Thursday, April 15, 2010

Deceptively Delicious Quesadillas

The recipe is from the cookbook, Deceptively Delicious, by Jessica Seinfield. I think this recipe is good, and the cookbook as a whole is one of my favorites to use when cooking with my child. The premise of the book is to hide vegetables in various recipes so that kids will get more of their nutrients. While I know the goal is to have toddlers want to eat all of the vegetables when they're not hidden, but if your child is anything like mine, that doesn't happen quite yet. So, the recipes in this book help me to supplement his diet with the vegetables until he develops a taste for them on their own.

In this particular recipe she uses butternut squash puree. Her book describes a whole process of pureeing and freezing many different vegetable purees in serving sizes (Ice cube trays work great.) so they can be thawed and used when needed in whatever recipe your making. This isn't a bad idea, especially if you have another younger child that can just eat the veggie purees on their own instead of canned baby food. It's great to just have them on hand.

In this recipe you can substitute sweet potato for the butternut squash. To make the puree of either veggie, just cook the squash or potato and then puree them in the food processor with a little water if needed. Freeze any extra.


*Nonstick cooking spray
*1 TBSP olive oil
*1/2 lb. chicken cutlets or boneless chicken breast, rinsed and dried (optional)
*1/2 tsp. salt
*1/8 tsp. pepper
*1/8 tsp. chili powder, or to taste
*1/2 C. canned navy beans, drained, rinsed
*1/2 C. reduced-fat sour cream
*1/2 C. butternut squash puree
*1/2 C. shredded reduced-fat Cheddar cheese
*4 (8-inch) whole-wheat tortillas
*1/2 C. bottled salsa


1. Preheat the over to 400 degrees F. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Coat a large nonstick skillet with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. When the pan is hot, add the oil. Sprinkle the chicken with salt, pepper, and chili powder, add it to the pan, and cook it until no longer pink in the center, 4-5 minutes per side for cutlets. For chicken breast, cook 5 minutes per side, reduce heat to low, cover, and cook 9-10 minutes longer. Cut the chicken into thin slices, or puree it, if necessary.

3. In a small bowl or mini-chopper, mash the beans with the sour cream. In another bowl, stir together the butternut squash puree and the cheese.

4. Spread the bean mixture over two of the tortillas, then arrange the chicken slices or spread the pureed chicken on top. Spread the cheese mixture over the other two tortillas and press one of each together to form sandwiches. Place on the baking sheet and bake until the tortillas are crisp, 5-6 minutes. Cut into wedges and serve with salsa.

*I've done this recipe often without the beans, salsa, or chicken. Then, it's just a simple way to add vegetables to a cheese quesadilla.

**One caution with this cookbook, many of the recipes seem to be off in some way, whether it is in ingredient ratios or serving sizes. So, be careful if you try this book. However, what I really like are the ideas that it gives. For example, I've used the cheddar and squash puree idea in countless things like grilled cheese sandwiches, mac and cheese, etc.

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