Saturday, January 10, 2009

Yummy Year

2008 was such a delicious year!  Each passing month brought scrumptious new gluten free discoveries, new adventures in the kitchen, and new ways to fill my days with deliciousness. At first when I parted ways with the day job I was worried that I might have too much time on my hands. But busy people always find ways to keep busy and in no time flat I was busy as a bee again.

Of course December was full of baking for Mari Made! I finally had time to bake all those cookies, cakes, pies, candies, tarts, and sweet holiday treats I had been wanting to.  December also brought with it a delicious new endeavor in the form of a new part time job. 

The last thing on my mind in December was finding a new job but of course that’s when one managed to find me anyways! I have always believed that everything happens for a reason so when a friend asked me to come in to her work to interview for an accounting job, even though I would rather spend a day at the dentist than 8 hours doing desk work, I decided to go in and check it out.  Obviously, the accounting job was just not for me but it turned out that there was another position available that I was perfectly suited for...



For the past month and a half I have been working at Specialty Produce as a food photographer! Twenty lovely hours a week where I get to play with food, make it look pretty, and then snap and edit pictures of it. I also get to work on other fun design tasks and help out with event planning, blogging and social media. Which next to playing in the kitchen and taking pictures of food are some of my very favorite things to do! I love exploring the warehouse and freezers and learning about all the different fruits, veggies, spices, oils, and cheeses we carry.  I also love the area I work in (between Old Town and Little Italy) and I have been having such fun getting to know all of my wonderful new coworkers!

The new job has also made its way into my kitchen in the form of fresh produce. Every meal I eat now has some sort of fruit or veggie component to it.  One of my favorite things to make as of late has been a colorful mix up of fruits and veggies all bundled up in one of my favorite gluten free starches, corn tortillas.   

Very Veggie Quesadillas with Mango Salsa
Use any combination of veggies you like! Sometimes I like these with just bell peppers and zucchini and other times I go all out and add a little of everything. These are also scrumptious stuffed with spinach, topped with fresh slices of avocado, or sprinkled with a dash of hot sauce like Tapatio.

Ingredients

For the Mango Salsa
Mango, peeled and cut into small squares
1 or ½ teaspoon jalapeño, chopped (add more or less, seeds or no seed depending on how spicy you like it)
About 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro leaves
Juice of ½ a lime

For the Quesadillas
Onion, chopped into small bits
2 or 3 cloves of garlic, minced
Bell Peppers, cut into 1 inch squares
Zucchini, cut into ½ inch thick slices
Cherry tomatoes, cut in half and de gutted if you like
Mushrooms, sliced
Assorted Mexican seasonings (oregano, chili pepper, cumin)
Salt and pepper
Corn Tortillas
Veggie slices pepper jack cheese
Olive Oil

Preparation

To get started wash and chop up all your veggies.

 

To make the salsa combine the mango, jalapeño, cilantro, and lime juice in a bowl and set aside.


Pour about a tablespoon of olive oil in a large skillet and warm over medium high heat. Once the oil is hot add the onions and let simmer until the onions are softened and start to brown up and caramelize a bit, about 5 minutes. Next add to this the garlic, stir around and let sizzle until the garlic and onions are all mingled together.


 Now you can add the peppers, zucchini, and mushrooms. Let these cook, stirring occasionally until they are slightly browned. Lastly add the tomatoes, cilantro, and dry spices, stir until combined and then remove from the heat and set aside.


Now its time to assemble the quesadillas. Put a couple tortillas in a large skillet and warm over medium high heat, top one of the tortillas with the cheese and veggies 

Then top with another tortilla. Using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top of the quesadilla with olive oil, then flip over. Let it cook a few minutes until the tortilla is browned, spread a bit of olive oil over the other tortilla and then flip and let cook another few minutes or until the tortillas are slightly crisp and the cheese melty.

 

Enjoy with the mango salsa on the side or stuffed in the quesadilla. Top with avocado, hot sauce or any other delicious addition you might like. 


So yummy! Fresh peppers are so flavorful and fun to work with. There are so many tasty things you can do with them, and not just for dinner but lunch and breakfast too!  

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