Go-to foods are those you rely on to answer those proverbial questions: What are we having for lunch or what's for dessert? In our house, my husband always wants to know what we're having for lunch or dinner. I can almost predict when he's going to ask it, so most days I have an answer ready for him. There are several standards we enjoy for lunch and if you are trying to be healthy, some that have changed over time.
Back when we lived inside the Enid city limits, my husband came home for lunch most of the time. But now that we live outside town, I prepare and send lunch to the office with him. With a busy schedule of my own, I've expanded my go-to list to include plenty of healthy things for office, home and company.
We have favorite family foods for the few occasions our children show up and those aren't always the healthiest ones, so it is even more important that our everyday foods do not include Miss Bonnie's Fried Chicken with Chicken Fried Biscuits (my mother's recipe) or Chicken-Fried Steak with sides of fried okra and mashed potatoes with cream gravy plus homemade biscuits. (I am salivating just thinking about such things!)
Our Saturday lunch favorite of the “Melt,” as we called it, had to change after my husband's bypass surgery. Before that it was made open-faced like my mother-in-law taught me with a slice of white bread, buttered on both sides, slathered with mayonnaise, a big slice of tomato (preferably a giant homegrown one), crisp bacon (3 or even 4 overlapping slices), sliced onion and sliced sharp cheddar cheese. This was all melted and broiled together in a 400-degree, carefully monitored oven at the last to add a little brown to the oozing cheddar as it made its way down these decadent layers.
New Saturday lunch is a simple little go-to with no cholesterol: two corn tortillas, a generous helping of sauteed spinach, sauteed onion, smashed black beans, and a light sprinkle of shredded reduced-fat cheese. We enjoy salsa, and it is essential to the pleasure of this simple meal all in one dish.
Often for lunch I skip the beans and just enjoy the spinach with a little cheese and plenty of salsa. I define favorite as most any salsa made in Oklahoma or the one we are scoopin' or spoonin' at the time. Our new favorite is Mild Tow-Head Salsa. It comes in mild, medium and hot, but my husband, the city boy, prefers the mild.
Kirk and Christy Kuhlman perfected the recipes for their Tow-Head salsas in their own kitchen using garden fresh produce. Kirk actually started by making his own version of the salsa his grandparents made with an abundance of tomatoes and peppers from the garden. You can find out more about the Kuhlman's salsa adventure on their website along with their contact information: www.towheadproducts.com.
I will share more information about many other wonderful Oklahoma salsas over the summer. We have salsas for everyone's personal preference: Some will make you sweat while others will just have you singing “Oklahoma!” It's the stuff that will definitely perk up your version of any “Go-to” food.
Sherrel's Go-To Quesadillas
2 corn tortillas
2 teaspoons vegetable, grape seed or olive oil to brush on tortilla surfaces and additional for sauteing spinach (a handful or 2 for each quesadilla)
1 or 2 tablespoons grated Mexican Blend or goat cheese for each quesadilla
Optional addition: 1/3 to ½ cup black beans drained, heated and partially mashed (You will be able to make 3 to 4 quesadillas with each 15½-ounce can of black beans.)
• Sprinkle the grated cheese or dot the goat cheese over the spinach. Top with the other tortilla and put quesadilla back into skillet to heat through. If adding the optional black beans, heat them in a separate pan then put them under the spinach layer and top with cheese and remaining tortilla before heating until cheese melts.
• Serve hot with your favorite salsa.
Cook's note: You can add a variety of other ingredients including slices of leftover steak or chicken, roasted peppers, mushrooms and even summer squash.