June 26, 2012

Guest Post {The Fountain Avenue Kitchen}

This is my FAVORITE restaurant salad, which I have remade to be healthy but seriously satisfying. I absolutely adore it. The salad incorporates my recipes for ranch dressing and black bean salsa and is an extra-easy dinner if you have leftovers from a roasted (or rotisserie) chicken. Use the salsa another night for a grilled chicken, steak, or fish topper or as a salsa for tortilla chips. The ranch dressing is another favorite in our house, although you may certainly substitute your favorite store-bought brand. I used to make the quesadillas with flour tortillas, but my new favorite way is to use whole wheat pita bread. A little cheese on the outside makes for a crusty and extra-yummy outcome.

Southwestern Chicken Quesadilla Salad

Mixed greens- romaine, or lettuce of choice
tomato grapes- halved
black bean salsa (recipes to follow)
ranch dressing
whole wheat cheddar chicken quesadillas 
optional garnishes
chopped cilantro
black olives

Lightly toss lettuce greens with ranch dressing. Top with black bean salsa, tomatoes, and optional garnishes. Place a few wedges of quesadilla around the edges and enjoy! 

 Black Bean Salsa:
1 red pepper, diced
1 yellow pepper, diced
1/2 cup red onion, diced
1 cup corn, frozen and thawed; fresh if available
1 15-ounce can black beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup cilantro
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons lime juice
kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste  

Whole Wheat Cheddar Chicken Quesadillas:

whole wheat pita bread
shredded cheddar cheese
cooked chicken, sliced or shredded
salsa for serving, optional

Carefully cut the pita bread in half horizontally. Rub a little olive oil on the outside of both halves. Layer cheese, then chicken, then a bit more cheese on one half. I use about a quarter cup of each, but you can eyeball it. Top with the other pita half and grill on a panini maker for three minutes. You can also grill one side at a time on the stovetop. A cast iron pan or grill pan will work especially well.

For a crusty top, sprinkle about a teaspoon or two of additional cheese on top of the quesadilla prior to grilling.  

Better-For-You Ranch Dressing
1/3 cup low-fat buttermilk
3 tablespoons 2% plain Greek yogurt
3 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons canola oil
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tablespoons minced chives

Whisk all ingredients together and store in the refrigerator.

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1 comment:

  1. Wow, this looks so delicious! Thank you so much for sharing the same.


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