This recipe combines a bunch of great flavors, recipes I love and wraps in a handy baked tortilla, so you don’t even need to pause for a knife and fork. Straight to the mouth with you and yes, if there’s room, I might even have another.
Recipes with multiple preparations sometimes put me off, but if everything is simple or much of it can be made ahead of time, well, I always take a second look. As you may have already surmised, the recipe title ‘baked quesadillas with escabeche’ does not tell the entire tale of this decadent gastronomic experience.
Escabeche, the Mexican cooking term ( a cool name for quick-pickled carrots, jalapenos and onions with garlic and fresh oregano. The pickling gets done with the assistance of rice vinegar and agave syrup (or other sweetener) balances it out.
If you aren’t making this ahead of time, start with the escabeche first as it likes at least an hour to marinade. It even gets better with time, so go ahead, make it a day (or two) beforehand.
If you decide that you must have vegan sour cream for your baked quesadillas (and you should), our cashew sour cream is the one to try. You’ll want to soak the raw cashews first (overnight or for at least 4 hours), so plan accordingly.
First thing in the morning, just toss them in a bowl, cover them with water and move forward with your coffee. If you have a super-high-speed blender, you won’t need this step, but for some of us mere mortals, soaking is essential to get a smooth, creamy texture.
Making your own, healthy version of refried beans is so easy. It makes me wonder why I spent time in the past reading labels, opening a can and then ‘fixing’ them up to make them taste good. In truth, ‘refried’ really isn’t the right word here. It’s mashed. That’s the process for my favorite beans.
Black beans, chopped onion, garlic, canned chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, lime juice and veggie broth. It might seem when you add the broth that you will end up with soupy beans, so try adding half the amount first. You’ll probably discover as I did that once you mash up the beans, you’ll need the rest of the broth to get a creamy (but chunky) consistency. It’s never failed me yet, despite my initial reservations.
Refried beans are a ‘must’ for quesadillas in my opinion. That’s what holds everything together. The vegan sour cream and avocado – that’s what raises the decadence factor. Fortunately for us, everything is an easy preparation.
A baked quesadilla with escabeche, just isn’t without that final dollop of smashed avocado (or guacamole). Because you’ll have so many layers of flavors, you may want to choose easy and I did, and just mash a couple of avocados with lime juice and a pinch of garlic powder (garlic salt works too). I like to add a big of avocado right in the quesadilla and then save a bit so you can smother the crispy top with that and the sour cream.
I like using whole grain tortillas for quesadillas, but you could use corn tortillas as well. You may want more per serving, but the result should be the same. Start by spreading the beans on half the tortilla and top off with the rest. After add everything, do a fold over, light press down, bake and flip. You can use either a non-stick baking tray or if you happen to have a pizza stone, it’s a good time to dig it out.
There is a misperception that plant-based eating is boring or tasteless. That we live on salads with lemon juice. At some point in my ‘dieting’ past, I tried that. I failed. I’ve succeeded today because I don’t consider plant-based, oil free eating a diet. It’s just simply the way I eat and how I approach cooking.
Baked quesadillas with escabeche, creamy mashed black beans, avocado, sour cream don’t resemble any ‘diet’ food I was ‘allowed’ in any of the hundreds of diets I started and abandoned. Indulging in something like this was cheating or failing (again). Thankfully, those days are over. Today, I never run out of foods and combinations to try. I’ve ended the battle between what I should have and what I can’t have. That’s plant-power – more than a diet. It’s a state of mind and for me, a shift. Grab the positive, enjoy the journey. Peace.Print
- 5 medium carrots, sliced thin
- 1 -2 jalapenos, sliced thin (the amount depends on the level of heat you want)
- 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 Tbsp. fresh oregano, minced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup rice vinegar
- 3 tbsp agave syrup or other liquid sweetener
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
vegan sour cream (makes about 1 ½ cups)
- 1 cup raw cashews, soaked at least 4 hours (see instructions)
- 2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp. lemon juice
- ¼ tsp. salt
- ¼ – ½ cup of water
refried black beans
- 2– 15 oz (400 gm) cans black beans, drained and rinsed
- 1 small onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 chipotle chilis in adobo sauce, chopped (more if you want it spicier)
- 2 Tbsp. of the adobo sauce from the chilis.
- ½ tsp. cumin
- ½ cup lime juice
- ½ – 1 cup vegetable broth
- 2 avocados
- 1 Tbsp. lime juice
- ½ tsp. garlic powder
- 8 whole wheat tortillas
- Handful of cilantro (coriander), chopped (optional)
Timing tip: start with soaking the cashews beforehand. They’ll need about 4 hours to soak to get it creamy unless you have a very high-speed blender. The Escabeche takes minutes to assemble and then you want to just toss it in the refrigerator and allow it to marinate.
- Prepare all the ingredients. Slice the carrots and onions. Mince the garlic and chop the jalapenos and fresh oregano. Combine everything in a bowl with the rice vinegar, sweetener and salt. Mix well and allow it to chill and the flavors to combine.
- To soak the cashews, measure out 1 cup and add them to a small bowl. Cover the cashews with water about 2 inches above. Soak for at least 4 hours or overnight.
- Drain and rinse the soaked cashews. Add the cashews, apple cider vinegar, lemon juice, salt and ¼ cup water to a blender or food processor. Start at a slow speed and increase the speed, adding more water if necessary until you get a smooth, creamy consistency.
refried black beans
- Dice the onion and mince the garlic. Chop the chilis and add everything to a medium pan or skillet. Start by sautéing the onion until it starts to become translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the garlic and chilis and continue sauteing for another minute.
- Add the black beans to the pan along with 2 Tbsp. adobo sauce, the lime juice and ½ cup vegetable broth. Allow everything to simmer for 5 minutes.
- Turn the heat to low and using a potato masher, start mashing the black beans as they cook. You can also remove them from the heat if that makes it logistically easier. Allow the beans to simmer until enough of the liquid is absorbed that you have creamy (not soupy) beans.
- Cut the avocados in half and remove the pit. Spoon out the avocado into a small bowl. Add the lime juice and garlic powder. Using a fork, mash the avocado.
Finish, Assemble and bake the quesadillas
- Preheat the oven to 4000F (2000C).
- For each tortilla, smear black beans on one half. Add the Escabeche, sour cream and mashed avocado. Fold over the tortilla and gently press down so you get the filling to the edges. Place it on a non-stick baking tray (or pizza stone).
- Bake the quesadillas for 5 minutes until the top starts to brown. Flip each quesadilla and bake for another 5 minutes until they are brown and crunchy. Be mindful that your oven heat will influence the time you need, and they do burn quickly. Keep a close eye on the baking.
- Serve the quesadillas with any left-over avocado mash and sour cream.
- You can make the Escabeche, sour cream and even the refried beans a day before. Prepare the avocado right before you assemble and bake the quesadillas and you have decadence in minutes.
- Many folks prefer to pan fry quesadillas rather than bake them. Most certainly, you can. You may have to do them in batches, but dry fry them over medium heat, flipping them once the brown on the bottom.
- Emphasize the chipotle taste by adding 1 tbsp. of the adobe sauce to the vegan sour cream. Blend it together as directed.The escabeche is traditionally made with carrots, onions and jalapenos; however, you can add other veggies as well. You want to consider how they will hold up to the marinade so aim for less porous veggies such as cauliflower or celery. Zucchini can cucumber may get a bit mushy after a few days in the fridge – that’s if you have any leftover.
- Category: Burgers & Wraps
- Cuisine: Mexican
Keywords: baked quesadillas with escabeche