Grilled Zucchini, Chioggia Beet and Daiya Pesto Quesadillas

I still can’t get over the fact that I finally found a vegan cheese that I like and that actually melts and is creamy, so naturally I’ve been putting Daiya on everything! And basil galore from the CSA means lots of pesto lately. Put those two things together in between some corn tortillas with some yummy end of summer veggies and you have a super easy weeknight meal, which is even easier if you have a sandwich press or george foreman grill. I have never had one of these but I just moved in with my boyfriend, who has one and it’s so great! It sounds kind of lazy to cook veggies on it but it grilled the zucchini perfectly (works well with eggplant too.) Plus you get those pretty grill marks without having to have a fancy backyard with a grill!

Here’s what I used. This makes about 5/6 quesadillas (I used the Ezekiel Sprouted Corn tortillas which are kind of small though so maybe less if you use bigger ones.)

  • 1 large zucchini, cut into thin 1/4 inch slices
  • 1 medium chioggia beet, peeled and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • Daiya cheese (I used the mozzarella one)
  • corn tortillas
  • splash of lemon juice
  • pesto (see my recipe here)
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste

Put the beets in a pot with enough water to cover them and a splash of lemon juice and bring the water to a boil. Bring heat to medium and allow the beets to simmer for about 25 minutes until they’re tender and you can poke them with a fork. Run under some cold water and let them cool off.

While the beets are cooking, combine about 1 tbsp of olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper in a mixing bowl. Brush both sides of the zucchini slices and put on the grill, turning over once, until they have nice grill marks and are kinda soggy (about 3-4 minutes per side.)

Spread some pesto on a tortilla and layer zucchini, beets and cheese. Fold the quesadilla in half and put it on the grill until the cheese is melted and the tortilla is crispy.

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Sweet Potato & Sausage Quesadillas

I haven’t had a quesadilla in a loooooong time. I’m not the biggest fan of vegan cheeses, but in keeping with my recent mexican theme, and because I love food that is wrapped in something, I decided I’d give it a shot. The sweet potato added to the creaminess that might be missing in a cheeseless version, and to the overall orangeness of the dish. I used some leftover tempeh sausage crumbles from my last post, which made them nice and herbalicious.

  • tempeh sausage crumbles
  • 1 small orange sweet pepper, sliced
  • 1 small yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 small sweet potato, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2 cup portobello mushrooms, chopped
  • vegan cheddar cheese cut into thing slices (I used the Follow Your Heart brand)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 1 tsp siracha chili paste (optional)
  • whole wheat tortillas
  • earth balance vegan butter

-cook sweet potatos in a pan with olive oil on low heat, covered, turning over halfway through until they’re browned on both sides.

-while the sweet potato is cooking, caramelize the onions  over med-low heat, covered, until they start to brown, stirring occasionally (about 5-7 minutes). Add white wine to deglaze the pan and cook 3 more minutes. Add peppers, mushrooms and chili paste and cook another 3-5 minutes.

-Cut a tortilla into half circles and fill with the layers of cheese, veggies, and sweet potato. Grease a pan with some butter and grill the quesadilla over medium heat for a few minutes on each side until the cheese starts to melt and the tortilla gets browned and crispy. Don’t put the heat too high because vegan cheese takes a while to melt so you have to cook it slower.

They came out so orange and pretty that I almost didn’t want to eat them!