The Happiest of Happy Hours

┬áDairy and I don’t get along so well. She’s like a bossy older sister whom you love and respect but often want to smack upside the head. I love cheese (mmm triple creams) and ice cream and butter (c’mon, from southern roots, whatdaya want?) but these things don’t love me anymore. I avoid them when I can but sneak them into my diet when cravings strike or when these items just sound too good to pass up.

But goat cheese? Goat cheese is like the boyfriend who doesn’t just bring you flowers, but plants a garden in your honor. Goat cheese never makes me sick and with its lovely creamy texture I sometimes want to eat it by the fork-full.

Today’s recipe was inspired by a recent office happy hour where I was delighted to find something that I could eat sandwiched between the usual bar menus of fried cheese and, uh, fried cheese.

Spinach Mushroom Goat Cheese Quesadillas
–1 tbsp olive oil
–small onion, diced
–garlic, diced
–1 bell pepper, seeds removed and sliced or diced (your choice on the color)
–10 oz package of mushrooms, sliced (I cheated and bought pre-sliced for convenience)
–3-4 cups fresh baby spinach, washed and drained (again, I’m a cheater and bought the pre-washed 6oz bag for ease)
–salt and pepper to taste
–4 oz log of goat cheese, sliced into rounds
–4 sun dried tomato tortillas

Heat the oven to 350 degrees.

In a large deep-sided skillet, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute a few minutes. Add the bell pepper and cook until the pepper pieces are softened but still firm. Add the mushrooms and cook down until the mushrooms are softened but not mushy.Add the spinach, working in batches and stirring so that the wilted spinach moves to the top and the new fresh spinach is closer to the fire to be wilted.

Brush the tortillas with the tiniest bit of olive oil or spray lighting with cooking spray. Place one tortilla oiled side down on a baking sheet. Add and spread some of the mushroom mix. Top the mix with 1/2 of the goat cheese rounds. Cover with the second tortilla. Repeat this process for the second quesadilla.

Place the quesadillas in the oven and bake for 10-12 minutes, until the top tortilla begins to brown but is not burned. Flip the quesadillas over and cook another 7 or so minutes until the other tortilla begins to crisp and get golden. Remove from the oven, slice up and eat!

Dammit Jim, I’m a cook, not a doctor…
Serves: 4 (makes 2 quesadillas)
Calories: 359 per serving (718 per quesadilla)

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