In the Kitchen Featuring: Quesadillas

Spicy Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadilla with a Yogurt Lime Dipping Sauce_IMG_7355Spicy Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadilla with Yogurt Lime Dipping Sauce

This vegetarian quesadilla is certainly not lacking in flavor or substance. The black beans add a little protein kick, while the melty cheeses present that comfort factor we could all use from time to time. Serves 1.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 medium zucchini, diced
  • 2-3 TBL Traces of Life or Casa Sanchez salsa
  • 1/3 – 1/2 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2-3 ounces cheese of your choice (we recommend Monterey Jack, pepper jack, mozzarella or Sigona’s Moo-net white cheddar)
  • 2 medium tortillas (about 8 inches)
  • 1 TBL chopped cilantro, for sprinkling (optional)

Dipping Sauce:

  • 2 TBL plain Fage Greek yogurt
  • Juice and zest from 1/2 a lime
  • Tapatio Salsa Picante Hot Sauce or other hot sauce (about a 1/2 tsp or so, more or less to taste)

Directions: In a small bowl, mix together the zucchini, salsa and black beans. Let the mixture sit as you prepare the dipping sauce.

Dipping sauce: In a small bowl, whisk together the yogurt, lime juice, zest and hot sauce. Easy peasy.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the pan and, working quickly, spread on the zucchini & bean mixture. Sprinkle on the cheese and top with the remaining tortilla. Let it cook 4-5 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently flip the quesadilla and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Remove from the heat and let it sit a minute or two before slicing into fourths. Sprinkle with chopped cilantro and serve with the dipping sauce.

Chicken, Mushroom & Spinach Quesadilla

The best thing about quesadillas, well, besides the melty, gooey cheese, is that they come together in a snap. Plus, this one is good for the kids! While we’re not all about sneaking veggies into their meals, this one is sneaky nonetheless. They might not even notice the spinach under the melty cheese! Serve this with avocado salsa, recipe follows. Serves 1.

Ingredients:

  • 2 TBL Traces of Life or Casa Sanchez salsa
  • 2 large cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 cup cooked & chopped boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 1 cup baby spinach leaves
  • 2 medium (8 – 10 inch) tortillas
  • 1/2 – 3/4 cup shredded cheese (we recommend Monterey Jack, pepper jack or Sigona’s Moo-net white cheddar)
  • Sour cream or plain Fage Greek yogurt, for dolloping/dipping

Directions: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the pan and, working quickly, spread on the salsa and layer on the mushroom slices, cooked chicken and spinach. Sprinkle on the cheese and top with the remaining tortilla. Let it cook 4-5 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently flip the quesadilla and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Let it sit for 1-2 minutes before slicing into fourths. Serve with sour cream.

Salsa Shrimp Quesadillas Topped with Sigona’s Guacamole_IMG_7364Salsa Shrimp Quesadillas Topped with Sigona’s Guacamole

This is a twist on a restaurant favorite of one of our crew members. The secret to this is in the cheese – make sure you use some Cojita in your blend. It has a strong flavor, similar to Parmesan, that pairs perfectly with the shrimp. This quesadilla is best enjoyed while soaking up the evening sun from your deck. Serves 1.

Ingredients:

  • 1/3 – 1/2 lb. medium shrimp, cleaned and tails removed
  • 3 TBL Traces of Life or Casa Sanchez salsa
  • 3-4 oz. mixed Mexican cheeses, such as Cojita (Cojita is key!), Monterey Jack, Queso Fresco and Manchego
  • 2 medium (8-10 inch) tortillas
  • Guacamole, for serving (recipe follows )

Directions: Combine shrimp and salsa to marinade in a bowl for about 10 minutes (while you make guacamole!).

Heat a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the shrimp and salsa mixture and cook until the shrimp are pink and cooked through, about 5-6 minutes. Remove from heat and give the shrimp a rough chop.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place one tortilla in the pan and, working quickly, spread on the shrimp and salsa mixture. Sprinkle on the cheese and top with the remaining tortilla. Let it cook 4-5 minutes. Using a large spatula, gently flip the quesadilla and cook an additional 4-5 minutes until lightly browned and cheese is melted.

Allow the quesadilla to sit 1-2 minutes before slicing into fourths. Sprinkle with a little more Cojita and serve with a generous dollop of guacamole.

Sigona’s Guacamole

Some like it hot, some do not! Add as much chili pepper as you wish. Remember, the white veins and seeds are what pack a punch, so scrape them out to lower the heat. Serves a lot – have some chips ready!

Ingredients:

  • 4 large, ripe avocados, removed from skin and coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup finely diced white onion
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 2-4 Serrano chilies (or jalapenos), finely chopped (seeds removed or left depending on how hot you like your guacamole)
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 2 TBL fresh squeezed lime juice
  • Fresh ground black pepper

Directions: Mix onions, Serrano chilies, garlic and salt in a medium-sized glass bowl. Add the avocados and gently stir. Pour in the lime juice and toss. Season with some black pepper to taste and that’s it! Yep – it’s that easy

Quick Avocado Salsa

Quick Avocado Salsa _IMG_7386“My mom and sister make this a lot when our family gets together. When we have BBQs, this salsa disappears! It’s delicious and so easy to make. It can be used as a salsa with tortilla chips or dip.” – Maria Abad, Sigona’s employee

Ingredients:

  • 1 jalapeño, halved and seeded (keep the seeds in if you like your salsa to have a good kick, or add another seeded jalapeño)
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, save a sprig for garnish
  • 1 large avocado, halved, pit and skin discarded
  • 4 TBL water
  • 1 tsp. salt, or to taste

Directions: Add jalapeño, garlic, cilantro, avocado, water and salt in blender or food processor. Blend until all ingredients are pureed together. Pour into a bowl and add salt to taste. Garnish with a sprig of cilantro and voila! You got yourself one of the fastest, best-tasting and healthiest avocado recipes you can make — your guests will love it!

Salsa de Nopal

“This recipe is not only delicious, but also healthy. It’s loaded with amino acids, vitamins and minerals. It’s great for diabetics, too, because nopales – cactus leaves – are known to lower cholesterol levels and reduce blood glucose. When I had gestational diabetes, I would eat nopales all the time to keep my glucose level low. This recipe can be used as a side dish to accompany beef recipes, as a salsa for chips or simply as a side dish.” – Maria Abad, Sigona’s employee

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Nopal pads, diced
  • 1/2 yellow onion
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 TBL Sigona’s Fresh Press extra virgin olive oil (The Sicilian Nocellara is great!)
  • 1 tomato, diced
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1/2 Serrano pepper (or jalapeño), chopped (Like it hot? Leave the seeds in. Otherwise, scrape them out.)
  • Juice of 1 Lime
  • 1/2 cup of cooked black beans, rinsed (beans are optional)
  • 1/4 bunch of cilantro, chopped
  • Salt, to taste

Directions: Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Add the diced nopales, the 1/2 yellow onion and garlic. Return to a boil and cook until tender (about 10-15 minutes). Strain and rinse thoroughly under cold running water to remove any leftover stickiness. Remove and discard the onion and garlic.

In a small bowl, mix together the nopales, olive oil, tomato, red onion, Serrano pepper, lime juice, black beans (optional), cilantro and salt to taste. Let salsa rest for 30 minutes for flavors to blend.

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