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Three Layer Chicken & Bean Quesadilla ~ protein rich, oven-baked goodness

Posted Nov 13 2012 7:33am
     Last Wednesday was national Take Your Child to Work Day, a learning program designed to encourage Grade 9 students from across Canada to spend the day in the workplace of a parent (relative or friend).   Since my husband was out of town on business, our Grade 9'er had a much easier time deciding which parent to spend the day with!  But what I hadn't anticipated was how committed he was to his choice of activities for the day... I laid out a number of different possibilities on the nutrition front but there appeared to be no contest. My son quite firmly wanted to create a recipe for Inspired Edibles which I was thrilled to oblige (until, that is, he told me he wanted to use my camera to photograph the entire sequence - really? are you sure you wouldn't rather use the camera on your cell phone honey? wink).   So off my boy went with a head full of yummy thoughts and a stack of glossy cookbooks, jotting down notes; asking questions; making my belly hurt with laughter; and dreaming up a host of different ideas and delicious combinations.   He not only came up with a recipe, he made a full shopping list, went to the grocery store by himself to purchase the ingredients and prepared the entire recipe start to finish on his own (clicks inclus).  There were questions (and some help here and there with the camera) but this was really his baby and I have to say, I was utterly impressed with his initiative, attitude and the incredible success of his project!  SO yummy.     Three Layer Chicken & Bean Quesadilla ~ protein rich, oven-baked goodness (Adapted from Reader's Digest, )
  • 4 large tortillas (about 9"), preferably whole grain
  • 1.5 cups refried beans
  • 1 pound or 450 grams chopped cooked boneless, skinless chicken (we used pre-cooked frozen chicken sautéed in a little olive oil)
  • 1 cup Jack cheese, (or low-fat cheese of choice, as preferred)
  • 1/4 cup pickled sliced jalapeno chiles, chopped,  plus more for decorating
  • 1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives
  • Handful fresh cilantro
  • 1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1/2 cup of your favourite salsa


Serves 4-6

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Spray a baking sheet lightly with olive or canola oil.  Place one tortilla on baking sheet and spread a half cup refried beans on top.  Dividing chicken into roughly three even portions, top beans with one portion of chicken followed by a quarter cup of cheese.  Add a sprinkling of chopped jalapenos, olives and cilantro. 
  My son styled this one entirely himself! 
I love the set-up with the tortillas, chicken/cheese in the background.
  Repeat layering two times.  Top with the final tortilla, pressing down slightly to help hold layers together.    Cover the top of the quesadilla with foil (tucking foil under edges of bottom tortilla if possible) and bake the quesadilla for about 20 minutes or until heated through.  Gently remove foil, and place final quarter cup of cheese on top of quesadilla returning it to the oven for another 5 minutes until the cheese melts (or broil for one minute or so - watching carefully!).   For the presentation (I love this effect), cut quesadilla into four pieces without fully separating them.  Spread Greek yogurt around cut lines and spoon salsa in the centre.  Top with pieces of fresh cilantro and jalapeno peppers.     I love the unique presentation of this quesadilla
  Allow quesadilla to cool slightly before serving.   
Protein rich chicken, beans and Greek yogurt
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