How was your Thanksgiving weekend? I hope well. Mine was full of much-needed rest. Finals week is just around the corner, and I always feel like I have to brace myself for the days ahead with extra special care. Even more so this time around.
If there's anything that can help me make it through these next few weeks, it's quesadillas! Not really. But also: kind of.
I have been craving them for quite some time, and two weeks ago, I decided to try my hand at making them at home. I worried that I wouldn't be able to get the same flavor profiles with a plant-based version. Luckily, all my worries subsided after the first bite. The crispy outer texture of the tortilla marries so well with the smooth and savory full-bodied flavors of the butternut squash and black bean filling.
I can already tell that I'll be reaching for this recipe, again and again, this season. Enjoy!
BUTTERNUT SQUASH AND BLACK BEAN QUESADILLAS with Vegan Sour Cream
- 1/2 cup raw organic cashews
- 1 1/2 cups water, divided
- 2 tablespoons organic lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon sea salt
- 1/2 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1/8 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
- 1 organic avacado
- 1 diced organic roma tomato
- 1 tablespoon organic lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon organic cumin powder
- sea salt to taste
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon organic garlic powder
- approximately 1/2 teaspoon organic extra virgin olive oil, divided 1
- 4 cups roughly chopped butternut squash 2
- 1/2 cup coarsely chopped yellow onion
- 1/4 cup coarsely chopped red onion
- 1 cup organic black beans, rinsed and drained
- 2 oz. vegan nut cheese 3
- 3 10" tortillas
- 1 small bottle pre-made organic salsa
- 1 sprig chive, coarsely chopped
Taco Seasoning Mix
- 1/4 tablespoon organic chili powder
- 1 tablespoon organic garlic powder
- 1/2 tablespoon organic onion powder
- 1/2 tablespoon dried oregano
- 3/4 tablespoon organic smoked paprika
- 1/2 tablespoon organic ground cumin
MIS EN PLACE
- 1 small mixing bowl
- 1 set of stainless steel measuring cups
- 1 set of stainless steel measuring spoons
- 1 manual juicer
- 1 blender
- 1 silicone spatula
- 1 8 oz. food safe airtight storage container
- 1 small saucepan
- 1 chef's knife
- 1 cutting board
- 1 strainer
- 1 medium mixing bowl
- 1 stainless steel spoon
- 1 large skillet
- 1 fine mesh sieve
- 1 large mixing bowl
- 1 metal spatula
- 1 pizza cutter
1 This should be enough to drizzle the pan while cooking the filling and again to warm the tortillas. Use more or less as needed.
2 One medium-sized butternut squash should be enough. You'll only need to use the long and skinny portion without the seeds. Bonus! Toast the seeds in the oven for 5-10 minutes after drizzling with olive oil and sprinkiling with sea salt, pepper and garlic powder and you have the perfect snack!
3 I use Kite Hill's Soft Fresh Truffle Dill and Chive.
- Place cashews in a bowl. Pour in 1 1/4 cup water over the cashews. Let soak overnight or at least 8 hours in the refrigerator.
- Place all ingredients into blender, including the now soaked and drained cashews as well as the remaining 1/4 cup of water.
- Blend on high for about 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed, until the texture is smooth and the consistency resembles that of dairy sour cream.
- Transfer to a food safe airtight container and store for up to a week in the refrigerator. The cream thickens the longer it is stored, so this is great to make ahead and keep on hand whenever you need it.
- Place a small saucepan filled half-way with water on the stove. Turn heat to high.
- Chop onions and add to water. When the water starts to release steam, remove from the heat. This step mellows out that strong raw onion flavor.
- Strain the onions and add them to a medium mixing bowl.
- Peel and cut the avocado into small chunks as you add it to the same bowl with the onions.
- Add tomato, lemon juice, cumin, sea salt, pepper and garlic powder.
- Mash ingredients together with a spoon and mix until well-combined. Set aside.
- Drizzle a large skillet with olive oil and set on medium-high heat.
- Add butternut squash. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- As soon as the butternut squash begins to sizzle in the pan, add the taco seasoning mixture. Using a spatula, continue tossing and stirring until butternut squash is tender to a fork.
- Once the butternut squash is tender, turn down the heat to medium. Add onions and continue cooking until the onions are translucent.
- Add black beans and toss with spatula for about two minutes.
- Remove skillet from the heat, but do not turn off the stove just yet! We need to get those tortillas nice, crispy and golden brown! You can turn the heat down to low if you're worried about conserving energy or the possibility of an accident.
- Transfer the contents of the skillet to a large clean mixing bowl. Add nut cheese and mix with spatula until well-combined. The nut cheese will melt into yummy goodness and you'll be tempted to eat this filling straight from the bowl! But don't. We're not done yet!
- Place the skillet back on the heat, and turn it back up to medium if you turned it down before.
- Drizzle the skillet with a little olive oil and lay the tortilla in the pan. Using a spoon, scoop filling onto one half of the tortilla. Add a thin layer of guacamole on top of the filling.
- Fold the other half of the tortilla on top of the guacamole. Press with a metal spatula and cook for 1-2 minutes until the bottom side is crispy and golden brown.
- Flip and cook for another 1-2 minutes for the same results.
- Repeat steps 9-11 for each tortilla. You may or may not need to add more olive oil to the pan. If the pan starts smoking, turn down the heat, and add just a tad bit more oil.
- Using a pizza cutter, slick each half-circle quesadilla into three perfectly pretty little triangles.
- Plate and top with a small spoonful of salsa and a dollop of sour cream. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped chive as a garnish. Enjoy!