I’m currently packing up my habitat from the past 2 years (only to move it to a new area of Austin in a few weeks), and have come across some fabulous finds I’ve acquired over the years. I’ve also become very behind in my summer magazine reading, specifically the recipe sections, which I turn to first upon mail delivery, partially because I love cooking, and partially because these sections are the adult versions of picture-books…I don’t have to think, or read, and often I can see the main ingredients just from glancing at the page. So, between packing and cleaning, I’ll pick up one of the magazines and browse a few pages of recipes, then put it back down for my next packing break. Today, during one of my breaks, I barely glanced at a picture of a quesadilla and don’t remember even looking at the ingredients, but when I got to HEB (our big regional, reliable every-day grocery store chain), that picture popped back into my mind, and I was set on making Grilled Spinach & Mushroom Chicken Summer ‘Dillas. It didn’t stop there. The lack of an idea for my next blog post inspired me to add to this made-up-on-the-spot recipe and attempt making Salsa Fresca (Fresh Salsa) for the first time…and two different kinds (I made these names up…pretty self-explanatory, though): Salsa Fresca Rosa, and Tomatillo Salsa Fresca. See the recipes below, and put this menu together next time you’re feeding friends, family, or guests for a light, fresh, and veggielicious summertime meal!
*Photos by Rebecca. Click on this montage to see more photos from this cooking session!
Summer Home Entertainment Recipe Rebeccammendations: Grilled Spinach & Mushroom “Dillas with Salsas Frescas.
Grilled Spinach & Mushroom ‘Dillas
- Whole Wheat Tortillas
- 1 package of shredded cheese of your choice
- 1 package of pre-sliced mushrooms
- 1 package or bag of fresh spinach leaves
- 1 package of chicken breast strips (uncooked)
- 1 shaker of fajita seasoning (you can purchase this at any grocery store in the spice aisle)
- 1 lime
- Olive oil
- Wash and trim chicken breast strips and place in a dish
- Sprinkle chicken strips with fajita seasoning and fresh lime juice (cover and let marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes)
- In a sautee pan, drizzle 2 tbsp of olive oil until hot. Sautee mushrooms and spinach until deeper in color.
- Use an indoor grill pan to cook the chicken strips until golden brown on the outside, and cooked throughout. Set aside. Wash the grill pan.
- Drizzle the indoor grill pan with olive oil (or use an outdoor grill).
- Place 1 tortilla on the grill pan.
- Sprinkle cheese to your liking, adding the sauteed veggies, and a few strips of cooked chicken on the tortilla in the pan.
- Top it all off with another tortilla.
- After the ‘dilla has cooked for about 5 minutes, rotate the entire thing about 90 degrees (1/4) (this will create the eye-pleasing criss-crossed grill marks on the outside).
- Drizzle the top tortilla with olive oil, so it will brown when you flip it.
- Once the cheese is mostly melted (it acts as the glue holding it together), carefully use a spatula (or 2) to flip it over to brown the other side of the ‘dilla.
- Cook for 5 minutes.
- Remove from the pan (or grill), place on a plate, slice into 6ths. Serve one for each guest, family style (if you make different varieties), or separate into triangles and serve as an appetizer!
Salsa Fresca Rosa
I call this Salsa Fresca Rosa because the tomatos provide a red-ish/pinkish color to the salsa. Also, I consider these salsas Green Entertaining recipes, since they require no baking (energy saving), and are made of all fresh ingredients!
- 2 ripe (somewhat firm) tomatos
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 lime (use the other half for the other salsa recipe)
- 1/2 white onion (save the other half for the other salsa recipe)
- Black Pepper
- Wash and dry the tomatos and jalapeno, and peal the onion
- Cut tomatos and half of the onion into chunks, and place in a food processor.
- Cut the stem off of the jalapeno. Cut the remainder in half length-wise. Remove the seeds from one side (the seeds provide the heat, so if you like your salsa super spicey, use them from both sides, but one side was plenty for me, and I love heat). Cut into pieces, and place in the food processor.
- Blend the tomato, onion, and jalapeno until the chunks are gone, but it’s not quite soup-y.
- Add the juice from half of the lime and 1 tsp black pepper, and blend one more time.
- Remove the salsa from the processor, pouring into a serving bowl.
- Serve with the ‘dillas or tortilla chips and enjoy!
Tomatillo Salsa Fresca
- 1 tomato
- 2 tomatillos (they look like green tomatos, and are covered in a greenish husk)
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 1/2 lime
- 1/2 white onion
- Black Pepper
- Follow same instructions as above, but use 1 tomato and 2 tomatillos. (This will create a more yellowish/greenish color and a slightly zesty-er taste).
- Serve with the quesadillas or tortilla chips and enjoy!
*For added flavor, use more lime juice!