Sunday, 26 October 2014

Dinner Time Quesadillas

Since going dairy-free (except for yogurt) and meat-free (I do eat fish), there are surprisingly very few meals I've missed.  Lately, however, I've been craving a quesadilla.  I was trying to think of what I could use to replace the cheese in a quesadilla that would bind the tortilla wraps together.  I have never tried any replacement cheeses, though I'm aware they are out there, because I never really miss cheese.  I searched online and found that many people said they got great results from using black beans (mashed) because of their sticky consistency.  So black beans it was!

I took one can of black beans (rinsed) and mashed them well into a paste (you could use a blender instead but I prefer some texture). I then added 1 heaping Tablespoon of Tahini (sesame seed paste), a splash of lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste, garlic (fresh or powder), cayenne (if you like some spice), some Nutritional Yeast (optional), fresh spinach leaves (a good handful, washed), and finally I grated 2 full-sized carrots into the mix.  I mixed well to combine all the ingredients and then spread it onto my tortilla (I used whole wheat flax wraps) which was waiting in a lightly oiled pan (I use avocado oil since it cooks well at higher heat).  I then spread the filling (as much as you'd like…keep in mind that with beans comes LOTS of fibre), then add the 2nd tortilla on top and while the one side is cooking I add a bit of oil on the top wrap so when I flip it it's already oiled and ready to go.  I cook it at a medium heat.

Once browned on both sides, you're almost ready to eat!  I first make an easy dip (a different take on sour cream).  I use 2-3 heaping Tablespoons of Plain Greek Yogurt.  I then add 1T of lemon juice, some garlic (fresh or powder), cayenne (if you like spice) and salt and pepper to taste.  Mix well, and you have a simple dip that adds a punch of flavour to your quesadilla!

I was SO impressed with this meal and it's become a favourite in our house (though my daughter prefers her wrap with some shredded cheddar added).  The beans do a great job at keeping the tortillas together, and the flavour is amazing.  There could be so many variations.  I added black olives to our first batch (but since then we have preferred the shredded carrots).  You could add some cumin or chilli spices.  Maybe a layer of guacamole would be good as well, or if you don't like to cut out the dairy, then added a nice aged cheddar to the mix!  Have fun coming up with the flavour you prefer!

 The bean, spinach and carrot "paste" starting to cook on the tortilla
 The finished product!  The tortillas have a nice crunch to them.