Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas

Sometimes when I'm feeling stressed out, I find it therapeutic to blog about food. Or to just eat food (unfortunately usually the latter). We had a rough day here but at least dinner was a success which means I have a delicious recipe to share. 
It actually all started with the Pioneer Woman's Shrimp Tacos that I made last week when my husband requested said dish for his half birthday dinner. All he told me was that he wanted shrimp tacos and I happened upon Ree Drummond's version. I must confess I was a bit skeptical when I saw they called for canned enchilada sauce oh but they did not disappoint! The recipe made a bucket load of pico de gallo, so I was looking for creative ways to utilize the leftovers when I stumbled upon another one of the Pioneer Woman's recipes. My husband has a little food crush on her, probably because she uses SO. MUCH. BUTTER. and, I'm a sucker for making him happy so I put three of her dishes on the menu this week (they have all been really yummy).
Tonight I made her quesadillas (with a few tweaks of my own to make them healthier) and served them with my leftover homemade pico. They were the best quesadillas I have ever eaten. HAVE I MENTIONED THAT I LOVE KALE!?! I know it is all the rage these days and I am eating it up. Quite literally. (We may have eaten 3 bunches in 2 days...) Oh and also, hello monterey jack cheese! Goodbye cheddar! I've discovered the quesadilla's new best friend.

Butternut Squash and Kale Quesadillas 
(adapted from The Pioneer Woman)

1/2 whole Butternut Squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1/2-inch cubes
1 Tablespoon Butter
2 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
Black Pepper to taste
1/2 teaspoon Chili Powder (more to taste)
1 bunch Kale, leaves torn, stalks discarded
8 whole small (fajita Sized) whole wheat flour tortillas
2-1/2 cups Monterey Jack Cheese, grated (more if needed)
Light Sour Cream for serving
Cilantro, for serving
Pico De Gallo, Salsa, Avocado Slices (optional) for serving

Heat 1 tablespoon butter and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Add squash and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and chili powder. Cook for several minutes, turning gently with a spatula, until squash is deep golden brown and tender (but not falling apart.) Remove to a plate and set aside.

In the same skillet, heat remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium-high heat and add in the kale. Toss it around with tongs and cook it for 3 to 4 minutes. Add in the cooked squash and gently toss together. Set aside.

In a separate skillet, melt additional butter (I used only 1/2 tsp + some cooking spray) and lightly brown both sides of the 8 tortillas. Build the quesadillas one by one by adding a layer of cheese topped with a layer of the squash/kale mixture, topped with a second tortilla.

Brown each quesadilla on both sides to make sure tortillas are nice and golden and yummy.

When the cheese is melted, remove each quesadilla from the skillet and cut it into four wedges. Serve with sour cream, cilantro, pico de gallo, salsa and avocado.

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posted by kelsie