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QUESADILLA ADDS ZEST TO WARM-WEATHER MEALS

SHARE QUESADILLA ADDS ZEST TO WARM-WEATHER MEALS

As the weather gets warmer, a menu of light appetizers can be refreshing. Mexican-style quesa-dil-las are made with low-fat ham, cilantro, pineapple and cheeses, and served with a mild mango salsa. The quesadillas accent any selection of assorted hors d'oeuvres.

The cheeses used in the recipe are panela, a smooth, semisweet cheese similar to Monterey Jack cheese, and cotija, a robust, dry-aged cheese similar to feta.These quesadilla are easy to prepare and can be ready to serve in about 30 minutes - including 20 minutes for cooking.

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RECIPES

MEXICAN-STYLE QUESADILLAS

8 10-inch flour tortillas

1 cup chopped low-fat ham

2 cups shredded panela or Monterey Jack cheese

1 cup shredded cotija or feta cheese

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 cup chopped fresh pineapple or 8-ounce can crushed pineapple, drained

Mango Salsa (recipe below)

Coat a large skillet with nonstick cooking spray. Heat over medium heat. Place tortilla in pan and sprinkle with 1/4 of each ingredient: ham, cheeses, cilantro and pineapple. Top with another tortilla and cook until golden brown. Turn and cook other side until golden brown. Remove from pan and cut into 12 wedges. Repeat process until all tortillas are used. Serve hot with Mango Salsa. Makes 16 servings.

- Nutrition facts per serving, with salsa: 225 cal., 13 g pro., 363 mg calcium, 18 g carbo., 14 g fat, 1 g dietary fiber, 48 mg chol., 663 mg sodium.

- Recipe from: California Milk Advisory Board

MANGO SALSA

2 ripe mangoes, peeled, seeded and scored

2 tablespoons minced red onion

1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro leaves

1 serrano chili, seeded and minced

1/4 cup fresh lime juice

Combine all ingredients. Serve with quesadillas.