Thursday, June 20, 2013

A Capitol Picnic

Remember my special trip to the grocery store that I talked about the other day? Well, it was so I could get all of the necessary ingredients to prepare a delicious picnic lunch. A couple of weeks ago, Dylan and I sat down and made a list of "Austin-y" things we want to do together, and one of my contributions was a picnic at the Capitol.

It was my turn to pick what we would cross off, so, as I am sure you all could guess by the title of this post, I chose a picnic at the Capitol. I love picnics, and I also love preparing food, so I took this one completely into my hands. I wanted to make something more fun than sandwiches (but don't get me wrong, sandwiches can be very fun), and I already had a lot of what I would need to make quesadillas. Additionally, Dylan frequently teases me about not being able to eat cheese, so I decided to surprise him by preparing what is typically a very cheesy dish.

Here is what our picnic consisted of -
  • Chicken and pineapple quesadillas
  • Homemade guacamole and pita chips
  • Grapes and baby mandarins
I have pinned healthy quesadilla recipe after healthy quesadilla recipe after healthy quesadilla recipe, but I have never before acted on them. Yesterday was finally the day, and I have to take a moment and brag on myself. I lightly followed a few quesadilla recipes, but the finished product ended up being something of my own creation.

Yesterday, while perusing Pinterest, I found a chicken and pineapple quesadilla recipe. That screamed "summer" to me, and I knew I had some pineapple slices in the refrigerator at home, so I decided to go for it. I cut them into smaller chunks, before sautéing them like I would vegetables. I didn't have a grill handy, so sometimes you just have to work with what you have.

I put the pineapple chunks aside while I got to work on sautéing the chicken. I used two thin chicken breasts, and cut them into long slices, similar to what you might see in a restaurant quesadilla. I sauteed them like I normally would, topping them with my favorite lemon pepper.

After putting the chicken on a plate, I got out my low-carb FlatOut Multigrain with Flax wraps, lightly sprayed the frying pan with cooking spray, and put one of the wraps in the pan. For my quesadilla, I covered half of the wrap with dairy-free cheese, grilled chicken slices, pineapple chunks, and red and green bell peppers. I almost forgot to add in the salsa, but I remembered last-second. Phew. Dylan's quesadilla was exactly the same as mine, though his included real cheese, and a bit more of everything. Once I had everything loaded onto one side of the wrap, I folded over the other half and let it cook for a few minutes on each side, until the cheese was completely melted.

With the quesadillas taken care of, I set to work on the guacamole. I am a little embarrassed to admit that I had never before made guacamole, so this was also a new recipe for me. Before even cutting open the avocados, I cut up part of a white onion, a red onion, half a tomato, and some more pineapple chunks, before setting all of that aside. I then cut into two avocados and scooped the flesh into a bowl. I mashed the avocado with the back of my fork, and then threw in the extra ingredients, mixing them well. I then added a dash of lemon pepper and squeezed two lime halves on top of the guacamole in order to keep it fresh.

Next time I would be sure to add cilantro, but that completely slipped my mind until I walked out of the grocery store the other night, and I just didn't have it in me to go back and search for it. However, I would say I did a pretty good job for my first attempt at guacamole!

All of the food preparation took about an hour, and I absolutely loved doing it. It's been a while since I have tried a new recipe, and this one was fairly easy, fun, and delicious (at least, I thought so, and Dylan is too nice to say otherwise). We had a very nice picnic on the Capitol lawn, managing to stay somewhat cool in the middle of a warm Texas afternoon. Dylan even got to cross feeding a squirrel off of his bucket list. Austin squirrels are probably the funniest animals you will ever see - they are fearless, yet very friendly.

I ended my day on one of my favorite notes - a sunset walk on Town Lake. I attended my favorite Austin spin class earlier that afternoon, but it was too perfect of a night to pass up, plus, all of my roommates were out and about, so a walk seemed like the perfect way to kill  some time before they got home. I sure am thankful that I get to live here, enjoying views like this daily.

And now I'm back at work after a wonderful day off. Have a great Thursday, and Go Spurs Go!

1 comment:

  1. You are so lucky to have a man like Dylan.