Sunday, February 13, 2011

Fire-roasted poblano quesadilla

We were out shopping for apples to make apple cobbler (recipe coming soon) this weekend when some vibrant green poblano peppers caught my eye. As did some button mushrooms. And the word, Q-U-E-S-A-D-I-L-L-A just formed in my head!! You might think that your days of eating quesadillas are over when you cross over to the vegan side. But you would be so deliciously wrong. You might think that a good quesadilla should be oozing with cheese, but that is really not the case. Cut out the cheese and you not only cut out a hefty chunk of the calories, but you can actually appreciate the superb flavors of the veggies in your quesadilla. I used onions, poblano peppers and mushrooms in this one and the quesadillas were just out of this world. To fully bring out the flavor of the poblanos, I fire-roasted them. And the wonderful, earthy aroma of the mushrooms perfectly complemented the fire-roasted peppers. The vegan cheese (Daiya brand, mozzarella style shreds) I used here melted beautifully and did a great job of keeping the quesadilla together. A simple chopped salad of lettuce, baby spinach, cucumbers, carrots, jalapeno peppers and cranberries was just the side-dish for this. And the best part, this is a very quick meal. Get someone to help with the chopping and you'll be eating this amazing meal within 30 minutes. Great for a weeknight or a lazy weekend.

Ingredients (for 3 quesadillas)
1/2 medium size red onion, sliced
1 poblano pepper
5-6 button mushrooms, sliced
3 tortillas (I used Trader Joe's whole wheat wraps)
5-6 tsp oil
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot sauce (I used Sriracha brand)
6 tbsp vegan cheese (or more depending on your preference)

Wrap the pepper tightly in aluminum foil. Place over medium high on a gas burner and cook for 5-6 minutes, turning it every minute or so to ensure even cooking. Once cooked, let it rest for 5-10 min. Meanwhile, you can start cooking the onions and mushrooms. Get a non-stick pan on high heat. Add 2 tsp of oil, then add the onions and half the salt.  Keep cooking over medium-high to high heat. After 2 min., add the mushrooms and the rest of the salt. Stir frequently. Now, take the pepper out of the foil, take the seeds out and slice it into strips. After 2-3 min., when the onions and mushrooms have softened, add the pepper and the hot sauce, mix well and turn the heat off. Place a griddle on high heat. Once the griddle is hot, place a tortilla on it and cook it on one side for about a minute or so. Then flip it and spread the veggies (1/4 cup or so) on one half of the tortilla. Sprinkle the cheese on top of the veggies. Now, fold the other half of the tortilla over. Let cook on both sides for a minute. Add a tsp of oil now and let cook for another minute, this will crisp up the tortilla. Let it cool for a minute before cutting into wedges. Serve with your favorite salsa or guacamole. Bon apetit!

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