Monday, December 15, 2008

Homemade Is Just Heavenly

So for any of you who are just getting to know me; I love to find a healthy, more natural, alternative to just about anything.
Since I plan all our meals it’s often I spend about an hour or two the day before grocery shopping to organize the shelves & fridge as well as to check for missing ingredients for each of my recipes.
A great tip I learned early on is to have a plan and make a list before heading to the market and you will be sure to save lots at checkout and reduce waste!
I had gotten busy, and when I say busy I really mean lazy, so I have been slacking in this area. Nothing bothers me more than not being a good steward of my husband’s hard earned money. So, I recently got myself back on track and hunkered down more than ever. I started taking a deeper look at the ingredients I was placing on my list in order to analyze if there were more "common" items I could make myself.
One of the meals I was planning "Ranch Chicken Quesadillas" calls for both ranch dressing and flour tortillas. Since I try to stick to the rule "If you can pronounce a label’s ingredient it's good and if you can't it's don’t get it" I decided to research making my own ranch and tortillas. Tortillas you can, often, get away with buying store bought without feeling guilty about "what's really in there" but ranch dressing...there is just no getting around the unknown ingredients inside; take a look yourself if you haven’t already. Never fear; you can make your own ranch dressing at home; cheaper and yes it tastes much better. My favorite site to visit to find healthy, natural, alternatives to everyday food items is called in which Mrs. Miller’s recipe for homemade ranch is just fantastic. When I made homemade buffalo chicken fingers I simply added some feta cheese to make a "blue cheese" style dressing.

So my tortillas & ranch tonight was such a hit! Even better there was a certain satisfaction in making it all from scratch. Not only is it a great accomplishment but I felt surprisingly at ease about knowing everything that was going into my families bellies.

Ranch Chicken Quesadillas

1 lb Chicken peeled in strips (I prefer to boil thighs on the bone; once cool you simply peel the meat off.
½ cup home prepared ranch dressing
1 small can of diced chili’s (mild)
½ small onion chopped
4 oz shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 400. Once you have completed cooking the tortillas; place them flat on a hard surface. Cover ½ of your tortilla with chicken mixture then fold over, press in edged (making a half moon) and set aside. Once you have completed place all filled tortilla shells flat on a cookie sheet and bake for 25 min.
You could also place them in a George Forman Grill and cook them that way,

Ranch Dressing

Flour Tortillas

Try it and let me know what you think; I’d love to hear how it makes you feel to cook for your family from scratch!

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