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Cinco de Mayo is a holiday celebrated across the globe, but it's particularly prominent in the Southwest U.S., where Sunrise of Gilbert is located. The community's location in Arizona also makes it easy for Chef Vance Klein to acquire fresh, local ingredients to give residents an authentic taste of Mexican cuisine. This is exactly what he does with his Heart-Healthy Grilled Chicken Quesadilla dish, which he serves with Avocado Tomato Salsa.
Not only does this recipe offer fantastic Mexican flavors, it's packed with nutritional value. The chicken provides a great source of lean protein, and the salsa adds even more vitamins and minerals - including potassium, vitamin K, folate, B vitamins, vitamin C and lycopene.
Residents at Sunrise of Gilbert love this recipe because it marries a bold flavor with a crisp, clean taste that is also mild enough for those with more sensitive preferences.
Heart-Healthy Grilled Chicken Quesadillas with Avocado Tomato Salsa
1 pound skinless, boneless chicken breasts butterflied into 4 4-ounce pieces
4 12-inch low-fat flour tortillas
1 cup of 2 percent reduced fat Monterey Jack cheese
1 avocado, peeled and diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1 cup fresh tomato diced into 1/4-inch pieces
Juice of 1 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Cumin to taste
1/2 teaspoon jalapeno pepper finely chopped (stem, vein and seeds removed)
1/2 teaspoon chopped cilantro
Ingredients for chicken marinade
3 teaspoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon cilantro
Juice of 1 lime
1 clove of garlic
In a food processor, combine all ingredients for the marinade and pulse until they are unified in size. Pour the marinade over chicken in a glass bowl or in a plastic bag, and refrigerate for two hours.
To make the salsa, mix the avocado, tomato, cilantro, jalapeno peppers and lime juice together in a bowl. Add salt, pepper and cumin to taste. Cover this and refrigerate it for two hours.
When you are ready to make the quesadillas, preheat the grill or a griddle for 10 minutes. Grill chicken breasts on both sides until they are fully cooked, about 3 minutes on each side. Once the chicken is cooked, cut it into thin strips.
In a large frying pan or on the griddle, lightly brown a tortilla on one side. Flip it and sprinkle it with 1/4 cup Monterey Jack cheese and one sliced chicken breast. After one minute, fold the tortilla in half and remove it from the heat. Repeat this process with the remaining ingredients. Serve with about 2 ounces of the salsa.