Tuesday, July 3, 2012

The Best Vegan Quesadillas

One of my all-time favorite quick dinners belongs to quesadillas, vegan of course. At first that sound weird, queso – means cheese, so how do you make a vegan quesadilla? Well, right now on the market there are few good cheese substitutes that melt pretty well. My fave is Daiya pepper jack, soy and gluten free melts perfectly. For this recipe you actually don’t need to use any vegan cheeze at all. I promise it tastes amazing just the way it is.

The original idea for the quesadillas came from one of the vegan cookbooks I own. And it was pretty good, but I decided to make it even better by loading it with more fresh ingredients. And make it more suitable for a dinner entrĂ©e. I think I ate this for a week, every night – that’s how yummy, quick and easy it is.

This is what I do, first I prepare few essential items that go into the quesadilla and then just assemble and heat up on the pan. First thing first – a must mix – red onion, scallion and cilantro. Something that is pretty easy to chop up on a whim and keep in the air tight container in the fridge for a few days. You can put it on anything!

1 medium red onion, chopped,
10 scallions (green and white parts) chopped,
small bunch of cilantro (depends on your personal taste preferences) chopped

Mix all in a jar or plastic container, cover and store in the fridge for few days.

Ingredients for Quesadillas:
Flour tortillas (I use Trader Joes Chile and Onion flour tortillas)
1 can of rinsed organic black beans (or other beans of your choice)
1 package of chipotle hummus (from Trader Joes, if you don’t have it, just add a ½ tsp of taco seasoning to a small container of roasted red pepper hummus)
1 tomato, diced (or fresh tomato salsa)
Onion/scallion/cilantro mix
Taco seasoning
Avocado (or guacamole)

Ok, so first thing first – pre-heat a nonstick skillet with a tiny drop of olive oil. Take 2 tortillas, and spread a decent amount of hummus on each of them. Take one and gently placed on heated skillet hummus side up. Start loading – black beans first, tomatoes, onion/scallion/cilantro mix, and be generous with all the ingredients, you want this to be a hearty dinner! Sprinkle some taco seasoning and cover with the other tortilla, hummus side down. Let it sit on the skillet (on a medium low) for about 3 minutes on each side, until golden and warmed up inside.

Transfer to a plate or cutting board, make two cuts with a sharp knife or a pizza cutter, to have 4 quarters. Load up each quarter with avocado (or guacamole), sprinkle with more tomatoes, the mix and some lettuce. Take a bite! See what you think… I bet you’ll love it!

Now, if you are craving something more cheezy – you can add Daiya pepper jack before it covered with another tortilla. Keep it all the same, just at some point add some cheeze to the middle and cook a minute longer to make sure the cheeze melts. This recipe is so versatile, you can add whatever you want there. Chopped bell peppers, spinach, chick peas, refried black beans, vegan chili… whatever you want.

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