Vegan quesadilla sounds like an oxymoron doesn’t it?
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.
Makes 4 quesadillas.
1 small/medium sweet potato
1 small/medium japanese sweet potato
Juice of half a lime
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.