Thursday, January 19, 2012

Rocking Mexican Vego

For today's post, I thought I would share a meal that we enjoyed a few days ago as part of our "No Meat Mondays". I was in the mood for something Mexican, so I created these vegetarian quesadillas with lovely caramelised pumpkin. They were really delicious and satisfied my craving for Mexican as well as the no meat brief. Although the pumpkin takes a while to roast, you could also cook it the day before when you have time, or for a shortcut, steam or boil it (although it will not have that wonderful caramelised flavour that baking will give you)

The quesadillas were very filling, especially when served alongside a big bowl of salsa (tomatoes, red peppers, cucumber, garlic, olive oil, fresh parsley and coriander, chilli and a squeeze of lemon) and a simple homemade guacamole. These would make a great vegetarian party dish - just cut the quesadillas into smaller pieces so they are easier to handle as finger food. Quesadillas lend themselves to so many different fillings, and lots of cheese combinations. The name quesadilla is actually derived from the Spanish word queso - meaning cheese.

Give these delicious vegetarian beauties a whirl. They are easy to do and taste fabulous. I will definitely be adding these to my rotation of vegetarian dishes! Grap some tortillas and get your Mexican on!

Pumpkin Quesadillas
served with salsa and guacamole

You will need: 8 pieces of bread “wraps” or tortillas, 1 cup grated mozzarella cheese, 1 cup grated cheddar cheese, ½ cup pitted, chopped black olives, about 500g uncooked pumpkin,1 red onion, 1 bunch fresh coriander, 1 tablespoon sweet paprika, salt and pepper, olive oil, lemon slices to serve.

Method: Peel and chop the pumpkin into pieces about 4cm square. Slice the onion into chunky pieces. Combine the onion and pumpkin with a drizzle of olive oil, paprika and a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 220C. Cook the pumpkin for about 40 minutes – or until soft. I actually like to overcook it a bit, as the caramelised edges give the pumpkin extra flavour.

Combine the two cheeses well and then roughly chop the coriander.

Lay four of the wraps/tortillas flat and sprinkle half of the cheese over the bases. Now divide the pumpkin mixture amongst the wraps, squashing and spreading out the pumpkin with a spoon, so it is evenly distributed.

Sprinkle over the coriander and olives, then the rest of the cheese. Season with salt and pepper and then add the remaining wraps/tortillas to the top, to make a sandwich.

Heat a frypan and oil it lightly. Cook your quesadillas on both sides until crisp on the outside and the cheese has melted. Be careful when turning them over so that they do not fall apart. You can keep the completed ones warm in the oven as you cook the rest if you like.

Cut the quesadilla’s into four and serve with lemon slices,salsa, guacamole or just a salad.

Serves 4 people


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