BBQ “Pulled Pork” Quesadillas

This recipe was inspired by my husband’s former love of pulled pork sandwiches.  He’s from Texas, so meat was a big part of his diet.  Now that we stopped eating meat, he sometimes misses the texture and sauces that accompany it.  For those days when a former meat-eater needs such familiar comforts, this quesadilla should help.  Of course, I don’t use pig, but rather a barbecue-flavored seitan (wheat-derived protein, usually comes already cooked in a vacuum sealed package) that I can easily find at my local food market.  You’ll realize, when you don’t eat meat for a while, that what makes it so appealing are the sauces, spices, and texture.

Seitan, for those who aren’t familiar, is not a new food borne of a hippy vegan movement.  Nicknamed “wheat meat”, it has been eaten as a high protein food by vegetarians in Asia for years.  It has a texture similar to chicken, making it useful as a meat substitute.  You can make it yourself too, which may be healthier than buying from the store.  This website talks about it more in depth: http://www.vrg.org/recipes/vjseitan.htm

This quesadilla is savory, flavorful, and packs a hearty barbecue taste.  Vegan cheese is added, because IT’S A QUESADILLA!  Serve it with half an avocado and prepare to fill up on the tastiness.

Servings: 6. Time: 45 minutes.

Ingredients:

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 red onion, chopped into 1-2 inch moons

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 large tomatoes, chopped into 1 inch pieces

2 bell peppers, chopped into 1 inch pieces

3 tablespoons tomato paste

6-8 Crimini or other comparable size mushrooms, chopped

16 oz seitan (may be bbq flavored)

1/4 cup chopped cilantro

Juice of 1 lime

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

2 teaspoons cumin powder

2 teaspoons chili powder

A sprinkle or two of cayenne pepper

Salt and pepper to taste

1/2 avocado per person (optional)

Tortillas

Shredded vegan cheese

1 tablespoon vegan butter per serving

Instructions:

  1. In a sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes.
  2. Add the peppers and mushrooms, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir.
  3. Meanwhile, in a different pan, start heating the vegan butter on low (if using), and once melted, put a tortilla with vegan cheese on it to start melting. Sandwich the cheese with another tortilla.
  4. Add the seitan, cilantro, lime, and all the spices to the vegetables.   Stir all together and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Once the seitan is heated through (should not take more than a few minutes), open up the tortilla and add the vegetables and seitan.
  6. Heat for a few minutes and then flip to the other side. Again, cook for a few minutes and then cut and serve.

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