer them to this blog post, lol!

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