Friday Tips: No-Queso Quesadillas

Vegan Goodness:

Today we ate:

  • Breakfast: Green smoothies and toast for Mom and LP. 
  • Mom ate some roasted almonds for a snack.
  • Lunch: We all had leftover soup and some crackers
  • Dinner: LP had an avocado no-queso quesadilla.  Mom and Dad had a fantastic Indian-food feast with wonderful friends.  All the grown-ups also enjoyed some bourbon balls for dessert – ’tis the season!

Money Matters:
Today we spent the following:

  • $19.98 on groceries at Stop and Shop
  • $25.96 on our one present for LP
  • $50.00 on prescriptions for the G-man
  • $15.00 on a dr. visit (co-pay)

Friday Tips for Living Vegan and Living Cheap – with kids!:

No-Queso Quesadillas

If you are a regular reader of the Vegan Goodness section of this blog you might notice we make lots of “quesadillas.”  In fact, quesadillas are one of LP’s favorite meals.  When we ask him what he wants for lunch (instead of just giving him two choices) he almost always asks for quesadillas.

“But how” you might ask “does one make a vegan quesadilla?  I mean, queso is in the name!”  Well, for this I have to, once again, thank Colleen Patrick-Goudreau who first introduced me to “No-Queso Quesadillas” in her book The Vegan Table.  In most places, a quesadilla is two tortillas (or a tortilla folded over in half) with lots of gooey cheese in the middle.  Quesadillas like this were my go-to bar food for quite a while.  I loved them topped with guacamole, sour creme, salsa and sliced jalapenos.  However, once I made the full vegan transition I thought I would have to get some super yummy melty vegan cheese (like Daiya) in order to get my quesadilla fix.  Then, I saw Colleen Patrick-Goudreau’s recipe with a quesadilla made with . . . hummus!  Eureka!  Like so many of my cheese fixations that I have re-thought, I realized that I could enjoy a crispy tortilla with lots of smooshy goodness and delicious toppings even without pricey Daiya.  So, quesadillas (which are super easy to make on our Lean Mean Grilling machine, or in a skillet) are now a staple in our house.

So, break out the tortillas, the toppings, the skillet and try some of these no-queso quesadillas filling options today!

Hummus: Thanks to the The Vegan Table I finally tried a hummus quesadilla.  I have to admit – at first I thought it would be weird.  But it is really, really good!  For an added kick, use some garlic hummus, or add some chopped kalamata olives or red pepper flakes to the hummus before your close up the tortilla.  These are delicious topped with salsa and guacamole (but really, what isn’t!)

Avocado and/or Black Bean: For a more “traditional” version, use the same fillings you find in “loaded” quesadillas, minus the cheese.  Avocado, smushed black beans or vegetarian refried beans all make excellent “glue” for this no-queso quesadilla.  Add in some delicious extras, like soy chorizo, chopped black olives or jalapenos.  Top with some salsa and you are good to go – no cheese needed!

Cream Cheese (vegan of course – try Tofutti!): This one might sound a little strange, but try it out!  When I was in college I lived near a place called Crepeville that had an amazing crepe with cream cheese and avocado.  I would love to re-create it, vegan-style, but who has time to make crepes?  Enter in the mighty tortilla!  I love a “quesadilla” loaded with cream cheese and avocado.  No extras are even needed here.

Vegan Cheese: Of course, there is always the old stand-by, minus cheese from cow’s milk.  My favorite cheese for optimal melty-ness is Daiya.  However, I rarely have a quesadilla just with vegan cheese.  Instead, I will usually have a little bit of vegan cheese along with soy choizo and black refried beans in my quesadilla.

No sure what to feed a picky eater?  Try a no-queso quesadilla – there is a version for everyone!  With tortillas on hand you have a fantastic (and easy!) meal in no time!

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