Sunday, 6 April 2014

Sweet potato, zucchini and olive quesadillas

Last week saw very little cooking in my kitchen.  Last night I realised that I had been so busy and poorly that I had only cooked one meal during the week.  I went to the movies, attended Sylvia's first school concert, had parent teacher interviews, had meetings and babysat my niece.  It was good to go out for dinner and eat meals from the freezer, when I wasn't so sick that I could only eat vegemite on toast.  My fridge however is still full of vegetables.  So last night I made some rather good quesadillas.

Quesadillas ticked a few boxes.  They were a good way to try some of my new Vegusto vegan mozzarella cheese, they used up some of the vegies that were begging to be put out of their misery, and they were fairly easy.  The original recipe for Zucchini, Olive and Cheese Quesadillas from Cooking Light used low fat mozzarella and feta cheese. 

I didn't have any feta and wanted to keep it vegan.  So I used a sweet potato that I half cooked about a week ago.  It was looking expectantly at me every time I opened the fridge.  I also had plenty of cherry tomatoes and some zucchinis from the farmers market.  And I couldn't resist adding my favourite spice, smoked paprika.

The sweet potato was a good choice in adding more vegies and helping the quesadilla stick together.  I've had problems with quesadillas holding together in the past but these flipped over with no problem.  In fact, with the sweet potato, you could probably omit the cheese altogether or even mashed in a few beans instead. 

It was my first time using Vegusto.  It grated ok but clumped together when I tried to sprinkle it on my tortillas.  I could taste the meltiness from time to time in the quesadillas but I don't think it was the best way to feature it and look forward to using it in more meals.


I had thought of making some refried beans to have on the side but I didn't have the energy.  I found that the quesadillas made a satisfying meal without them.  E said he could have eaten more.  Some refried beans and salad would make this a larger meal.  As it was, E just added some Tabasco because it wasn't quite spicy enough for him. 

I am sending these quesadillas to Vanesther at Bangers and Mash who is hosting Mexican Month on the Spice Trail

I am also sending them to Helen at Fuss Free Flavours for the Extra Veg challenge that she hosts with Michelle from Utterly Scrummy Food for Families.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
One year ago: Sushi with sticky walnuts and edamame
Two years ago: Plum almond tart
Three years ago: WHB: Plum and Cinnamon Oat Slice
Four years ago: WHB Easter nut roast and reflections
Five years ago: Pooh Bear Honey Slice
Six years ago: Seduced by Strawberries and a Pudding

Sweet potato, zucchini and olive quesadillas
Adapted from Cooking Light October 2001
Serves 2

1 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
2 small to medium zucchinis, grated
1/4 tsp dried oregano
3/4 tsp smoked paprika, divided
1 cup mashed sweet potato
1 tbsp white miso
seasoning
4 (8-inch) wheat tortillas
1/2 cup (2 oz) mozzarella cheese, divided (I used vegusto)
1/2 cup chopped cherry tomatoes, divided
1/4 cup chopped pitted kalamata olives, divided

Heat olive oil in a large frypan over  medium heat and fry onion and garlic for about 5 minutes or until onion is translucent.  Add zucchini and fry another 5 to 10 minutes until zucchini starts to brown.  Turn off the heat.  Mix in oregano, 1/4 tsp of smoked paprika and season with a good pinch of salt and a good grinding of black pepper.  Scrape into a small bowl and set aside.  Use a paper towel to wipe out the frying pan to be ready for the tortillas.

Mix the mashed sweet potato with miso, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, a pinch of salt and some freshly ground black pepper (or to taste).  Spread half the mashed sweet potatoes over a tortilla, or enough to cover it but not too thickly.

Preheat frypan over medium heat.  (I didn't add any oil.)  Have the mozzarella, tomatoes and olives ready.  Place a plain tortilla on the pan and scatter with half the mozzarella, half the zucchini mixture, half the cherry tomatoes and half the olives.  Top with the tortilla spread with sweet potato, with the vegetables facing downwards.  Fry for about 3 minutes or until golden brown.  Carefully flip over and fry another 2 minutes or until golden brown on the second side.  Repeat with remaining ingredients.  Cut each quesadilla into four and serve hot. 

On the Stereo:
Listen, Listen: an Introduction to: Sandy Denny

43 comments:

  1. The quesadilla look really good! I like the sound of the filling although I'd add cheese for myself :)

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    1. Thanks Lorraine - I am sure these would work with regular mozzarella, vegan mozzarella or no cheese at all - depending on your fancy

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  2. Delish! And what a great way to eat up the leftover veggies!

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    1. Thanks Lisa - yes I was relieved to finally use the sweet potato

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  3. I'm sorry you had a week of being unwell - hopefully cooking again is a sign you are on the mend, and I imagine this dish would aid the healing process if it wasn't already underway. Quesadillas are a big hit in our house because I can have mine with more beans and no cheese, and Mr B can have his with fewer beans and with cheese, but ours are never as neat as your batch! They look gorgeous. I love the idea of sweet potato too.

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    1. Thanks Kari - my energy is much better this week - thanks for your kind words on the quesadillas - I have made them before and found them hard to turn and stick together but was really pleased that the sweet potato seemed to help glue it all together - and the mozza probably helped too - though it wasn't very even. I should made quesadillas more

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  4. These are a great way to use up leftover vegetables. I really like the idea of adding the sweet potato as that's something i've never put in a quesadilla before.

