Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Eating On A Budget: Pineapple and Chicken Black-Bean Quesadilla

Eat well while saving money.

I really like . I always look to her site for cheap, quick and healthy recipes. Of all things I have taken away from her site it is cooking beans in the crock pot instead of buying them canned. It is by far healthier, cheaper and easier!

I used to HATE beans; they weren't appetizing to me and I picked them out of everything. Since I made my lifestyle change I thoroughly enjoy them and have found that black beans are my favorite. They're an excellent source of protein, cheap and healthy! What more can you ask for?

As I have been working to streamline my grocery shopping, satisfy my health(ier) lifestyle and keep my boyfriend happy with heartier meals I venture to Budget Bytes often. I started making more from-scratch meals and stumbled upon the chicken and pineapple quesadilla recipe on the website.

A)Instead of using pre-made tortillas I made homemade ones with the following recipe:

2 cups self-rising flour
3/4 cup water
dash of salt
3 tablespoons vegetable oil

Since I like things to be easy and time efficient I threw everything in a medium-size bowl, stirred it together, broke it into medium-sized balls and then kneaded it until it was the thickness and size I preferred.

1. Mix all ingredients
2. Break into medium-size balls
3. Knead until desired thickness and size.

I sprayed a nonstick skillet with a little non-stick spray (I know it is repetitive but better safe than sorry). Over medium heat I cooked each side for one minute. It will yield around 8-9 tortillas.

4. Spray non-stick spray on skillet
5. Cook each side for 1 minute over medium heat


B) As for the quesadilla recipe (as mentioned on Budget Bytes) I used black beans, chicken, pineapples and salsa along with toppings such as shredded cheese and a little plain Greek yogurt.

16 ounces (= 1 can) black beans
2 boneless, skinless chicken breasts
15 ounces (= 1 can) pineapple chunks with juice
dashes of minced onion
dashes of paprika
dashes of cilantro
dashes of oregano
splash of lemon juice
4+ cups of water

As you can see I obviously don't follow measurements unless I am baking. I believe that each individual has different tastes and I like my seasonings the way I like them; therefore, I go by eye.

1. In a medium saucepan add all the dashes of seasonings and the chicken breasts. Bring to a rolling boil then let simmer for 30 minutes (making sure not to let all the water evaporate).
2. Once chicken is fully cooked remove from the pan and empty leftover water.
3. Return pan onto medium heat and add beans and pineapples.
4. Add a few dashes of lemon juice and any additional dashes of seasonings you prefer.**
5. While the beans, pineapples juice and seasonings heat shred chicken breasts to the thinness you prefer.
6. Add chicken and cook for an additional 20 minutes over medium heat; stirring occasionally so that the mixture doesn't stick.

Once all is heated you're finished with your quesadilla mixture! All you have left to do now is plop some onto those yummy homemade tortillas, add your toppings and devour! This recipe makes right at 8-filled quesadillas.

Like I mentioned earlier I used a little pineapple salsa, Greek yogurt and shredded Mexican-blend cheese as toppings. I also used tortilla chips as a side. If you don't want to engorge on store-bought tortilla chips you can make your own simply by following the above tortilla recipe but instead of cooking in a skillet slice into triangles and bake on 325F until golden brown (about 10-15 minutes).

** I like to boil my chicken with dashes of seasonings so the flavors cook into the meat but I also add additional dashes once I am on the home-stretch and finalizing the cooking process that way it adds to the flavor of the finished dish.

P.S. be sure to drink PLENTY of water with this recipe as it is obviously packed with sodium. No one likes Mexican food the next day when they're bloated so just avoid that all together!

Please note as I have taken this quesadilla recipe from but I have adapted it to my likings.

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