Bean and Cheese Quesadillas

So I’ve noticed a lot of what I cook is Mexican inspired but I think the flavours are so delicious and there is such a variety of accessible dishes to choose from all with relatively few ingredients so why not!

This quesadilla recipe is particularly easy and very adaptable depending on what veg you have, the basic ingredients are refried beans, cheese and tortillas (actually cheese can be left out if you are feeling healthy).

Had to rush this entry a bit as heading out for a curry at a friend’s so sorry if there are any obvious mistakes…. maybe I will include his dish tomorrow if I get the recipe! Watch this space 🙂

Serves at least 2.

Ingredients

Oil

Half an onion

1 pepper – I actually used half green and half red

3 tablespoons of sweetcorn – I guess?!

Half a tin of refried beans (spicy or non-spicy)

Fresh coriander

Cheese – I used vegan cheese but any good melty cheese works

Tortillas – I use the mini ones as they are easier to flip

To Serve – salsa, guacamole, sour cream (or vegan alternative), salad leaves, nachos, piñatas, sombreros   – the usual Mexican accompaniments

Method

  • Fry the chopped onion and peppers in a splash of oil in a reasonable sized saucepan on a medium high heat until soft and slightly brown. You could also add a chilli at this point if you like it hot!
  • Add the sweetcorn and fry for a couple more minutes.
  • Next add the refried beans and stir together with the veg, leave to heat through. This should only take a minute or 3.
  • When the mix is hot, add the chopped coriander if you have it.
  • Meanwhile heat a frying pan and grate some cheese.
  • Next assemble your quesadilla. Put one tortilla on a flat surface (chopping board is fine) spread a layer of the refried bean / veg mix across the whole tortilla. Sprinkle a sensible amount of cheese to cover the beans and sandwich the mix with another tortilla.
  • Transfer the tortilla sandwich (quesadilla) to the hot frying pan and leave to toast for a minute or 2, every so often peering under the edge – you want it to turn a light golden. Once achieved, you need to flip. As earlier mentioned, small tortillas are much easier to flip just using a fish slice/ spatula. If you are doing big ones I would suggest you place a plate over the top of the quesadilla whilst still in the pan, and then whilst holding tightly down on the plate turn the pan upside down so that the quesadilla ends up on your plate. Then you can slide it back into the pan to toast the other side.
  • Once toasted on both sides put aside to rest and a make some more. Then cut into quarters to serve

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PS you could make a bigger batch of the bean veg filling by using a whole tin and doubling veg etc and any leftover you can put it in the fridge for a couple of days and keep going back to it when you need more 😀

 

 

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The Last (Non-Vegan) Supper; Solita, The Northern Quarter

Halloween was my last day as a vegetarian before starting my Vegan Challenge for the month of November. It also happened to be the first Friday after pay day and a few of us from work had arranged to go out for food and (a few, which turned into many) drinks.

Solita on Turner Street in the Northern Quarter had been suggested and although it primarily looked like a burger joint I liked the look of the menu. Rather than having one vegetarian burger option the menu revealed that any of the meat burgers could be substituted for either a veggie bean burger or halloumi cheese. That way I could still have the pick of all the exciting toppings and variations!

When we arrived we were shown to our big round booth, it was good that we could all see each other and chat together this way. We ordered drinks – I had a Rum infused Cuban beer called Bachata; it was tasty and at £3.75, not too pricey. Some of the other had cocktails and they looked good but were around the £7 mark.

The menu was the same as the one I’d looked at online and after glancing over the starters and deciding against the amazing sounding ‘Lucky 7’ (7 Layers of Guacamole, re-fried beans, sour cream, salsa, cheese, lettuce, olives. Served with blue corn tortilla chips)  I just needed to pick my burger. There was lots to choose from , I could have opted for the ‘Jack Daddy’ with toppings of onion rings, Monterey Jack cheese and Jack Daniel’s grill sauce or the ‘Catalan’ with roasted red peppers, manchego  cheese and roasted tomato aioli.

In the end I went for ‘The Big Manc’; brioche bun, iceberg, home pickles, Monterey Jack cheese and Big Manc sauce. Usually coming with 2 x 6oz minced chuck steak patties I decided to swap them for the halloumi (make the most of being able to eat cheese!). All of the main courses come with skin on fries, I could have decided to upgrade these to sweet potato fries or cheesy curly fries but didn’t feel it was necessary given the double-deckeredness of my burger.

I should also note that when I was ordering I asked about prices; would my vegetarian burger price reflect that of the meat counterpart? The answer was no 🙂 as long as I wasn’t adding meat to my veggie burger mine would cost £8.90…much cheaper than the meat ones!

My burger came and didn’t disappoint. It was huge and looked impressive compared to every else’s measly one-tiered burgers! The brioche bun was soft and tasty, the halloumi had been fried in a crispy coating of polenta which gave it nice crunch around the edges, there were plenty of pickles and lots of Big Manc sauce which was creamy and tangy. The fries were also delicious. Any criticism would be down to my ordering. Realistically there was too much cheese – not only 2 large halloumi patties but also the Monterey Jack cheese. I was stuffed by the end of it and had to leave some of the halloumi – on reflection next time I would probably just ask for one patty and go for the bean burger so as to cut down the risk of a heart attack from cheese overload!

Overall I was impressed with Solita it was nice to have the same amount of choice as everyone else and I would definitely go back again. 4/5

The Veggie Big Manc