Friday, January 15, 2016

6th Post- Friday Recipes - Super Easy Taco Soup, Cheese Quesadillas and Zesty Salad

Good Evening Everyone!
It is finally the week-end and, even though I love my job, I am looking forward to a couple of days off.  On Friday nights, I am usually ready to start my week-end, so I don't like to do complicated dinners.  I also like to do my "fun" foods on the week-end -  where I can do the things like pizza and quesadillas and not feel like I am eating too many unhealthy foods.

The first recipe that I am going to give you is for Super Easy Taco Soup.  I got this recipe from a woman I worked with over 15 years ago who I only Remember as Belinda.  I honestly don't know if she came up with the recipe, or if it was given to her by someone else, but it has been one of my favorites since the first time that I made it.  I love it partly because it is yummy and partly because it is so darn easy.


Super Easy Taco Soup

1/2 cup diced onion
3 cans (undrained) premium white chicken
1 pckg. taco seasoning (I like the one put out by Taco Bell)
1 can Rotel (undrained)
1 can cream of celery soup
1 can cream of chicken soup
1 can water

1.  Saute onions in a small skillet.
2.  In a medium sauce pot put in the sautéed onions and the remaining ingredients.  Cook on medium heat, stirring frequently, until heated through.

Serve in individual bowls.


Cheese Quesadillas

2-4 flour tortillas
1/2 cup cheese (I like sharp cheddar, but you can use a Mexican blend if you prefer)
2 tbsp. green onion or onion, diced (optional)
1 tbsp. butter, melted
Sour cream, for garnish
Salsa, for garnish

1.  On a piece aluminum foil or wax paper, place one tortilla.  If you have the small six inch tortillas, spread half of cheese, onto the tortilla leaving about 1/2 inch around the edges so the cheese has space to melt.  Sprinkle green onion over the cheese.  Place another tortilla on top, lining up the edges.  If you have the 10 inch tortillas, spread half of cheese mixture over half of the tortilla, making a half moon with cheese, leaving about 1/2 inch from the edge. Sprinkle green onion over the cheese. Fold the tortilla in half over the cheese and onion making a half moon.
2.  Warm a heavy skillet on low heat.
3.  Brush one side of the tortilla with melted butter and place in skillet.  Cook tortilla turns a light brown, about two minutes.  After tortilla has been cooking for about one minute, use a spatula to gently lift up one edge to check how the tortilla is browning.  When desired color is achieved, turn the tortilla over and cook on the other side--the tortilla will brown and the cheese should melt and turn gooey.
4.  Remove when done and garnish with sour cream and salsa on the side.

Zesty Salad

I forgot to put avocado on your grocery list!  If you want, you can use ranch or any other dressing you prefer, but I love how this is a play on guacamole to go with the rest of this meal.

Ingredients - Salad

Iceberg Lettuce, chopped (I like smaller pieces, where the lettuce leaves are almost diced, but any way you want to chop them is fine.)
Romaine Lettuce, chopped
Baby Spinach, chopped  (Basically, the remains of all the salads you had from the week of meals)
2 tbsp. red onion, diced
Zucchini, diced (If you have any left)
(I am usually good with just the above ingredients, but, if I have it, I have also put in the following ingredients)
1 small tomato, diced
1/2 cup sweet tiny frozen corn (whole or chopped, your preference)
(One friend of mine makes a similar salad  and she adds black beans, she swears by them. I have yet to try it because I have a thing about beans, but I am working up to trying it.  If you would like to, this would take about half a can, drained)

1.  Chop and dice all vegetables as described above. 
2.  Put all ingredients in a large bowl as you prepare the vegetables.  When all ingredients are in the bowl, toss to combine the ingredients.  Set aside to work on the dressing.

Ingredients - Dressing

I found this recipe when I was looking for recipes online and wanted something healthy and different, after much searching, I found this recipe on  I have only used this recipe, but I have marked this site as one I want to visit again.  (Thank goodness, otherwise I wouldn't have written it down and I wouldn't be able to credit the correct person.)

1 clove garlic smashed and peeled
1 avocado
1/2 tbsp. lemon or lime juice (fresh is better, but I have used the stuff in the lemon/lime shaped bottles)
Kosher salt and  freshly ground pepper to taste  (I would start with 1/4 tsp. of each and work up to more if you feel it is necessary after tasting
3 tbsp. olive oil
Water, as needed

1.  Put all of the ingredients, minus the oil and water,  in the small bowl of a food processor OR a mini food processor.  (If you don't have either of these, I would suggest that you get one.  Mini processors can be found for about $20.00 on sale and for between $15-$20 on eBay.  They make life so much easier.  It is one of those things that I would recommend having for your kitchen as you can find several uses for them.)
2.  Turn on the machine and SLOWLY poor the vinegar into the ingredients, stopping everyone once in a while to scrape down the edges of the processor with a spatula, processing until smooth.  Thin the salad dressing out with a little bit of water until it reaches the consistency you desire.  (I like a thicker dressing, so I add very little water, maybe about a tablespoon or two, but the original recipe said about 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.)
3.  Pour over salad and toss. 

Note:  If this dressing is stored in an airtight container, it can last in the fridge for about 1 week. Possibly longer, but I don't know, it's never lasted that long in my house, as I use it on salads for lunch.

I hope that you enjoy this simple meal. I know the salad had ALOT of chopping, you can skip the salad  and just have the soup and quesadillas, which I frequently do, but I wanted there to be something healthy in this post. ;0)

TIP:  If you make all three dishes, make your salad first as it takes the longest to prepare.  Once your salad is in  the bowl, and your dressing is made, you can prepare the soup. While the soup is heating through, you can make your tortillas.  When the soup and tortillas are complete, add the dressing to your salad, toss and serve.  Voila!  Everything ready around the same time so no cold quesadillas.

Tomorrow night PIZZA!!!!!!

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