Sometimes teaching cooking classes can be a real challenge.
When I chose the Chicken Enchilada Quinoa Bake for my last diabetes cooking class, the whole room (except for 1) decided the dish was too spicy…even though we left out the jalapeno. To my palate, I hardly detected spiciness whatsoever (and the employees inhaled the dish when it was offered in the cafe). It’s truly amazing how the same dish can be interpreted so many ways and why, to a foodie like me, being told someone has a similar palate as mine is a huge compliment.
Last night’s cooking class was on women’s health and I chose to focus on breast cancer and nutrition. The recipe included anti-cancer field greens, extra-virgin olive oil, and salmon.
Before the class even started one of the participants was running down the ingredient list making their personal opinions known.
“Kalamata olives…bleck.” one woman said.
“Salmon….ewww.” she continued.
“Could I make this with tilapia instead?” she inquired.
I warmly responded that yes, tilapia would certainly work, but the anti-cancer health benefits would not be that of salmon. Needless to say, she tried — and loved — the dish served. With the salmon. And kalamata olives.
My hospital is undergoing a “Waist Management” endeavor to have our organization lose 1,000 pounds by June 30, 2014. One of my roles in this endeavor is to continue “healthifying” our cafe and offering additional nutrition and cooking education classes. A suggestion I made was to have new recipes in the cafe that people could try and give feedback on before we actually incorporate them into the menu. Often, getting people to look past a name, ingredient, or appearance can be a challenge…especially if they’re opening their wallets to do so. I find myself biting my tongue as to not blurt out, “Just try it! So what if you don’t like it? At least give it a shot.”
This recipe — pretty on the outside, but let me tell you, the crab and avocado mixture inside is rather unsightly. The result, however…the total WOW-factor. Loved this quesadilla that offers up some nutrition versus your ordinary quesadilla
- 1 mango, peeled, pitted, and cut into ¼ inch cubes
- ½ red bell pepper, seeds and ribs removed, chopped small
- 1 jalapeno, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- ¼ cup cilantro, minced
- 2 scallions, minced
- juice of 1 lime
- ¼ cup minced red onion
- ¼ tsp kosher salt
- 1 avocado
- 2 Tbsp cilantro, minced
- juice of ½ lime
- 4 oz Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
- 1 cup crabmeat, picked over
- ½ tsp hot sauce
- ¼ tsp kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 (10-inch) whole wheat tortillas
- To make the salsa, combine all the ingredients in a small bowl; set aside.
- In a medium bowl, mash the avocado with the back of a fork until it’s almost smooth. To the avocado, add the cilantro, lime juice, cheese, crab, hot sauce, salt, and black pepper; mix well.
- Heat a large, non-stick skillet over medium heat or alternately, an electric griddle. Spread the crab mixture over half of the tortilla and fold in half; transfer to the skillet or griddle. Cook quesadillas 3-5 minutes per side, or until golden. Slice quesadilla into wedges and serve with the mango salsa.
Friday, you feel about 4 days late but THANK GOODNESS you’re here. And…my workout is already done for the day. Happy weekend!