Thinking back to the days when I ate more dairy, I’m realizing how addicted to cheese I was! >.<
I believe that many of the dietary habits and chronic cravings we battle have everything to do with the routine of favourite meals.
When I think about a year ago, I was frequently turning to dishes I was used to, that I enjoyed, and that I was conditioned to crave regularly. Since my boyfriend and I were eating a vegetarian diet at home, a lot of the go-to meals we were comfortable with involved milk, cheese, and simple carbohydrates. (Think: pasta, lasagna and quesadillas – lots of ’em). Breaking that cycle was truly about keeping an open mind, finding alternative recipes and embracing modifications – it was as simple as that. And by doing so, I learned how many delicious eats are possible and enjoyable when modified around a specific diet.
Here’s yet another example of something I didn’t think we would enjoy veganized. I looooove quesadillas and I sort of hate most vegan cheeses ;). I had my doubts that the meal would hold up in both taste and in structural integrity without the melted cheese. But good news! Cheese-less quesadillas are not only possible, they’re delicious!
I can hardly call this a recipe, but if you need a quick win with your kids or a lazy weekend lunch, this is a fun dairy-free meal!
Here’s how I make mine:
- whole wheat tortillas
- refried beans
- finely diced onions and bell peppers
- yellow corn (optional)
- taco seasoning
- chipotle hot sauce
- sometimes I’ll dump in some extra chilli or veggie ground round if we have leftovers in the fridge
- If you prefer to make your own refried beans, we often exercise this option to cut down on sodium. Here’s a simple recipe – and the leftovers make a tasty dip for blue corn chips 😀
A word of caution – each time we make refried beans, they’re much runnier than the canned version. They may not hold up well in a quesadilla, but I have yet to experiment.
- Spread refried beans onto a large whole wheat tortilla. I think 2 thin coats are best – you want it to be substantial and sticky, but thin enough to bind the edges together (this is important since there is no melting cheese to rely on!)
- Sautee onions, corn and bell peppers in a pan with 1 tsp of oil and taco seasoning until they soften. Sprinkle onto the open-faced tortilla.
- Add a splash (or several) of hot sauce to the tortilla, then fold in half.
- Cook in a frying pan on medium heat. Do not flip until the tortilla, when lifted, is browned, crispy and intact.
- Flip and cook the other side. Serve with salsa and smashed avocado.
Word of caution: The beans stay hotter than melted cheese and will burn your mouth! Allow your quesadilla to cool before diving in.
P.S: Does anyone out there make their own salsa? Minimalist Baker has a tasty-looking one that I’d love to attempt this summer! Chips and salsa are a favourite balcony snack for me 🙂