Caramelised Onion Quesadillas

Vegan Quesadilla

I have always been a bit of a night owl. Of late I find myself calling it a night when other people are hitting the snooze button. As a result my eating schedule is ‘slightly’ warped. My current sleeping pattern is officially a mess and the concept of breakfast has gone out the window. I wake up giddy with hunger and wanting to eat pretty much everything. Cereal and almond milk are just not going to cut it, so I break out a pan and make this tasty wonder. Whether you are having it for breakfast or lunch, there quesadillas are a winner.

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I wouldn’t call myself a penny-pincher, but I cannot resist shopping in bulk. I purchase my tortillas in a 12 pack, so if I open them on Monday I’m probably eating wraps until Friday (which I have no problem with by the way). Quesadillas are a great way to use tortillas and give that good old’ rocket and hummus combo the day off.

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If you follow me on Instagram, you know that I am on a never-ending Vegan Cheese Quest. So far, I can’t seem to find one that caters to my two most important cheese criteria – taste and texture. I have found that if it’s close on cheesy flavour, it’s lacking in the taste department and vice versa. Because the texture is not enough for me, I usually opt for the flavour.

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This recipe caters to those who are using a vegan cheese that delivers on flavour but not so much on texture. If the cheese you are using doesn’t melt, fear not, you will still achieve a gooey cheese-like texture from the combination of the vegan cheese and the avocado. The vegan cheese I used was the Sheese mature cheddar.

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Caramelised onions are a excellent way to add flavour to a meal, they make everything moreish. If you’ve ever watched Diners Drive-in’s & Dives you know exactly what I mean, they put caramelised onion on literally everything. Caramelised onions usually take about an hour to prepare, but I am both greedy and impatient.

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I love the sweet candied flavour of caramelised onion, but I cannot be bothered to stand around sweating down onions for an ages. By restaurant standards, this is a bastardised version of caramelised onions, but it gets the job done. The onions still have texture whilst delivering that sweet sticky taste that makes them the star of this dish.

Ingredients

(Serves 2)

2 large tortillas

1 medium white onion

1-tablespoon brown sugar

1 tomato

1 avocado

2 tablespoons chopped coriander + extra whole leaves

1-teaspoon garlic paste

½ chopped red chilli (optional)

¾ – 1 cup grated vegan cheese

Begin by mashing the avocado in a bowl and add the garlic paste, chopped coriander and chopped chilli. Slice the tomato into rounds and set aside along with the avocado.

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Peel and slice the onion. Heat a large frying pan on a medium heat then add a ½ tablespoon of oil. Place the onion slices in the pan and cook for 5-6 minutes. Stir frequently as the onions start to soften. After 5-6 minutes, sprinkle the brown sugar into the pan and add a pinch of salt. Allow the sugar to melt before stirring. Once the sugar has melted, stir the onions so they are well coated in the caramel. If the onions begin to stick deglaze the pan with a splash of water and stir. Set the onions aside and begin preparing the tortillas.

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Spread the avocado mixture on half of each tortilla. I like to scatter whole coriander leaves over the avocado to add little bursts of zingy flavour. Top the avocado with the tomato slices, grated vegan cheese and a generous helping of caramelised onion. Close the tortilla and toast in a dry pan on medium heat for 2-3 minutes on either side. Depending on whether or not the vegan cheese you have used melts, you can cook them until the cheese is soft and gooey.

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Remove the quesadilla from the pan and cut into halves or quarters. These quesadillas are relatively quick to put together and they are a serious hunger buster. Dependent on how hungry you are this could serve two. Admittedly, I have eaten both in one sitting with no remorse. Serve the warm quesadillas with your choice of dip; I like to use a spicy tomato salsa.

Happy Eating!

Thandi xx

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