Kale and Red Pepper Chicken Quesadillas
Yields: 4 whole quesadillas Prep Time: 20 minutes Total Time: 40 minutes
These quesadillas are not only packed with taste, but lots of antioxidant rich veggies such as kale and red pepper. Best of all, these nutrient-loaded ingredients are combined in such a way to make the flavors blend perfectly and appeal to even the pickiest eaters!
8 whole wheat tortillas
1 1/2 cups raw chicken breast, roughly chopped
1/4 cup red onion, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons red pepper
1/2 (packed) cup kale, leaves and no stem
1 clove garlic, minced
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground paprika
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1 tablespoon olive oil
Olive oil or butter for pan when making quesadillas
2 cups shredded cheese of your choice (cheddar and Mexican blend both work well)
1. Place chicken, red onion, red pepper, kale and minced garlic in a food processor and process until thoroughly combined and processed into smaller pieces.
2. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add mixture from food processor into pan along with salt, paprika, onion powder and garlic powder, cooking on medium heat until thoroughly cooked.
3. If using the same pan for the quesadillas, remove chicken mixture and heat pan on medium with a bit of olive oil or butter.
There are two ways you can make the quesadillas. See below for both methods and measurements.
4. You can make a whole one at one time, using two tortillas. For this method, place the first tortilla in the pan, then add 1/2 cup of the chicken mixture and 1/2 cup shredded cheese, spread out evenly. Then, place a second tortilla on top. After a minute or so, gently flip the whole tortilla to cook evenly until lightly browned on the other side.
5. Or, you can make half a quesadilla at a time with simply folding. This method is a bit easier, as you don’t have to worry about ingredients falling out as much when flipping. Place one tortilla in the pan, then add 1/4 cup of the chicken mixture and 1/4 cup of shredded cheese. Fold it in half to finish cooking until lightly browned on both sides.
These have been a big hit in our house lately, which is saying a lot. I feel like everyone is going through an incredibly picky stage. No melted cheese for one, only melted cheese for another, and the third is simply boycotting bread. (Yeah, don’t get that one either.)
Anyway, I was looking for a way to make quesadillas, which usually work for everyone (even the bread boycotter), and yet wanted to boost the nutrition a bit. Shredded chicken doesn’t go over well with my middle one lately, so I decided to bring out the trusty food processor. And it really worked well.
Red pepper can add great flavor, yet can have a tougher skin, being a detractor for anyone who is sensitive to texture. Placing it in the food processor really helps bring out the flavor, but get rid of the challenge of texture.
Also, I need more than bread and cheese for dinner. That may have worked in college, but I’m getting older, and I need at least some vegetable and protein in a meal. I have had digestive issues my whole life, but have resolved many of them with diet and believe it or not, dealing with emotions. I’ve tried a gluten free diet at one point, and although I did notice some benefits here and there, ultimately it was switching to a diet rich in whole foods that really made a difference. And of course managing stress, but that’s a whole other challenge to tackle!
Back to the recipe…the ground chicken blends perfectly with the kale, red pepper, onion and spices. It makes for a satisfying and healthy filling that brings a lot more to the table than just bread and cheese.
It really is hard getting healthy food to the table as the kids are getting older. I thought it would be easier because I would have more time, you know, because they aren’t babies anymore. I don’t know about you as your kids grow, but I am realizing I couldn’t have been more wrong! Although, it is making me get out of my comfort zone to try new foods and more importantly, new combinations!