Monday, November 23, 2009

Recipe for Turkey and Guacamole Quesadilla (to make from leftover Thanksgiving turkey or chicken)

Turkey and Guacamole QuesadillaYes, I realize Thanksgiving is still three days away! But in the crazy world of food blogging, if you're suggesting recipes people might cook for a special occasion, you need to let them know before that day arrives. I've finished posting Thanksgiving Recipes, and now I've been working on recipes for turkey leftovers. For the next three days I'll share a new recipe using turkey, and then on Thanksgiving I'll post my top ten recipes for leftover turkey. Of course, if you're not cooking a turkey this year, any of these recipes could be made with rotisserie chicken. Let's get this Thanksgiving leftovers week going, starting with my favorite way to make quesadillas, with leftover turkey, cheese, and just the right amount of slightly spicy guacamole.

I call this way of making guacamole "easy guacamole" and of course you start by peeling and cutting up an avocado, then mashing with a fork.

Then add just a bit of lime juice, green Tabasco or other hot sauce, salt, and chile powder and blend it up.

Cut the turkey into thin strips. I was using a turkey breast for this, but they don't need to be this long.

I used high fiber low carb tortillas to keep it South Beach Diet friendly, but you can use any type of tortilla. Brush a non-stick pan with a tiny bit of olive oil, turn the heat to low, put a tortilla in the pan, and add 2 T low-fat cheese. (I used tortillas that were 9 inches across, so if yours are smaller, you'll need a bit less of each filling ingredient.)

Let it heat until the cheese is just barely starting to melt, about half melted. This will take about 30-60 seconds, depending on how hot the pan was when you put the tortilla in.

Then lay about 2 oz. turkey strips on one side of the tortilla and let it heat for about 30 seconds.

Add two heaping tablespoons of the guacamole mixture like this, so it's easy to spread out over the cheese. (Even if you love guacamole, don't use much more than this or it squishes out of the quesadilla every time you take a bite, so annoying!) Let the turkey heat about 30-45 seconds.

Then use a rubber scraper or a large spoon to spread the guacamole mixture over one half of the tortilla. Let the quesadilla heat about 30 seconds more.

When the cheese is fully melted and the turkey is warmed through, fold over the guacamole side of the tortilla, and remove from the pan. Total cooking time is less than five minutes. Serve hot with sour cream and salsa if desired.

Turkey and Guacamole Quesadillas
(Makes 2 quesadillas, recipe created by Kalyn. It's pronounced kay-suh-dee-uh in case anyone is wondering!)

2 large flour tortillas, 9 inch size (I used La Tortilla Factory Smart and Delicious Low Carb High Fiber Tortillas from Costco)
1 tsp olive oil, divided
4 oz sliced turkey, cut into thin strips
4 T grated cheese (I used Four Cheese Mexican Blend from Costco, which is a blend of low-fat cheeses)
1 avocado
2 tsp. lime juice
1/4 tsp. green Tabasco (or other hot sauce, add to taste)
salt to taste (I used Vege-Sal)
pinch of chile powder (don't use too much or it turns the guacamole brown!)
sour cream and salsa for serving, optional


Cut the avocado in half, remove the seed (using the tip of your knife to poke it and lift it out is an easy way to do that), then scrape out the avocado into a bowl, discard the skin, and mash the avocado with a fork. Add lime juice, green Tabasco or other hot sauce, salt, and chile powder and stir until well combined.

Cut turkey into strips not more than 1/2 inch wide, and have cheese grated. Have all ingredients ready on the counter close to your stove because these cook quickly.

Use a pastry brush or paper towel to brush 1/2 tsp. olive oil on the surface of a non-stick frying pan. Put pan on the stove, turn heat to low and heat pan for a few seconds. Add a tortilla, then sprinkle on 2 T grated cheese and let heat until cheese is partly melted, about 30-60 seconds, depending on how hot the pan was.

When cheese is partly melted, lay thin strips of turkey across one half of the tortilla and let the turkey heat about 30 seconds. (You might need to cut some of the strips of turkey to get them to fit the shape of the tortilla. Try to make a single layer as much as possible.)

Put 2 heaping tablespoons of guacamole on the other side of the tortilla, spacing them evenly so it will be easy to spread out. Use a rubber scraper or large spoon to spread out the guacamole over the other side of the tortilla.

Let tortilla heat about 30 seconds more, then fold the guacamole side over the turkey side and remove from pan. Repeat to make a second quesadilla, or if you have two pans you can make two at a time. Serve hot, with sour cream and salsa if desired.

