Chicken & Spinach Quesadillas with Pear Salsa

Chicken & Spinach Quesadillas with Pear Salsa

Do you guys use shortcuts? I’d love to say that I don’t. That I have time to cook everything from scratch all the time, doctor and pick vegetables from my very own, well-cared for garden. But I live in a condo and a garden is out of the question. Also, I often don’t have the time to make my own. That’s why I find it very important to have a battery of no-fail shortcuts. My favorites? Canned beans, cartons of chicken stock and rotisserie chickens from Whole Foods. Now, I know that making your own beans and stock and chicken are all tastier options, but if I didn’t rely on these pantry staples, we’d likely eat dinner past midnight.

Of course, since I bought myself some time by not roasting a whole chicken, I want to spend a little more time dressing it up. I made simple quesadillas with chicken, spinach and pepper jack cheese. On their own, they would have been dry and boring, so I brought a little bit of fall into the dish by making pear salsa with almost-ripe bartlett pears, red onion, jalapeño, cilantro and lime juice. The result is a slightly sweet, spicy and crunchy topping that brings the quesadillas to life. A quick meal, but a really good one.

What are some of your favorite shortcut meals?

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  1. Oooh, pear salsa! Maybe that can rescue me from my addiction to Trader Joe’s peach salsa.

  2. This sounds wonderful, I would have to search high and low to find decent tortillas, might try with those awful flour things ( Buenos Aires is not what you would call a foodie paradise when it comes to anything outside of Argentina- imported food-wise)

    I am definitely going to try the pear salsa.. they sell Paul Newmans … that should give you an idea of the Mexican food ingredient choices I have .

    My favorite summer salad:
    Pasta Salad with Chicken and Everything

    *Fresh rotisserie chicken, shredded.
    * a couple of ripe tomatoes, diced
    * red onion, diced
    *black olives, green olives
    *1-2 ripe avocados – cubed
    * cooked pasta .. I like shells, or anything that hangs on to the rest of the ingredients.

    I boil the pasta (sometimes in broth for more flavor.
    Drain, Put it aside to cool.

    Chop, dice everything and dump it all into a bowl, adding the pasta at the end.

    Dressing :
    A good oil and balsamic
    olive oil, orange vinaigrette , and a spoonful of mayonnaise for creaminess. ( although the avocado makes things creamy too)

    Toss it all together and serve with hot french bread.

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  4. It seems like every time I click over here at the moment there is something that chimes exactly with my likes and favourites. This looks awesome! And yes, I love making things from scratch but shortcuts are a necessary part of life!

  5. I love this flavor combination! I’m always looking for ways to use fruit in savory recipes and can’t wait to try the pear salsa.

  6. This may not quite qualify as a shortcut, but I make a big pot of stock every 2-3 months and then premeasure the stuff into individual baggies (I make sure to let it cool before ladling.) I then freeze the baggies and thaw one whenever I need one. (Note: I let them thaw in the refrigerator or pry out the frozen stock before microwaving — I wouldn’t advise microwaving plastic bags.) The extra work is worthwhile to me because homemade stock is tastier and cheaper, and I end up wasting less than when I buy cartons at the store.

  7. Always make more rice than you need. I did this last week and cranked out a bunch of burritos for the freezer for work lunches, then had the leftover rice on hand to heat up quickly and conveniently for some eggplant and chicken in garlic sauce (got two meals out of that one) and last night for a quick dinner of chicken and mushrooms in spicy thai peanut sauce before heading out.

  8. Pears in salsa is terrrific and wonderful with any melted cheese.

  9. This receipe sounds great – will try – and great shortcuts to read as well. Thank you

  10. This looks amazing. I just found your site and am very excited to follow! Keep up the cooking!

  11. Just made this tonight and it was delicious.

  12. This looks easy and yummy!

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