Thursday, March 8, 2012

Chicken-Cheese Quesadillas with Roasted Asparagus, Cheddar Smashed Potatoes and Strawberry Trifle for Dessert

Tonight, I made chicken-cheese quesadillas for dinner.  For side dishes, I made roasted fresh asparagus and home made cheddar mashed potatoes.

To make the quesadillas, hubby grilled a couple of boneless chicken breasts that I had sprayed with Pam and sprinkled with spicy taco seasoning for flavor.  While he grilled the chicken, I sauteed some diced Poblano pepper, orange bell pepper and onion until tender and slightly caramelized.  Once the chicken was done, I sliced it and set it aside.  I heated and sprayed a non-stick skillet with Pam and placed a whole wheat tortilla in the bottom of the pan, sprinkled some cheddar and monterey jack cheeses over the tortilla and added the chicken slices atop the cheese.  Next I sprinkled some of the cooked peppers and onions on top of the chicken, added a little more cheese and then topped it with another whole wheat tortilla.  I continued heating it until the bottom tortilla was toasty and lightly golden brown and the cheeses began melting.  I then carefully flipped the quesadilla over with a large spatula to brown and toast the other side.  After both sides were toasty and lightly browned and the cheese was melted, I removed it to a cutting board and let sit for a few minutes so the cheese would set and not run out when cut.  I then cut it into four wedges with a sharp knife. I serve these with a dollop of low fat sour cream and some diced tomatoes.

While the quesadillas were cooking, I placed the rinsed and drained fresh asparagus spears on a foil lined cookie sheet and then drizzled with some olive oil and seasoned with fresh cracked black pepper and sea salt and tossed it around with my hands to lightly coat all the spears.  I then spread the spears out evenly in a single layer on the cookie sheet and popped them into a 400 degree oven to roast for about 20 minutes (more or less time depending on how thick or thin your spears are).  You may have to toss them around once during the roasting.  Once they are lightly colored and the tenderness you like, remove them.  If they are slightly undercooked  and you are afraid of them burning, you can loosely wrap the foil around them after removing from the oven and they will continue to steam a bit.  In the summer, we like to do this outside on the grill (on a grill pan). 

While the quesadillas were cooking, and the asparagus was roasting I also had small yellow/gold potatoes boiling in a pan.  As soon as they were tender, I drained them and mashed them in the pan with some butter, fat free half-n-half and tossed in some cheddar cheese to enhance the beautiful yellow/gold color of their flesh and to add some cheddar flavor too.  Below are some pics of the meal.

The basic raw ingredients for the dinner
Poblano peppers, orange bell peppers and onions sauteeing (so colorful)
Asparagus spears tossed with olive oil, black pepper and sea salt ready to pop in the oven
Layering the tortilla...ready for one more light sprinkle of cheese and the other tortilla
Voila...dinner is served!
Here, take a closer look

For dessert, I decided to make individual fresh Strawberry Trifles.  I picked up some  really pretty strawberries at the store after work today and also picked up an angel food cake as well.  I sliced the strawberries and mixed them with some sugar and refrigerated them so some of the juice would melt with the sugar and make a light syrup.  Meanwhile, I cubed some angel food cake and set aside.  In another small bowl, I mixed some light Cool Whip with vanilla pudding to make a creamy layer that had a little more body than whipped topping but was also lighter than pudding.  I then placed some of the pudding/Cool Whip mixture in the bottom of the individual glasses, placed a layer of cubed angel food cake on top; then added a layer of the sliced strawberries and topped with the rest of the pudding/Cool Whip mixture and refrigerated them for a couple of hours.  It was a quick, easy and great way to kick off strawberry season (even if they were from  Below are a few pictures of the Strawberry Trifles.

These were too pretty to pass up at the store!
Isn't it pretty?
Here is a closer look

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