Vegan Quesadilla

Spinach-Mushroom Quesadillas

By the Gracious Vegan

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I started this recipe by experimenting with sliced mushrooms and fresh baby spinach. Eventually I came to prefer finely chopped mushrooms (with the food processor) and frozen chopped spinach. This smoother base stays in the tortilla better when you eat, and the flavors blend nicely. Optional layers and toppings make these extra-special quesadilla, and very healthy too.

Makes 5 servings

Start the vegan crema if you choose to use it (highly recommended). 

Sauté these ingredients in a large skillet or a Dutch oven with a Tablespoon or two of water, stirring frequently, until the liquid released by the mushrooms is almost evaporated and vegetables are soft, about 8 minutes.

  • 4 large cloves garlic, minced, grated, or finely chopped

  • 8 ounces mushrooms (your favorite variety), chopped in a food processor or finely chopped with a knife

Add spinach and cook for 2-5 minutes, stirring frequently, until spinach is thawed and well combined with the garlic and mushrooms. 

  • 10-12 ounces frozen chopped spinach (thawed, or you can thaw it in the pan)

Drain mixture if there is excess liquid or cook a bit longer to make sure the mixture is dry. Then stir in the following ingredients and stir until everything is well incorporated.

  • 3-4 Tablespoons vegan crema, silken tofu (whisked in a bowl until smooth), vegan sour cream, vegan cream cheese, or thick cashew cream

  • 1 teaspoon chili powder 

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt  

Spread a fifth of the mixture onto half of each tortilla and top with shredded vegan cheese as an option.

  • Five 8” whole wheat flour tortillas

  • 1 cup vegan cheese (optional) (not oil-free – see crema option below for oil-free)

Then fold the tortilla in half. Cook the quesadillas on a griddle or in a dry skillet until light brown on the first side, then flip them and cook them on the second side until light brown. 

For an oil-free option, gently open the cooked quesadilla and add one or more additional layers: 

  • Vegan crema

  • Chopped red onion, red pepper, chopped cilantro, and/or green onions

  • A scattering of beans, such as black or pinto beans

Timing: About 30 minutes (if the vegan cream is already made)

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed, WFPBNO

Gluten-free if gluten-free tortillas used

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Spicy Sweet Potato Chipotle Quesadillas with Guacamole

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So few ingredients, such a great taste! The combination here makes for a perfect quesadilla filling in both taste—spicy but also sweet and savory—and texture—not mushy, but it sticks together and doesn’t spill out of the tortilla. Top it with homemade guacamole, and you’ve got a party in your mouth!

Makes 5 servings

Water-sauté the following ingredients in a large (12”) skillet or a Dutch oven until the vegetables are just tender. 

  • 12-13 ounces sweet potato, peeled and grated (about 3 cups grated)

  • Half of a medium onion, diced

  • Half of a bell pepper (any color), diced

Stir in the following ingredients. 

  • 3-4 Tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1/2 teaspoon (or more) chipotle chili powder (or used finely diced chipotle peppers from a can of chipotle peppers in adobo sauce)

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Spread a fifth of the mixture onto half of each tortilla, then fold the tortillas in half. Cook the quesadillas on a griddle or in a dry skillet until light brown on the first side, then flip them and cook them on the second side until light brown. (Spray with oil if you want more brown color.) 

  • Five 8” whole wheat flour tortillas

Serve with Gracious Vegan Guacamole.

Timing: About 30 minutes

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Gluten-free, if gluten-free tortillas are used

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Three Sisters Quesadillas

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By the Gracious Vegan 

For many Native American communities, corn, beans, and squash are known as the Three Sisters. For centuries these three have been inter-planted because they thrive together. The corn stalks provide poles for the beans to climb. The squash plant’s large leaves shade the ground, retaining soil moisture and preventing weeds. Beans provide nitrogen to fertilize the soil, and their roots stabilize the corn during windy weather. Luckily for plant-based eaters, the sisters also taste delicious together. I take advantage of that in these delicious and easy quesadillas.  

Makes 5 servings

Water-sauté the grated zucchini in a large skillet (start with 1/8 cup water and add more if needed), until the zucchini starts to get tender, about 5 minutes. 

  • 2 medium zucchini (about 12 ounces), grated (do not peel)

Stir in the corn and black beans and cook until the zucchini and corn are tender and the mixture is relatively dry.

  • 1.5 cups corn (fresh from 2 ears of corn, or frozen)

  • 1.5 cups black beans (if canned, drained and rinsed), mash them a bit if desired

Stir in the spices.

  • 1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder

Spread a fifth of the mixture onto half of each tortilla, then fold the tortillas in half. Cook the quesadillas on a griddle or in a dry skillet until light brown on the first side, then flip them and cook them on the second side until light brown. (Spray with oil if you want more brown color.) 

  • Five 8” whole wheat flour tortillas

Serve with garnishes (or add them into the quesadilla itself if desired).

  • Salsa, Gracious Vegan Crema, chopped green or red onions, cilantro leaves, chopped tomatoes, sliced olives

Hands-on time 20 minutes; Total time 30 minutes         

Nutrition: whole-food unprocessed; WFPBNO

Nutritional information per serving: 244 calories, 6g fat, 1g sat. fat, 43g carbs, 520mg sodium, 8mg fiber, 9g protein 

Gluten-free if gluten-free tortillas are used

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