Saturday, May 26, 2012

Vegan quesadillas w/ heirloom tomato salsa

I'm happy to say that perhaps my greatest personal accomplishment this week has been cracking the code on how to make absolutely delicious vegan quesadillas. The first time I tried to make one I pretty much failed, and I think now that it was due to two factors: trying to use whole grain tortillas (sigh), and not refrying my own beans.

I am happy to say though, that after two extensive "research" sessions (ahem) this week, I totally know how to rock the vegan quesadilla now. And yes, I'm aware it shouldn't be called a quesadilla, as it has no queso (cheese), but I'm not here to reinvent the wheel, or language, so deal with it. 

This time, I did decide to compromise on the tortillas. I bought some La Tortilla Factory burrito-size flour tortillas, and they are better than most (no trans fats) but still have unnecessary crap in them (preservatives). I do know how to make my own flour tortillas, and they are delicious but time-consuming to make, and I am reticent to try anything that results in an explosion of flour all over the kitchen when I've just cleaned the house, so I usually try to source local tortillas and let that be enough. I think I will try to make my own more in the future, even though (confession time!) these tortillas are so good. They brown so perfectly, unlike the whole grain tortillas I tried to use last time. Whole grain tortillas aren't really tortillas, you guys. Sucks. 

Second, this time I refried my own beans. This involves putting a can of black or pinto beans into a pan, adding 1 cup of water + cumin + salt & turning up the heat. I added fresh jalapeno the second time because I no longer had any fresh salsa, but its up to you! I also add fresh chopped scallions on top of the beans before folding the tortilla over (this is another tip -- everything works better when you fold it over instead of trying to use two tortillas!).

I fry my quesadillas in a pan with California Olive Ranch extra virgin olive oil (I love this stuff!) on medium high heat (4 out of 6 on my stove's dial). Then I flip it. Then I cut it with a pizza cutter! Then it's done: 

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As for the heirloom tomato salsa, it too is easy!


Ingredients:
1 enormous, or 2 smaller, heirloom tomatoes (diced)
1/2 onion (diced)
1 jalapeno, seeded (diced)
lemon/lime juice (I used lemon this time)
1 avocado
Salt/Pepper
Olive oil

Directions: mix all of these things together & let them sit in the fridge partying together for at least an hour before consuming, so the flavors can mix. Wow, how easy is that? I love making salsa:

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I was blown away by how well these recipes work. I will be making thee quesadillas for a skeptical husband this weekend, and I know he is going to be an instant convert. It may not technically be a QUESAdilla, but it sure is DAMN GOOD, and really, isn't that all that matters? Happy Saturday!

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