I don’t even have an excuse for the poor name that I’ve given this food. I was thinking of calling it Hummus.. something. Or like Veggiedillas, or I don’t even know. I can’t use the name quesadilla because there’s “cheese” literally in the name, right there at the front. So I’m just being honest and saying there’s straight-up no cheese inside. But there is some hummus, avocado, veggies, and a yummy tahini sauce! And, well, they certainly look like a typical quesadilla. Just without cheese because cheese sucks. Yeah, I said it. Cheese. Sucks.
People love asking vegans about cheese. Do we like vegan cheese? Do we miss cheese? How do you live without cheese? Doesn’t that taste bade without the cheese? I think my favourite reaction is when I go out to dinner (with non-vegans) and I order something with “no cheese, please.” And then, like clockwork, someone will give me the “you just said no cheese” look. It’s like a mixture between pity and surprise in one expression. This is often the person that will ask me if my food is OK in the most sincere way. I think this is HILARIOUS. I know when this is going to happen and I want you all to know that I said “no cheese” because I don’t want any of that cheese on my plate. This was not always true (proof in the fact that I literally own a quesadilla maker. Yes, I do. Luckily it can be used for other things, like this recipe!), but I am not suffering at all in my life without cheese.
I recently met a group of vegans and they totally understand this. IT’S WONDERFUL. If you are a new vegan, go find vegan friends. I stumbled onto them by accident through a group on meetup.com that just so happens to be made up of several vegans. Last weekend, we were at a pub and my salad came with a bread stick that had melted cheese on it. We were all equally shocked that they wouldn’t tell me that it came with my salad after saying “absolutely no dairy and sub tofu for the chicken.” Like, common sense, waiter dude. Anyway. Vegan friends are great.
Going back to one of the ultimate non-vegan interview time questions: “if you don’t eat cheese, what do you eat?” Clearly, it depends on the recipe, but a lot of times (like this recipe!) I use avocado or hummus.. or both.. as a replacement. Seems strange to someone who’s never tried it out but they’re both creamy, fatty, and go great with just about all carbs. Kinda like cheese. So I did that here! This is not a strict recipe, use it like a template. Whatever you would put in a quesadilla, use that. Then throw away all the cheese in your fridge and replace it with avocados and hummus. And of course, smother that quesadilla in this tahini sauce and some cholula. Those could go inside, too, I guess. Or just strictly follow this recipes, that’s cool too.
Side note: If you thin your tahini down as much as I did, you will have leftovers! I made an amaaazing pasta dish with this by adding a little extra nooch and a whole lot of garlic to rotini, veggies, and a chopped vegan sausage. Yum!
Makes 2 whole dillas or 4 halves. 30 Min.
For the Tahini sauce
- 3 T tahini
- 2 T tomato paste
- 3 T nutritional yeast flakes
- 2 T lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon)
- 1 t chili powder
- salt (to taste)
- 4 tortillas (I used whole wheat)
- 1 1/2 cups hummus (your favourite kind! I used red pepper flavour)
- 1 avocado, sliced
- 1 medium bell pepper, diced
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 cup corn kernals
- cholula or your favourite hot sauce (optional)
- Using a nonstick or cast iron skillet, cook the bell pepper, onion, and corn until pleasantly browned. Remove from heat.
- As those are cooking, mix the all the tahini sauce ingredients. Thin with water to your desired consistency (I prefer it pourable but a thick spread is good too!).
- Heat a pan on medium or turn on your quesadilla maker (if you’re as ridiculous as me, haha!).
- Spread hummus on one side of all your tortillas. Top two tortillas (or one half of each tortilla, if making single tortilla dillas) with avocado and a couple scoops of the vegetable mixture. Top with the remaining tortilla (or fold yours in half).
- Cook until the tortilla browns. If using a pan, be sure to press it down on top firmly to make sure it holds together, then flip and brown the other side.
- Top with the tahini and hot sauce!
Up next is ICE CREAM! I am so excited and I hope it turns out. I haven’t made ice cream since I was a kid and had a little rolling tin contraption of an ice cream maker.
Stay tuned and don’t touch that cheese!