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  • Lindsey, EDRD

Getting loaded on a Tuesday night

Loaded quesadiiiiiiiiiiillas, you guys. Even if I was not pregnant, I wouldn't be getting loaded on a weeknight...or ever...'cause I'm old and get hungover from merely not drinking enough water during the day.

So yes, loaded quesadillas. Forget the chintzy restaurant quesadillas that are 90% gloopy cheese- we're going with black beans, seasoned chicken, thinly sliced onions, jalapenos, and really any veggie or protein you'd like! Other fillings that would be tasty include diced tomatoes, diced bell or poblanos, chopped shrimp...and I could go on and on and build you a 5# quesadilla.

I am a huge fan of making quesadillas because of the customizeability. I don't think that's really a word, but the kids feel like grownups because they get to choose their own fillings. They bake up toasted and crispy in the oven so no frying needed. Aaaaand it's never a bad thing to have an excuse to pile up salsa, plain Greek yogurt, and guacamole as your condiments.

Loaded Quesadillas

8 whole wheat tortillas

1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (I bought thin sliced)

2 tablespoons/ one packet taco seasoning

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed

1 small yellow onion, thinly sliced

1 medium jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced (shake out the seeds for less heat, leave them for more)

2 cups shredded cheese (I used Wal Mart's "Fiesta blend")

Nonstick cooking spray

Condiment suggestions: salsa, plain Greek yogurt, guacamole

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Place chicken in a shallow baking dish, sprinkle with taco seasoning on both sides, cover with foil and bake for 25-30 minutes. Chicken is done when the internal temperature registers at least 165 degrees. While chicken is baking, it's a good time to slice up the onion and jalapeno and other desired veggies.

Dice up chicken finely. Crank up the oven to 400 degrees.

Line two large baking pans with aluminum foil and spray with nonstick cooking spray. Definitely okay to skip the foil- I was just feeling lazy and wanted to minimize after-dinner mess. Place 6 tortillas down and add a thin layer of shredded cheese. Add chicken, black beans, desired veggies, and add a final thin layer of cheese before placing top tortilla. Repeat for all your quesadillas. Before baking in the oven, spray the top tortillas with nonstick cooking spray. This helps them get golden and just barely crispy.

Bake for 10 minutes, then flip all of them over with a large spatula. I switch the pans themselves (the one that started on the top rack then goes to the bottom rack and vice versa). When tortillas are lightly browned and starting to crisp, you can remove them from the oven and let them sit for a few minutes. Slice them up into fourths with a pizza cutter for easy dipping. Serve with desired condiments. Serving size is one half of a quesadilla- it might look small, but given how packed they are, it's a hearty portion.

Sabrina doesn't regret dipping her mouth into the yogurt container, but she does regret helping me slice the onions.

I put all four slices on my plate but saved two of them for lunch the next day. Wrap in the leftover aluminum foil, then the next day reheat in the oven to crisp them back up!

Nutrition info per half quesadilla + 2 tablespoons each of salsa, plain Greek yogurt, and guacamole: 505 calories, 50 g carbohydrates, 21 grams fat, 31 grams protein, and 740 mg sodium.


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