Homemade Quesadilla Blast Salad

When you're watching your weight, eating out can present a bit of a challenge. But you can always order a salad, right? Not if it's the Quesadilla Explosion Salad from Chili's. The Quesadilla Explosion Salad is a really tasty and exciting item on the Chili's Bar and Grill menu. It seems healthy enough, with grilled chicken, tomatoes and corn relish, but this salad is more like two meals in one; a salad with chicken plus a quesadilla. 
The Quesadilla Explosion Salad is the highest-calorie salad on the Chili's menu, with 1,430 calories per serving. If you eat 2,000 calories a day, you've just blown almost three-quarters of your calorie intake on one salad.
Knowing the nutrition information for this salad might make you think twice before ordering it. We still probably wouldn't recommend ordering it if you enjoy fitting into your clothes. Usually, no quesadilla is a healthy quesadilla—unless you make it yourself at home with low-fat cheese, a normal-sized whole grain tortilla, and plenty of veggies.  By making a quesadilla at home, you have more control over the ingredients and portion size. By choosing the right ingredients, though, and keeping the portion size reasonable, a quesadilla can be a comforting, nutritious lunch or dinner.
Skip the restaurant and replicate this recipe at home using a more weight loss friendly method. Try this quesadilla explosion salad recipe the next time you're craving a zesty plate of greens without the calories and carbs.

Homemade Quesadilla Explosion Salad Recipe


For Quesadilla:

  • Whole Wheat low-fat/ low-carb flour or corn tortilla Original/Soft Taco size
  • ¼ cup shredded fat-free cheddar cheese

For Salad:

  • 3 oz. boneless skinless lean chicken breast strips
  • 1 tsp. fajita seasoning powder
  • 3 cups chopped romaine lettuce
  • ¼ cup diced tomatoes
  • 2 tbsp. canned sweet corn kernels, drained & thawed
  • 1 tbsp. canned black beans, rinsed
  • 2 tsp fresh cilantro, minced

For Dressing:

  • 3 tbsp. fat-free balsamic vinaigrette
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. lime juice
  • ½ tsp. no-calorie sweetener packet (like Splenda)
  • ½  tsp orange zest
  • Pinch of ground nutmeg

Preparation Instructions

  1. Begin by coating the strips of chicken in the fajita seasoning powder. Marinate your chicken breast in the refrigerator for one hour.
  2. Whisk all of the dressing ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar has melted. Refrigerate or set aside so the flavors can combine while you build your salad.
  3. Wash the Romaine lettuce leaves thoroughly and dry them, or use a salad spinner to remove excess water. Using wet lettuce will make your salad soggy and unappetizing. Once your lettuce is clean and dry, chop it into bite-sized pieces and place in a large salad bowl. Next, layer the corn, black beans, tomato, and cheese on top of the salad.
  4. When the chicken has marinated for an hour, Place your slices on a grill and cook until done. It only takes a few minutes to grill or you can cook in a frying pan.
  5. Finally, pour the dressing made in step 2 over the salad. If you'd like a bit of extra crunch, take a torilla and use a pizza cutter to slice into thin strips. Place on a grill and cook until crispy or toast in the oven for a few minutes until crispy.
  6. Serve crispy torilla strips on the side and then place the seasoned chicken on top of the salad. If you like, garnish salad with cilantro. Enjoy!
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Ready In: 15 minutes
Servings: 1

Nutritional Facts

  • Calories: 308
  • Fat: 4g
  • Sodium: 1,290mg
  • Carbs: 33g
  • Fiber: 11.5g
  • Sugars: 9g
  • Protein: 42g

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