[dropcap]T[/dropcap]he benefits of a plant-based diet on our bodies and the planet is already common knowledge, and we’ve discussed the subject before. Now, we’ve decided to help you along on your own plant-based journey by gifting you with a super tasty, and really simple, vegan cheat meal! This easy vegan quesadilla has beans, leafy greens, herbs and spices, and other veggies so there’s nothing at all to feel guilty about! It can be adjusted and augmented depending on your preference and what you have in the house, and it can be enjoyed at any time of the day. Get that apron out and let’s turn up the heat.
What you’ll need:
- 1 small red onion, minced
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced
- about 5 cups of baby spinach leaves (or the greens of your choice eg: chard or kale)
- 1 big tomato
- 1 can of black beans (or beans of your choice) drained and rinsed
- 150g of finely chopped white button mushrooms (but you can experiment with others)
- 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tsp chilli powder
- Magic Savoury Spice mix (to taste)*
- 4 wholewheat tortilla wraps
- your choice of vegan cheese, like Violife
- Essential Guacamole to top it off (or any guacamole you love)**
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*For the Magic Savoury Spice Mix
(makes about 1/2 cup)
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1 tbsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- 2 tsp dried thyme
- 2 tsp garlic flakes/powder
- 2 tsp mustard powder
- 2 tsp paprika
- 1/2 tsp ground turmeric
Combine everything. If you can give them all a pulse in a spice grinder or blender, that will work best. Feel free to halve the recipe if you don’t think you’ll need this much any time soon. Store the rest in a cool dry place until you need it.
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**For the Essential Guacamole
- 2 ripe avocados
- one large tomato, finely diced
- half a finely chopped onion
- 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
- salt and black pepper to taste
Mix everything together and make sure that avocado is well mashed in there!
Cooking up the quesadilla:
Fry the onion and garlic up in a pan over medium heat until softened, add the mushrooms, tomato, and leafy greens, stirring until everything is cooked.
While the veggies are frying, mash the beans in a bowl and mix in the nutritional yeast flakes and add some of the spice blend to taste. You can toss in a little hot sauce here if you want it spicier.
Make sure there’s no excess liquid in your veggie mix, and toss your bean mixture in there. Now’s the time to adjust seasoning to taste with some salt.
Divide your now-perfect filling into four parts. Spray a nice big pan with non-stick spray and lay down your first tortilla in it. Spread one quarter of the filling over half of the wrap and then top with vegan cheese. Fold over the other half of the tortilla and press down gently to hold the halves together.
Cook over medium heat until lightly browned, and then flip over onto the other side. This shouldn’t take more than about 3-5 minutes on each side.
Repeat with the remaining tortillas and filling.
To serve, cut the quesadillas into three or four wedges each, arrange on plates and serve with guacamole. You can add salsa too, if you feel like it!
Share this recipe with a vegan friend who loves Mexican food (or with anyone trying to make their cheat meals a little healthier while keeping them delicious). When you try it out, tag us on Instagram with @essentialmillennial so we can see your culinary masterpieces!