Vegan Quesadillas with a Smokey Cheeze Sauce (Oil Free)

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Quesadillas! These Mexican delights are so tummy loving and delicious. The tortilla wraps are filled with the perfect vegan staple of rice and beans, plus there is homemade smokey cheeze sauce folded in too – what’s not to love? The sauce is a great alternative to carcinogenic cows-milk cheese found in the typical queso quesadilla. However, one thing that is definitely not omitted in this recipe is; the flavour!

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The tomato passata mixed into the rice ensures its moistness within the tortilla parcels. I often find that quesadilla’s themselves can be fairly dry, and most recipes rely on a stringy cheese or heavy use of mayonnaise to moisten the pallet. With the omittance of such fat-laden ingredients – this version is much healthier and contains no artery clogging cholesterol! The dish is light but filling and packed full of beneficial nutrients.

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I am in love with this brand new cheeze sauce! It took me a few attempts to perfect it, but I am finally happy with this one. It is so creamy and cheeze-like. I have found that when creating cheeze sauce – one must be extremely cautious regarding the addition of named ingredients. Too much nutritional yeast over-powers the recipe. Too much lemon juice makes the sauce taste good, but not very cheezy. Too much garlic makes it taste like a creamy pasta sauce. You must be extremely cautious when adding your ingredients to the food processor.

I added a small bit of smoked paprika to give this sauce a slightly ‘smokey’ undertone. This isn’t necessary, but I thought that it would be a nice flavour enhancement for the quesadillas. I did not soak my cashews, and I honestly do not think that soaking them is necessary for this recipe. My sauce was perfectly creamy without doing so. I also love to serve this Mexican dish with my homemade guacamole – you can find that recipe here.

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I usually cut one wholemeal wrap into 3 sections, and count this as one serving when filled. (However, if you prefer larger servings – you could simply cut the wrap in half and have more than just one!). I prefer using smaller sections as they are easier to flip on the pan. Using these 3 sections, I divide them in half and place the bean and rice filling on one side, and the cashew cheeze sauce on the other. You could also add guacamole to the quesadilla, or any other fillings of your choice.

Ensure that your wrap is not over-filled, as the filling will just spill out onto the pan and burn. These babies can easily burn on a dry pan so be extremely cautious when they are cooking! Alternatively, if you have a George Foreman type of grill – grilling the quesadillas would also work really well. Serve with tortilla chips, homemade guacamole and some extra cheeze sauce. Garnish with a lime wedge and some coriander. You will have the perfect dinner-party food! Light, yet satiating and absolutely delicious.

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Smokey Cashew Cheeze Sauce:

Yield: 1 cup

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup of unroasted/unsalted cashew nuts
  • 1/4 of a lemon (Juiced)
  • 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp – 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 200ml of water

Method:

  • Add all ingredients (except the water) to a food processor and blend.
  • Blend for about 3-4 minutes, ensuring that the mixture is scraped down off of the inside of the processor repeatedly so that everything is evenly blended.
  • Once the mixture combines to form a thick paste-like mixture – begin adding the water bit-by-bit.
  • Add more or less water depending on your desired consistency.
  • Once the cheese sauce is ready, transfer the mixture to an airtight container and keep it in the fridge for up to 3 days.
  • Enjoy as a dip, sandwich filling, pasta sauce or in your quesadillas!

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Vegan Cheezy Bean Quesadillas (Oil Free):

Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 wholemeal tortilla wraps
  • 1 cup of uncooked wholemeal rice
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 a red bell pepper
  • 1/2 a yellow bell pepper
  • 1 400g can of drained and rinsed black beans/kidney beans/pinto beans
  • 1/2 cup of sweetcorn
  • 1/2 cup of tomato passata
  • 1/4 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp of dried coriander leaf
  • 1/2 tsp of chilli powder
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup of Smokey Cashew Cheeze sauce
  • 1 cup of Homemade Guacamole

Method:

  • Cook the rice as per cooking instructions. Rinse and set aside.
  • Crush the garlic. Finely chop the red onion. Add these to a large non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Finely chop the bell peppers and add them to the pan – stirring regularly with a spatula or wooden spoon to ensure that nothing sticks.
  • Allow the veg to soften (should take between 5-10 minutes). Ensure that it does not become sloppy.
  • Add the rinsed beans, sweetcorn and rice to the pan and stir.
  • Mix in the passata bit-by-bit along with all of the spices.
  • When the rice mixture is evenly combined, remove from the heat (make sure that the rice does not stick to the pan at any point).
  • Slice one tortilla wrap into 3 even triangular sections.
  • Place the rice filling onto one half of each section and the Cheeze sauce onto the other. Fold over.
  • Place the 3 folded sections onto a large, clean, non-stick pan over medium heat.
  • Fry each side for roughly 2 minutes or until golden brown.
  • Flip using a spatula.
  • Repeat this process with the remaining tortilla wraps, rice mixture and cheeze sauce.
  • Serve hot with homemade guacamole, smokey cheeze sauce and tortilla chips.
  • Garnish with a fresh lime wedge and coriander.
  • Enjoy!

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