I don’t even know where to begin. I was OVERJOYED (yes – overjoyed) with how this veggie quesadilla recipe turned out. I could live on these quesadillas and my guacamole and homemade corn tortilla chips (and maybe some dark chocolate) for the rest. of. my. life. This is some serious goodness, I tell ya. Best quesadilla I ever had. Just make it for yourself, you’ll see – (oh and I forgot to mention these are also gluten-free)!
My husband (who I call Hubs on this blog) has started to refer to himself in the third person as “Hubs.” He thinks he’s funny. When he took a bite of the quesadilla, he said, “Hubs loves it!”
Props to Kieran at Health is Happiness for coming up with this masterpiece. I adapted it ever so slightly to make it gluten-free and to use up some veggies I had on hand. A friend gave me a huge bag of mini sweet peppers, which is what brought me to this recipe. I was looking for a way to use them up, and this recipe certainly helped. Of course, you can just use regular bell peppers instead.
They taste as good as they look – I promise.
YIELDS 3-4 LARGE QUESADILLAS (depending on how full you pack ’em)
2 Tbsp. coconut oil
1 medium to large red onion, diced
1 large green pepper + 1 large red pepper, chopped (or about 10-12 mini sweet peppers)
1 jalapeño, minced or chopped
1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup fresh mushrooms, chopped
1 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. ground coriander
1 tsp. dried oregano
3 cups fresh spinach, chopped
sea salt and black pepper to taste
6 or 8 Food for Life Brown Rice Tortillas (wheat and gluten-free)
Daiya Pepperjack Style Shreds
salsa (gluten-free, if need be)
I used ALL of the extras in my quesadillas and I would highly recommend it. The Daiya cheese is important because it holds it all together. The avocado makes it creamy and delicious. Cilantro, lime juice and salsa help to amp up the flavor factor. You could also add minced garlic in STEP 1 if you like. You’ll need 6 or 8 tortillas, based on how full you stuff them. I used 6 and had a little filling left over, but not much. If you can find the brand I mentioned above use it – they brown up perfectly and get nice and crispy on the edges (they are also great for wraps). Locals, you can find them at Apple Valley.
In a large, deep skillet over medium or medium-low heat, add coconut oil, onion, and peppers (including jalapeño) with a pinch of sea salt. Sauté for 15 minutes until softened and translucent. You don’t want them to brown, so reduce the heat if necessary. Cook it slowly so everything gets soft and sweet.
Add black beans, mushrooms and spices. Mix everything together and continue cooking for 5 minutes.
Add spinach and continue cooking for a few minutes, until spinach wilts. Add salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.
I used a large, shallow pan sprayed with cooking spray, over medium heat (or coated with 1/2 teaspoon of vegan butter) to cook the quesadillas. This makes it easy for flipping if you use a large plate or thin cutting board to sandwich the quesadilla and flip the pan upside down. Then slide the quesadilla off the plate/cutting board back onto the pan so you can cook the other side.
I assembled the quesadillas directly on the pan. Begin with one tortilla, topped with about ¼ cup Daiya Shreds (cheese), followed by some of the bean/veggie filling. Do not spread the filling to the edge of the tortilla. It will spread out as it’s cooking. Add your preferred extras (avocado slices, cilantro, salsa, lime juice). Add a little more cheese on top, then top it off with a second tortilla.
I set a cast iron skillet on top of the quesadilla while it was cooking. The weight helps everything stick together inside. Cook for about 5 minutes (until tortilla browns up slightly), then flip and repeat.
Cut quesadilla in half, then cut each half into 6 triangles. Optional – garnish with chopped cilantro, serve with salsa and/or guacamole.
Don’t you just want to eat these up right now!?!?
They are the perfect combination of flavor, spice, creamy and crunchy. I may have done a little victory dance when I took the first bite. Thanks again, Kieran!
The leftovers reheat perfectly in the toaster oven. Looks like I’m all set for a day or two ;)
Note: Updated 4/2/17