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.
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)
Shredded vegan cheese
1 tablespoon vegan butter per serving
- In a sauce pan, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add onions and garlic, and sauté for a few minutes.
- Add the peppers and mushrooms, continue to cook for 2-3 minutes. Then add the tomatoes and tomato paste and stir.
- 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.
- Add the seitan, cilantro, lime, and all the spices to the vegetables. Stir all together and cook for another 5 minutes.
- Once the seitan is heated through (should not take more than a few minutes), open up the tortilla and add the vegetables and seitan.
- Heat for a few minutes and then flip to the other side. Again, cook for a few minutes and then cut and serve.