We have all had them….‘one of those days’. Yesterday was ‘one of those days’ for me. First of all, it was Monday, so right off the bat it wasn’t starting out great. I had stayed up later than usual watching the SuperBowl (although threw in the towel after the 3rd quarter), so getting up in the morning was REALLY tough. It was an exhausting and seemingly unproductive day at work. Then, I had the usual whirlwind afternoon of picking up the kids at different times from different activities and dealing with rush hour traffic.
So, I finally got home and started dinner. I was looking forward to trying a new recipe for salmon with a blue cheese sauce. Luckily it was quick and not difficult to make, because in the end, it was deemed a FAIL (as my kids would say). The sauce was not good at all…not sure if it was something I did, or what. But luckily, I had broiled the salmon with just a little olive oil brushed on and sprinkled with pepper, so the dinner was salvaged simply by not using the sauce. We did sprinkle some remaining blue cheese crumbles on the fish and that was pretty good. So it wasn’t a complete disaster and we were able to laugh about it later!
To juxtapose that FAIL, I am going to post a recipe that is EPIC (another word from my kids, haha!). I was surprised that this entree was such a hit, since getting my kids to enjoy vegetables is a challenge. My boys (who we sometimes affectionately call Thing 1 and Thing 2, from ‘The Cat in the Hat’) are definitely not huge fans of most veggies. Finding something they both like is nearly impossible. For example, Thing 1 likes broccoli, but Thing 2 does not. ACK! Now, don’t get me wrong, much of the time we simply tell them that they need to suck it up and eat whatever vegetable is served (‘You don’t have to love it, or even like it, to eat it’, we tell them), but of course I want to give them something they actually enjoy if I can.
Along comes this recipe for Veggie and Cheese Quesadillas. SCORE! Both boys actually request these quesadillas now, and DH (dear husband) loves them too! They have zucchini (yellow and green) and fresh baby spinach (although you can use thawed frozen spinach in a pinch), so they are chock full of vegetable goodness. You can serve them by themselves or with another side vegetable or salad. You can also modify the recipe easily to suit your taste and/or whatever is in your fridge (have some chicken? mushrooms? either would work well!). There are 2 drawbacks to this recipe, in my view, but I consider them to be super-minor, especially when the family loves the end result so much. The first is that you need to chop the zucchini into fairly small pieces. For a weeknight dinner, I take care of that step the night before which saves a ton of time and pretty much mitigates that obstacle. The second drawback is that I don’t have a griddle or skillet large enough to cook more than one or possibly two quesadillas at a time. However, they cook quickly, so I just live with that one. I cook the quesadillas for Thing 1 and Thing 2 first, since they actually prefer their food to not be super hot, then I cook for myself and DH.
- 2-3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 large or 2 small green zucchini, chopped (chop the night before for easy prep the next day)
- 1 large or 2 small yellow squash, chopped
- 8-12 slices monterey jack cheese
- 4 large tortillas, low-carb or multi-grain
- 1 bag baby spinach (can use thawed frozen spinach, if needed)
- spray olive oil or vegetable oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Warm the olive oil over medium heat, then add the green and yellow squash and cook until softened. Salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.
- Spray one side of the tortilla with a bit of the spray oil. Turn over to assemble the quesadilla contents on the non-sprayed side.
- On one half of the tortilla, distribute about ¼ of the cooked zucchini. Place 2-3 slices of the cheese on top of the zucchini. Then spread a layer of spinach on top.
- Fold the empty tortilla half over and transfer to heated griddle or skillet. Cook for a few minutes until the tortilla becomes brown on the bottom, then flip and cook the other side until brown.
Adapted from this recipe at HowDoesSheDoIt.com.