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    1. Thanks Corina - I think this might be the first time I have put sweet potato in quesadillas too - I think the white miso and smoked paprika worked really well in it

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  5. wow....we are drooling over those clicks and are so craving for these fantastic quesadilla,thanks for sharing :-)

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  6. Oh yum! Sweet potatoes are the bomb!

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    1. Thanks Ms Ihua - yep love sweet potatoes - love them in mexican food

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  7. Hope you get your zest back soon. Thinking of making my own tortillas soon - they look quite simple.

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    1. Thanks Sally - feeling better this week - have had a go at making corn tortillas with masa lista which was not quite as successful as I had hoped but the flour tortillas look quite easy

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  8. They look great and I'm reminded again to make these for the family. I love quesadillas but the rest of the family are super fussy, gahhh. Hope you feel better!

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    1. Thanks Veganopoulous - Quesadillas is a meal I rarely think of but it is so simple - sylvia wouldn't even have one with cheese in it but I insisted that I heat her tortilla on the frypan (which she then let cool) so I know about super fussy!!!! I like that you can make different fillings for them - if sylvia was ever to have hers filled! Feeling better thanks

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  9. These look amazing! What a fab way to use up neglected veggies. You make being vegetarian look so appealing! :) Sorry you haven't been feeling very well, but I hope you are on the mend now

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    1. Thanks Elizabeth - honestly I just couldn't imagine not being vegetarian - and the internet makes it so much easier to find great veg recipes - feeling better now thanks

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  10. Thank you so much for your kind words, Johanna! It made my day to hear from you! I have been rather quiet but have still been reading and enjoying your wonderful blog faithfully! :-) It is nice to come out of the shadows again! :-) These look lovely - what a great idea to use mashed sweet potatoes for vegan creaminess! Smoked paprika is a favorite of mine too!!

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    1. Thanks Astra Libra - how lovely to hear you are still reading and how lovely to have you blogging again - will look forward to catching up on your blog

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  11. These look delicious Johanna! I am a fan of Mexican food.

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    1. Thanks Cakelaw - yes I love mexican food - though I don't like too spicy which means home made is great for me

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  12. I haven't had Quesadillas in such a long time, Johanna. I love the combinations you "threw" together here. I even like the addition of sweet potatoes which surprises me since, I'm not much of sweet potato lover, lol...

    Thank you so much for sharing, Johanna...Here's wishing your week is sunny and bright:)

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    1. Thanks Louise - it has been a long time between quesadillas for me too - always a nice surprise to have everything needed for a recipe to throw in - I thought the sweet potatoes too sweet so I added white miso and smoked paprika - it made a difference!

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  13. These sounds so delicious. I love butternut puree, great idea to use it to stick the tortillas and ingredients together. So colourful and fresh, I can almost taste it

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    1. Thanks Katie - vegie puree feels a much healthier way of sticking together the tortillas compared to using cheese to stick it together

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  14. I picked up some tortilla wraps to make some quesadillas and haven't got round to making them as I wanted to make them with a cheese that I forgot to pick up (may do so later in the week) for a quick meal after Wednesday. Do love your vegan Sweet potato version - I've yet to try vegusto products, they are having promotional push here at the moment.

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    1. Thanks Shaheen - I quite like the vegusto - still want to experiment more - but I liked the meltiness - hope you enjoy your tortillas tonight

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  15. How did you find the Vegusto on its own? I've been burnt one too many times with vegan cheese (homemade nut stuff = amazing, readymade stuff = often disappointing!). I do like quesadillas though - lots of veggies, Mexican spices, what's not to love!

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    1. Thanks Joey - agree with you about quesadillas and about vegan cheese - I keep thinking there will be a vegan cheese that is the one but I think I am too fickle. The vegusto is good - I tried it as cheese on toast and burnt it which was very annoying. It has a good meltiness and browns on top but am wondering how well it would go on a bake that was in the oven for quite a while - vegan cheese seems to dry out much easier - and it didn't have strings which is one think I love in mozzarella. It has that slightly grainy texture that most vegan cheeses have when cold so I think I preferred it melted and gooey.

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  16. Way to get back in the kitchen! And I love your version of these quesadillas. Makes me want to go eat some melty cheese and sweet potatoes. :P

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    1. Thanks Joanne - mmm melty cheese and sweet potatoes :-)

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  17. Delicious! Reminds me of the Black Bean, Zucchini & Olive tacos in Appetite for Reduction which I really enjoyed. Haven't looked at that cookbook for so long!
    I remember having the same issue with the vegusto mozzarella. Impossible to sprinkle.

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    1. Thanks Emma - I don't have that book and am not familiar with the recipe but it sounds good to me - it was really clumpy when I grated it but at least it grated up quite easily

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  18. I think I have a vegemite on toast day today. Otherwise I would totally make these. What a beutiful and mouthwatering picture! And a reason to buy vegusto again.

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    1. Thanks Mihl - sorry to hear you have a vegemite on toast day - thanks for your kind words about the photo (taken outside because the light inside is getting darker quicker now - especially with the end of daylight savings on the weekend)

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  19. Hi Johanna,

    Hope you get your zest back soon. I cannot believe Sylvia is at the age for school concerts. Seems like it was just the other day when she was born.

    Thanks for joining with #ExtraVeg, mashed sweet potato and miso sounds amazing on its own!

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  20. This is my kind of weekday fix, Nutritous, crisp, I can walk around with it and I know my toddler will eat quesedilla too! I love that you have used white miso in this recipe x

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