Like most people, I don’t always have time or energy to cook an extensive gourmet meal in the evenings but I still want a balanced, healthy meal with fresh ingredients that tastes great and nourishes my body.
Mexican food seems to be less popular in the UK than somewhere like the US but it is a cuisine which I have always enjoyed and would often eat in restaurants. At home, my Mexican repertoire has largely been limited to vegetable fajitas which were made even more delicious last year with my discovery of tomatillos which took salsa to a whole new level.
I’ve often seen Mexican dinner kits in supermarkets but was never really inclined to buy them. Recently, however, I came across an Old El Paso recipe for Spicy bean and cheese quesadillas which inspired me to break out of my Mexican food comfort zone and try a new recipe which I could easily make vegan.
The result? Not only were these delicious Mexican toasties a welcome, delicious change from fajitas, but they were fun to make and eat too! I think they would be a great dish to serve at a garden gathering in the summer but the spices and hearty beans are perfect for a warming winter meal too.
I tried to flip the first one to crisp both sides. It was quite the disaster! After that, I decided to place one tortilla in the pan to crisp first, remove it, add in another tortilla with the filling then top with the first crisped tortilla.
I used the moxarella from Vedged Out as the cheese replacement but next time will try the almond feta also. You could use any vegan cheese of your choice or simply leave it out. The moxarella didn’t crisp up as it does on pizza of course, not being directly exposed to heat, but it added delicious creaminess against the spicy beans.
Ingredients: Serves 4
- 1 x Old El Paso Quesadilla Dinner Kit (or use 8 tortillas, your favourite salsa and mexican spice blend or simply chilli powder, ground cumin and dried oregano)
- 2 x 400g cans mixed beans, drained (I used kidney beans and black eye beans)
- 1 onion, sliced into rings
- 150g mushrooms, sliced
- 1 red pepper, deseeded and chopped
- 1 orange or yellow pepper, deseeded and chopped
- A handful of chopped coriander (about 15g)
- 1 batch of moxarella or almond feta or around 150g of vegan cheese of your choice
- 2 tomatoes (optional)
- Heat a teaspoon of oil or cooking spray or a little water in a frying pan and cook the onions, peppers and mushrooms for a few minutes over a high heat to soften and lightly colour. Stir in the spice mix and the beans and 100 ml water. Simmer for 2-3 minutes, and then stir in the chopped coriander.
- Heat a large frying pan or griddle pan and add a tortilla and heat until the underside is crisp to your liking then remove. Add another tortilla and spread with some of the salsa followed by a quarter of the bean mixture and the vegan cheese, and slices of tomato if using. Then place the first tortilla on top, toasted side up. Press down with a spatula and cook over a moderate heat for 2-3 minutes until toasted underneath.
- Cut into wedges and keep warm under foil or in a low oven whilst you make the rest then serve with a fresh, crisp salad.
High in dietary fiber
High in vitamin A
Very high in vitamin B6
Very high in vitamin C