Vegan Quesadilla with Mexican Mash

Vegan quesadilla sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?

Yesterday I felt like Julie from Julie and Julia except instead of scouring NYC for marrow bone, I was looking for the exact opposite – yuca to make Veganomicon‘s Grilled Yuca Tortillas.

It’s a root veggie typically sold in Latin markets. There are probably 45 little Latin markets in SF, they’re just all in the same area which just so happens to be across town. So instead I searched every other market remotely near my apartment, only to hear, “You can probably find this in two seconds at the Mission.”

By the time I arrived home empty-handed, it was too late to go to the Mission and the only options were to eat leftover Sniffle Soup or improvise. I was REALLY craving corn tortillas so I went with door number two. Proving that “mistakes” in cooking sometimes lead to genius, I discovered a recipe for deliciosa vegan “quesadillas” filled with my new favorite Mexican Mash, which is a perfect substitute for refried beans. Because in case you haven’t heard, I hate beans.

Mexican Mash

Makes 4 quesadillas.


1 small/medium sweet potato
1 small/medium japanese sweet potato
Juice of half a lime
Chili powder
Garlic Salt
Cayenne pepper

First, what is a japanese sweet potato? Pretty similar to a regular sweet potato and if you can’t find one, feel free to go ahead and just use two regular, but japanese sweet potatoes are purple on the outside and white on the inside. I thought it might add some neat color and texture to the mash, and it definitely did.


Peel the sweet potatoes and cut them into chunks. Add about 2 inches of water to a saucepan and steam the potatoes until very soft.

Mash together and add the remaining ingredients to taste. I used a good amount of all the spices, but especially a lot of chili powder. The combination of the sweet from the potato with the acidity of the lime was muy rico.

To assemble the quesadilla, layer the mash on a corn tortilla with diced yellow bell pepper, fresh diced jalapeno pepper, diced tomatoes, and sauteed mushrooms. We cooked ours on the new panini press and it turned out ah-mazing. If you don’t have one, go ahead and cook it in a skillet with canola oil.

14 responses to “Vegan Quesadilla with Mexican Mash

  1. umm that looks SOO good to me!! WOW!

  2. Very intersting! I’ve seen those Japanese sp’s in my store and wondered what they were– thanks for clarifying!

    Your meal looks DELICIOUS! I tend to love anything with the word “mash” in it šŸ™‚

    • FYI, the Japanese sweet potato didn’t get as soft as the regular sweet potato – required slightly more cooking time. That was good for this recipe because I liked keeping the mash chunky, but something to keep in mind if you use it in the future. Apparently, this Japanese SP was California grown, which was one of the reasons I chose it.

  3. YUM! I got Veganomicon for Xmas and I want to make those quesadillas, also the kale enchiladas, etc, etc, but the nice thing about something like this recipe is its really versatile. I already figured I’d use a potato mix since I didn’t see yuca at the store. šŸ™‚

  4. Wow that looks spicy! Don’t you love it when things work out?

  5. That looks really delicious! I really want to try to eat more sweet potatoes.

  6. Thanks for the comment on our blog. Glad there is another LC who loves food and wine out there. hehe!

  7. Lynn at The Actors Diet

    yuca is awesome. i have never made it at home, though.

  8. Thanks for stopping by my blog and leaving the nice comment! I also enjoy yours! I LOVE sweet potatoes more than anything so this recipe is perfect!

  9. I do hope you try the yucca. My mom uses it in lieu of potatoes in some of her Filipino stews. She’s also makes yucca fries sometimes.

    • Yucca fries sound unbelievable.

      I (cross fingers) SHOULD be driving by the mission soon and I am 100% making G stop and sit in the car so I can run in and buy some.

      You think maybe I could find it in Chinatown? That’s waaaay closer.

  10. Omg sorry to dish Moonlight Path! One of my best friends in college wore it freshmen year and she loved it obviously. Every time I smelt it I would get mad.

    Great blog!

  11. I made sweet potato/black bean burritos last week. The recipe was very similiar to this one. It’s amazing how much the sweet potato tastes almost like a bean! So yummy! šŸ™‚

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