Posts tagged ‘BBQ’

May 7, 2011

Friday Night BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

Sometimes, vegetables just won’t cut it. Yeah, I know, I’m the chick who actually craves roasted peppers and spinach smoothies.

On a Friday night when I don’t get home from work until 7:30, though? Pretty sure butternut squash and broccoli can’t fix that hot mess.

I walked in the door ready to chew off my hand. I was tempted to just park myself on the couch with a bag of corn chips and bowl of salsa the size of my face but I decided I’d fight through that crazy hungry moment. Yeah, I wanted something indulgent and greasy (french fries and burger greasy) but I also didn’t want to feel like total crap afterward or, much more importantly, spend any money.

What’s a girl to do with a perfectly ripe avocado, 2 varieties of BBQ sauce, and a few small chicken breasts?

Hello, BBQ chicken quesadilla!

Traditional? No. Tasty? Oh, yes.

One of my favorite Mexican joints in college made a killer BBQ chicken quesadilla. Perfectly toasted flour tortillas and melted cheese, hot and tangy BBQ sauce, and shredded chicken oozing out around the edges. Yellow rice and black beans on the side. I’m pretty sure it did nothing for my waistline to clean my plate but who the heck cares about going up a pants size when you’ve got fresh salsa verde smothering this total bombshell of a meal?

A year after graduation, my friends and I went to a concert near our campus. I’m pretty sure I was more psyched about getting my ‘dilla on than seeing Ingrid Michaelson.

(Side note: My hair was so long!!)

Last night I whipped up my version of greasy restaurant Mexican  – a tad bit healthier, I’d say, but no less delicious! (note: of course there are good Mexican places out there…but ya know what I mean.) I was super psyched that I had the foresight many months ago to divvy up and freeze a large package of chicken breasts in individual single-serving baggies. These little guys defrosted in the mic in no time! No planning ahead! That’s what I’m talking about.

BBQ Chicken Quesadilla

serves 1


  • 1 whole wheat flour tortilla
  • 1 small chicken breast, sliced into 1 inch pieces (I used two very tiny ones)
  • 1.5 tablespoons grated cheese (I used extra sharp cheddar because it’s all I had)
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon of your fave BBQ sauce (I did half Bone Suckin’ Sauce and half Annie’s Chipotle BBQ sauce)
  • splash chicken stock (or water, but I’ve gotta use up this carton!)
  • teaspoon olive oil
  • almond-sized portion of butttaahhh


  • Heat the oil in a small saute pan over medium-high heat and add the diced onion. Cook for about 5 minutes until beggining to soften.
  • Meanwhile, whisk together the BBQ sauce and chicken stock.
  • Once the onions have started to soften, add the chopped chicken and flip periodically until all of the edges are cooked. Add the BBQ sauce mixture and stir until the chicken is evenly coated.
  • Continue to the cook the chicken until it is cooked through.
  • Transfer the chicken and onions to a cutting board and begin to shred with a fork and knife into much smaller pieces.
  • Heat a large skillet (one in which a folded tortilla will fit) over a medium-high flame. While waiting for the skillet to heat, lay out the tortilla and spread the chicken and onions onto one half. Sprinkle with the grated cheese and add a drizzle more of BBQ sauce. Fold in half.
  • Add the butter to the now hot skillet and spread evenly. Carefully transfer the folded, filled tortilla to the skillet and place a second heavy pan on top to press down the tortilla.
  • After about 2 minutes (check so it doesn’t burn), carefully turn over the tortilla and replace the heavy pan on top. Cook until the other side is also nicely toasted.
  • Carefully transfer to the cutting board and slice into thirds. Drizzle a bit more BBQ sauce on top! We’re getting a little wild here, remember?

I ended up not eschewing all veggies and had half of a sliced avocado on the side, as well as a generous portion of baby spinach salad with a drizzle of balsamic vinaigrette. Some spicy salsa on the side!

