Spinach, beans, caramelized onions and a delicious cheeze sauce — made from cashews, nutritional yeast, beer, miso paste and other flavorings — are the main ingredients behind this delicious quesadilla. Serve with fresh mango salsa for a satisfying lunch, dinner or snack.

Black Bean, Spinach & Smoked Gooda Cheeze Quesadillas [Vegan]

Serves

4

Cooking Time

50

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Ingredients

For the Mango Salsa:

  • 1/4 cup roughly chopped cilantro
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice, or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 3/4 cup diced mango
  • 1/3 cup finely diced red onion
  • 1/2 jalapeño, minced (or to taste)

To Prep the Onions:

  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

For the Cheeze Sauce:

  • sea salt, to taste
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew nuts
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon flour
  • 1 tablespoon light miso paste
  • 1/4 cup beer
  • 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened non-dairy milk
  • 2 cups finely chopped baby spinach (approx. 5 oz)

For the Quesadillas:

  • 4 - 8" inch whole wheat tortillas
  • 1 1/2 cups (1 - 15 oz can) cooked black beans
  • Fresh Mango Salsa (from above)
  • Cashew Sour Cream (optional)
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Preparation

To Prepare the Salsa:

  1. To prepare the salsa, simply add all of the ingredients to a bowl and gentle fold everything together. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes — this step is not critical, but it does give the flavors a bit more time to come together.

To Cook the Onions:

  1. To cook the onions, heat a fry pan over medium high heat and then add the onions and salt. Dry-sauté the onions for 10 minutes to 15, or until translucent and golden brown. If desired, use a tablespoon of oil, when frying the onions.
  2. Once done, set aside.

To Make Cheeze Sauce:

  1. To make the cheeze sauce, using a high speed blender, blend together the roasted cashews, nutritional yeast, onion and garlic powder, flour, miso paste, beer and non-dairy milk until you reach a nice smooth consistency.
  2. Alternatively, if you do not have a high speed blender, process the cashew nuts and nutritional yeast until you reach a paste-like consistency, then add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Note that this method will not produce as smooth of consistency.
  3. At this point, place the cheeze sauce into a medium pot and add the chopped spinach. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat, stirring continuously for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the sauce has heated through and the spinach has fully wilted.
  4. Lastly, taste for seasoning. If desired, add a pinch or two of cayenne pepper and/or a dash or two of tabasco sauce — we often add both, but ultimately it depends on what you are using the cheeze sauce for, and your personal preference.

To Make the Quesadillas:

  1. To assemble the quesadillas, spread a quarter of the cheeze/spinach mixture onto a tortilla shell — leaving a 1" border around the edge so that the mixture does not leak out during cooking. Note: the mixture will likely appear quite runny, surprisingly however, it does hold together quite well, even after cutting the final quesadilla.
  2. Next, place a quarter of the onions and black beans onto one half of the tortilla shell. Fold the tortilla in half and set aside while you assemble the remaining quesadillas.
  3. Alternatively, the quesadillas can be fully assembled while they are in the frying pan. This just avoids having to transfer them once they are assembled. In this case, it’s easier to assemble and cook them one at a time.
  4. To cook the quesadillas, heat a large fry pan over medium high heat. Once hot, spray with some non-stick spray and carefully transfer two quesadillas to the fry pan. Cook on the first side until golden brown, about 3 or 4 minutes and then flip and let cook for a minute or two on the other side. Remove and let cool for a minute or two before cutting. Continue with the remaining quesadillas.
  5. Lastly, cut each quesadilla in half and serve with some of the mango chutney and a dollop of Cashew Sour Cream. Note, since the quesadilla itself it quite creamy, the sour cream is not really necessary, it just looks nice. The mango chutney however is highly recommended as it pairs extremely well with the rich and creamy quesadilla.
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