South Beach Suggestions:
Made with whole wheat or low carb tortillas and low fat cheese, this is a great lunch option for phase 2 or 3 of the South Beach Diet. Avocados are high in fat, but it's considered a "good fat" for South Beach, and the low-fat Four Cheese Mexican Blend cheese I used has only 9 grams of fat in 1/3 cup.

More About Flour Tortillas and What To Make With Whole Wheat Tortillas:
(Recipes from other blogs may not always be South Beach Diet friendly; check ingredients.)
Kalyn's Kitchen Picks ~ Joseph's Flax, Oat Bran, and Whole Wheat Pitas and Tortillas
Kalyn's Kitchen Picks ~ Carb Chopper Whole Wheat Tortillas
Egg Salad and Cheese Quesadillas from Kalyn's Kitchen
Egg Burritos to Die For from Kalyn's Kitchen
Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas from House of Annie (Just use White Whole Wheat to replace white flour to make these 100% Whole Wheat)
Whole Wheat Tortillas from Shiny Cooking
Roasted Halibut Tacos with Mango Salsa from The Perfect Pantry
Whole Wheat Mini Pizza from Cooking with Amy
Whole Wheat Tortillas with Pork Adobo Filling from Home Cooking Rocks
Whole Wheat Quesadillas from What's Cooking
Quick Tortilla Pizza (video) from Green Lite Bites
(Want even more recipes? I find these recipes from other blogs using Food Blog Search.)counter customizable free hit
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  1. Yum! I really need to find a good gf tortilla - quesadillas used to be a favourite meal! These ones look absolutely delicious =D.

  2. are so far ahead of me it's not funny. I am not even close to posting about Thanksgiving leftovers as I'm too stressed about cooking the actual dinner! Blogging about leftovers before Thanksgiving will have to wait until next year for me, I'm afraid.
    Your quesadillas look great though!

  3. Quesadillas are a great way to use up leftover turkey!

    Those La Tortilla wraps are the best!

  4. We're not making a turkey this year, but chicken breasts are always in my freezer and they'd be perfect in these quesadillas, too. Can't wait to try them!

  5. I love guacamole!! I can't wait to make this with leftover turkey :)

  6. Being in Kuching, Malaysia where they don't celebrate the US Thanksgiving and where frozen turkeys are going for $200, we've opted not to make a turkey on Thursday. But we're going to do a smoked duck this weekend! So if there are any leftovers, I'll be making some duck quesadillas.

    Thanks for the link back to our whole wheat tortilla post!

  7. Quesadilla looks great! I make a similar vegetarian one with cilantro-lime rice, black beans and guacamole! okay, i am officially hungry now :)

  8. This is such an easy, tasty use for leftover turkey. Your guacamole looks so simple, but incredibly tasty.

  9. This is so funny to me because my dad, for some reason, is making what he calls "avocado dip" on Thanksgiving (guacamole) and so we will actually have all of these things left over! Sounds like a great quesadilla.

  10. Thanks for the idea! i know what we're having for dinner tonight, I just made homemade chicken broth and needed an idea to use up the leftover chicken!

  11. What a great idea for left overs, Kalyn! Thank you for adding me to your list and for the wonderful link. I will do the same :)

  12. Quesadillas are one of my go-to ideas for leftovers. They are so comforting and you can make them nice and figure friendly. Plus, any excuse for guacamole! These look great.

  13. Oooh this is perfect for leftover turkey! I love turkey and avocado together... So California and SO good!

    Happy Thanksgiving :)


  14. I see I'm not keeping up on comments here at all. Sorry about that, but I do appreciate that people are liking the recipe. It's simple, but really good! Thanks everyone!

  15. Wow!Harika bir lezzet!Perfect!

  16. Just had the Turkey and Guacamole Quesadillas for dinner and they were great. Thanks, Kalyn!

  17. Linda, so glad you liked the recipe!

  18. That's a great looking quesadilla. The guacamole will liven up the turkey! Will try that tomorrow.

  19. What is a T supposed to be?
    I'm a guy that don't know.

  20. In recipes, T stands for tablespoon. (And tsp. stands for teaspoon, in case you run into that one!)

  21. As a newcomer to the web, I am constantly looking online for info that may aid me. This has been one which is. Thank you!

  22. I made this for lunch yesterday. It's a great example of: so easy and simple BUT sooo delicious. I always make quick guacamole with just avocado, medium pace picante sauce and lime juice worked great in this. I used pepper jack for the cheese. It worked well in this as well.

    I am in week four of south beach. Wish me luck.

  23. Vicki, hang in there. You can do it!


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