Kay Wheeler Moore

Welcome to my blog

Hello. . .

The Newfangled Country Gardener is for anyone who has a garden, would like to have a garden, or who simply enjoys eating the garden-fresh way. I don't claim to be an expert; in this blog I'm simply sharing some of the experiences my husband and I have in preparing food that is home-grown.

About the author

Kay Wheeler Moore is the author of a new cookbook, Way Back in the Country Garden, that features six generations of recipes that call for ingredients that are fresh from the garden. With home gardening surging in popularity as frugal people become more resourceful, this recipe collection and the stories that accompany it ideally will inspire others to cook the garden-fresh way and to preserve their own family food stories as well. The stories in this book center around the Three Red-Haired Miller Girls (Kay's mother and aunts) who grew up in Delta County, TX, with their own backyard garden so lavish that they felt as though they were royalty after their Mama wielded her kitchen magic on all that was homegrown. Introduced in Kay's previous book, Way Back in the Country, the lively Miller Girls again draw readers into their growing-up world, in which a stringent economic era--not unlike today's tight times--saw people turn to the earth to put food on the table for their loved ones. The rollicking yarns (all with recipes attached) have love, family, and faith as common denominators and show how food evocatively bonds us to our life experiences.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Fizzling spinach wilts purposefully in Colorful Quesadillas

Leftover spinach is just plain no fun. Crispy and fresh in its packaging as it arrives home from the store, it forms the basis of dynamite salads and healthfully lines sandwiches in the place of lettuce. But allowed to sit in the fridge even for a few days, it quickly starts fizzling.

Watching this super-food turn to mush piques my conscience. I need to do something quick. But what? How?

At about the same time I began my soul-searching, I encountered a recipe for Colorful Quesadillas. Immediately I was drawn to it. What makes these quesadillas colorful? I ponder.

Aha, spinach! The very food item I wanted to re-purpose since I no longer needed it for a salad.
Add green pepper, left over from my garden and already chopped into bits and resting in an airtight container in the freezer. Add cheese, to be melted in the stovetop preparation.

All the basic needs met--plus the need for a quick, Sunday-night supper with minimal prep. As the cheese melted and the spinach and green peppers steamed in the skillet, the colorful adjective sprang to life. Why hadn't I invented this recipe, since I love spinach enchiladas better than life?

For sure I had a new recipe on my quick-and-easy (and might I add, healthy) favorites list.

Colorful Quesadillas

8 ounces cream cheese, fat-free
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
8 tortillas, whole-wheat, small
1 cup bell pepper, chopped
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded, low-fat
2 cups fresh spinach, chopped

In a small bowl mix the cream cheese and garlic powder. Spread 2 tablespoons of the cheese mixture on each tortillas. Sprinkle 2 tablespoons bell pepper and 2 tablespoons shredded cheese on half of each tortilla. Add 2 tablespoons spinach to each tortilla. Fold tortillas in half. Lightly spray large skillet with cooking spray. Heat skillet over medium heat. Place 2 folded tortillas in skillet and heat for 1 to 2 minutes on each side or until tortillas are golden brown. Remove quesadillas from skillet. Place on platter. Cut each quesadilla into 2-4 wedges. Cover with foil to keep warm until serving time. Makes 8 servings.

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