Don’t let these pictures fool you. I ate this with my fingers while sitting on the couch in my sweatpants and worn out college sweatshirt, BBQ sauce dripping down my arm and avocado shmeared on my fingers. I’ll admit that I used a fork for the salad. Getting up to the get the fork was a bit of a battle, though, and almost didn’t happen….

I went to sleep at 9:45 pm.

My friend called and said his grandmother wants her life back.

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April 4, 2011

No Butts About It

This is the last recipe I ever pictured posting. Well, that may be a bit dramatic, but let’s just say that when I envisioned my healthy living blog, pulled pork shoulder butt (I have yet to understand what this means) was not at the top of my list. Really, though, it should have been. You see, I’m a picky eater but I’ll eat anything (anything real, that is). I don’t turn down meat or dairy or eggs or sugar…I usually just like to make sure that I know where my food is coming from, know what may be hiding that isn’t so great for my body, and try to make sure that I’m mostly putting plants in my mouth. I’m a thoughtful eater, I suppose. Last night’s family dins? Despite it’s focus on a pig’s heiny? Definitely thoughtful.

Ooo, look at that steamy sauce. Pulled pork slow-cooked in our Crock Pot with a heaping pile of kale chips and a soft corn muffin. This is the perfect meal for any time of year. Football games? Cookouts? Cold winter night? Lazy Sunday? Post-race meal? I could go on.

One of my roommates has had a serious hankering for bbq this week and let me tell you, this bbq is serious. Loaded with sweet and tangy flavors from Bone Suckin’ BBQ sauce, spice from the chipotle marinade, and unbelievably fall-apart soft from its hours in the slow cooker. We were inspired by Jenna’s recipe but made some changes of our own based on what we could find. My roommate did the heavy lifting with this meal and prepared the butt – she left me the easy job of sides! Usually my meals are much heavier in the whole grains and greens but hey, sometimes life calls for getting a little down and dirty. And I am SO glad we did.

This was ten zillion times better than the local BBQ joint and we knew exactly what we were eating (which makes a meal even more enjoyable for me!). We picked up organic pork at Whole Foods and we were able to cut off all of that nasty white fat, control the amount of salt and sugar going in, and pick healthier sides. I usually like to make things from scratch but the mixes from Arrowhead Mills are delicious and healthy and great time-savers. Very little sugar, whole grains, and healthy oil! I made a half-batch. The full batch requires 1 egg but I put 1 egg into my half and it was fine! I used grapeseed oil but any mild cooking oil will work.

BBQ Pulled Pork (Shoulder Butt)

adapted from Eat Live Run

ours served 3 with a serving of leftovers

1-2 lbs organic pork butt shoulder (we used 1.6 lbs, adjust for fat removal)

8 oz. Bone Suckin’ Sauce (regular variety)

4 oz. chipotle sauce (whatever you can find!)

1/2 large yellow onion, chopped

1 tsp kosher salt

1 tsp ground mustard

1/4 tsp chili powder

Mix the salt, mustard, and chili powder together and rub all over the butt (heh =)). Brown the meat on all sides over medium-high heat. Once browned, place into the crock pot and add sauces and onion. Cook on high for 6-8 hours. When the meat falls apart when touch with a fork, it’s eating time!

Shred the pork and serve! Make sure to have extra muffins or bread to sop up all of that yummy sauce!

We only let our meat cook for about 5 1/2 hours – we started too late in the day and were way too impatient to wait. If it fell apart after only 5 1/2, imagine the melt-in-your-mouth quality after 8!

Don’t forget the greens!

Kale Chips

Preheat the oven to 375*. Wash and dry your kale (use however much you want to eat). Tear off large potato-chip size chunks, leaving behind the thick stalk, and spread onto a large baking sheet. Sprinkle with kosher salt and drizzle with olive oil. Toss around to evenly coat. Bake for 15 minutes. Delicious with kethcup or bbq sauce or whatever else you like!

To quote one of my rooommates, “This is the best thing I have ever put in my mouth”.

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