Monday, October 06, 2008

Vegan Black Bean Quesadillas

Before moving onto the recipe, just a few thoughts.  I'm hoping (cause it will make me feel better) that sometimes the most devout Vegan wonders if they made the right choice.  Yesterday and today I've been struggling with my choice.  No need to send reassurances (unless you want to!)  as images of animal cruelty/killing flood my mind at the thought of eating outside the Vegan boundaries.

I've been trying to pinpoint what is making me waver and have ruled out "living with Omnis makes it too difficult".  I think it may be that I expected the Spouse and Teen Daughter to come around faster than they are.  On Friday I asked the Teen Daughter (who is 14) if she wanted to watch a PETA video with me and she agreed.  We watched together and she seemed very affected by the footage.  We both cried and at the end she expressed how horrible she thought it was.  Then that was it.  I guess I was expecting a huge revelation to hit her and suddenly have another Vegan in the household, but nope.  I don't know if I should probe further about how she feels, as I don't want come across as forcing my beliefs onto her.   

It's just so sad now for me.  It used to be that family meals were anticipated by the whole family as I prepared their favorite dishes.  I felt proud and silently enjoyed watching them devour their dinners.  Now our family meals feel disjointed, but this could be due to living with the in-laws.  They cook very differently than I do, and the Teen Daughter has made it known how she feels.  Oh well, I'll just have to come up with more dishes that all of us can enjoy together.   :)

On to the recipe and this one is simple!  Sometimes simple food just warms the soul, though.  Ah, as to how the family felt:  the Spouse thought it was great as did the MIL, and the Teen Daughter wouldn't have touched this if I deep fried it in sugar!  ;)

Black Bean Quesadillas

Serves 5-6

1 can Black Beans, drained & rinsed
1 large Onion (I used a Spanish Sweet Onion)
7-10 Mushrooms (I used Cremini)
1 Green Pepper
1 Red Pepper
2-3 cups Vegan Cheddar Cheese (I used Vegan Gourmet Nacho Cheddar)
Note:  if you don't want to use cheese, don't.  If you can't find Vegan Cheese, Lady Vegan's Kitchen has a great Quesadilla recipe that uses Nutritional Yeast here.
1-2 tbsp Olive Oil
8 Flour Tortillas
1-2 tbsp Vegan Margarine (I used Earth Balance)
Optional:  Vegan Sour Cream and Salsa

Chop Onion, Peppers and Mushrooms (stems removed) and set aside.  Heat Olive Oil in large skillet and add veggies.  Note: non-stick cooking spray can be used in place of the Olive Oil to reduce fat, but veggies may not crisp up as nicely.  Cook veggies just until softened and Onions are nice and brown.  Add Beans, mix, and place in bowl to allow flavors to mingle.   I added some salt and pepper at this point, but no other seasonings as I wanted veggies to stand out in this dish.  You could, of course add whatever seasonings you like and I'm sure the end result would be just fine.  I found that while the veggies are cooking, it is a good time to shred the Cheddar Cheese, which should be covered and placed in fridge.

Wipe out skillet with paper towel and melt 1/2 tsp Margarine.  Swish the Margarine around to coat the skillet as much as possible.  Lay a Tortilla in the skillet and carefully move the it around to soak up the Margarine.  When the Tortilla is golden remove from heat--there is no need to fry both sides of the Tortilla.  Repeat for remaining Tortillas.

When Tortillas are cool enough to handle, spread bean & veggie mixture on ungrilled side, top with about 1/2 - 3/4 cup Cheese (if using cheese).   Place on top of Cheese, another Tortilla,  grilled side up.  Repeat until you have used all Tortillas.  Place stuffed Tortillas in oven oven at 375 for about 15-20 minutes or until slightly golden brown.

Cut in halves or fourths and serve with Sour Cream and Salsa, if desired.  Enjoy!


aimee said...

I'm totally making this for dinner tonight! Thanks! And stick to your beliefs. You've only just begun. You'll be surprised one day when all of a sudden everyone will just take for granted the fact that you are vegan. It will, eventually, be a non-issue, I promise! I never thought my friends and family would "get it", but most everyone is great about it now! There will always be someone who is small-minded; you just have to take the bad with the good! Good Luck!

Reni said...

Hope you enjoy it. Next time I make it I might squish some of the beans for a 'refried bean' kind of taste.

Thanks for the encouragement. :)
Can't wait till that day where it will be normal!

Georgia said...

It must be so tough being the only vegan in the house. I really admire you for that. Those quesadilla's look great. We don't have any good vegan cheese where I live (or else it is hiding really well in the shops) so I have to make do with nutritional yeast.

Keep on going - I love blogging and reading others blogs because we can feel like we are not alone - there are many of us out there :)