The holidays are over, the decorations have been put away for another year, but many have constant reminders of the holidays and a little too much indulging. Follow through on that resolution this year by simply resolving to eat better, more colorful food.
Doing this has more than one benefit. Who wants to eat, drab, colorless food? Of course, if it’s more colorful, it will certainly be more appealing, but it can also be healthier too. This is because different colored veggies and fruits supply different nutrients. For example, leafy greens like spinach, kale, collards and others contain iron, potassium, calcium and many of the B vitamins.
The following quesadilla recipe gets bright color from bell peppers and a bright, slightly sweet and spicy bite from just a touch of barbecue sauce. A squeeze of fresh lime juice at the end helps bring all of the flavors together.
Use any color bell peppers you prefer, but red and either orange or yellow are preferred here because they are high in vitamins A and C, beta carotene and cancer fighting antioxidants. Plus, they are sweeter than their green or purple counterparts.
As far as the spicy jalapeno is concerned, besides adding heat to these quesadillas the capsaicin in the peppers has actually been shown to kill cancer cells. Since the capsaicin is found in the seeds and membranes of the pepper, leave them in, if possible. A good sprinkling of cheese will help cut the heat.
Find a variety of great barbecue sauces and beautiful bell peppers at Reasor's.
BBQ Chicken Quesadillas
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 yellow onion, halved and cut into thin slices
- 1 red bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 orange or yellow bell pepper, seeded and cut into thin strips
- 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
- 2 packages pre-cooked chicken strips (fajita style)
- 2 tablespoons bbq sauce
- Juice of 1/2 lime
- 6 (8 inch) flour tortillas
- Cheddar-Jack cheese
Pick meat from chicken, discarding skin and bones; shred.
In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Once the oil is hot, add the butter. Sauté the onion for a few minutes until slightly browned. Add both bell peppers and the jalapeno. Cook until slightly softened, about 3-5 minutes.
Add the chicken strips to the skillet, along with the bbq sauce and lime juice. Cook briefly over medium heat until mixture is hot. Top with a good handful of the cheese.
Preheat a panini press or a skillet over medium-high heat. Place a tortilla on press and then place a third of the chicken mixture on it. Top with another tortilla and close lid of press. Cook until nicely browned about 5-8 minutes. If using a skillet, brown one side and then carefully flip over to brown other side.
Slide quesadilla onto plate and cut into fourths or as desired. Repeat with remaining chicken mixture and tortillas
Makes 3 quesadillas (about 4-6 servings)