A stack o’ quesadillas with black beans and sweet potato

Quesadilla.jpg

So this happened in my kitchen the other night. Someone had told me, quite definitively, that quesadillas must have cheese and could not have beans. “Oh yeah,” I thought to myself. Let’s see about that.

I created a stack of beany, cheesy, creamy quesadillas and baked them all together. Black beans and sweet potato give the dish an incredible creaminess. The result is , if not authentically Mexican, still a fiesta in your mouth!

Ingredients

3 large tortillas or even flat bread

1 cup of shredded vegan cheese – I used Daiya pepperjack flavour cheese

1 cup of bottled salsa

1 cup of unsweetened, unflavoured plant-based milk

1 Tbsp olive oil

1 ½ cups cooked black beans (a 15 oz can drained and rinsed)

1 red pepper diced

1 clove garlic minced

1 onion diced

1 sweet potato

1-2 Tbsp chipotle adobo sauce (optional but mmm… the spice!) or a jalapeno, deseeded and minced

1 Tbsp chili powder

1-2 Tbsp fresh cilantro (optional)

1 cup fresh spinach finely chopped (optional)

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp dried oregano

½ tsp dried basil

Directions

Wash but do not peel the sweet potato. Dice it and either microwave it or bake it until it’s soft. If you’re baking it – 350F for about 15 minutes. Set aside.

Mix the milk and the salsa together and set aside.

In a large saucepan, heat the olive oil. Add the onion, garlic and red pepper and saute until the onion is softened. Add the chili powder, cumin, basil and oregano and heat through. Add the chipotle adobo sauce or jalapeno if using and heat through. Switch off heat. Add the beans, sweet potato, spinach and cilantro and mix together.

Oil a 9” pie plate or other casserole dish. If you’re not using a round dish, you will have to cut the tortillas to fit the dish. Line the bottom with one of the tortillas. Add half of the black bean mixture. Sprinkle with 1/3 cup cheese. Spoon 1/3 of the salsa/milk mixture over top. Repeat with another tortilla, the remaining bean mixture, 1/3 cup of the cheese and 1/3 of the salsa/milk mixture. Place the last tortilla on top. Pour the remaining salsa/milk mixture over then the remaining cheese.

Bake at 350F for 30 minutes. Let the dish stand for a few minutes before cutting and serving. Enjoy!

 

 

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Happy cows’ French onion soup

Fr.OnionSoup

Makes 3 servings

French onion soup… who doesn’t love this gooey, cheesey, savoury bowl of deliciousness?

Cows and cardiologists, that’s who. The original recipe is made with beef broth, cheese and butter.

My vegan version has all the flavour, heartiness and cheesy yum of the original recipe AND it keeps our bovine pals and your arteries happy.

While I’m not a big fan of packaged foods, I have to give a big shout out to Daiya for making an excellent product that tastes and acts like cheese. In this recipe, the shredded Daiya mozzarella and smoked Gouda flavoured products even give the broth the delightful creaminess I loved in the original recipe.

Big bonus – in just 45 minutes you will go from a bag of onions to a bowl of this soup. Half that time involves ignoring the soup pot while it simmers. It doesn’t get much easier!

Ingredients

4 cups vegetable broth

2 large onions, peeled, quartered and cut into thin slices.

2 cloves garlic minced

½ tsp sugar (even brown sugar is fine)

1 ½ Tbsp vegan margarine

1 bay leaf

1 sprig thyme or ½ tsp dried thyme

1 Tbsp sherry (optional)

1 Tbsp A-1 Sauce (a/k/a brown sauce)

1 Tbsp soya sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

3 slices stale bread (I use Ezekiel bread)

1 – 1 ½ cups shredded Daiya cheese or other vegan cheese that melts when heated

Directions

In a large pot, melt the margarine. Add the onions, garlic and sugar and sauté the onions for about 10 minutes until they start turning golden. Add all the other ingredients except the bread and Daiya cheese and bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and let simmer for 25 minutes. Fish out the bay leaf and the twig of thyme, if using.

Ladle the soup into three ovenproof bowls. Add a slice of bread to each bowl and sprinkle with a third of the shredded Daiya. Place the bowls in the oven and broil until the cheese is melted and turning golden.

Serve up and enjoy!