Lentil Spinach Quesadillas with Guacamole

Happy Friday y’all!


Today I bring you your latest obsession: these quesadillas. Being the only vegetarian in my household, cooking plant based meals that people actually enjoy has proven to be my toughest challenge. I’m perfectly happy eating a couscous salad but that wouldn’t please my rugby playing brother. My health conscious mother isn’t very comfortable eating starch-dense potatoes lathered in mountains of cheese and herbs (ugh heaven).


However, these quesadillas have finally cracked the code! The crispy, cheesy quesadillas keep my brother from forgetting that there’s no meat involved, and the cheese-less version kept my mother from complaining about her waistline. It’s a win-win!


These make the perfect chilled Friday dinner, weekend barbecue meal or even as a lunchbox staple. Do yourself a favour and make these this weekend for ultimate #weekendgoals. If you do decide to let quesadillas be a part of your life, make sure to let me know by dropping me an email, or contacting me through my Instagram or Facebook. Happy weekend lovers!


Lentil Spinach Quesadillas with Guacamole

Ingredients

For the quesadillas:

  • 1 cup brown dry lentils
  • 1 yellow onion, sliced thinly
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • ½tsp dried oregano
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp chilli powder
  • 1×14 oz can tinned tomatoes
  • 1 cup vegetable broth
  • some salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 cup chopped spinach
  • 2 cups mozzarella + 2 cups cheddar, mixed in a bowl (omit if vegan, the quesadillas hold together pretty well without cheese)
  • 8× 12 inch tortilla wraps

For the guacamole:

  • 1 very ripe, very soft avocado
  • ½ small red onion
  • ¼ cup chopped coriander/cilantro
  • 2 tbsp fresh lime juice

Method

For the guacamole:

Mash the avocado until soft. Combine with the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and stir until the onion and cilantro are evenly distributed. I wouldn’t advise preparing this more than an hour in advance, but if need be, then lay a piece of cling film directly on the surface of the guacamole to prevent it from browning and store in the fridge until needed. Will not keep more than 2 days.

For the quesadillas: 

  1. Start by cooking the lentils. Add the dry lentils to a medium saucepan, cover with 2 cups of water (or vegetable broth if you wish) and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes or until the lentils are swollen and soft.
  2. Meanwhile, heat some cooking oil in a deep cast iron pan and fry the onions on high until translucent, about 2 minutes. Add the garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the cinnamon, oregano and cumin and toss until the onion is coated in the spices.
  3. Pour in the tinned tomatoes and vegetable broth, season liberally with salt and pepper and bring the mix to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and allow to cook until the lentils are done.
  4. Chop the spinach into ribbons and throw it in a large bowl. Pour boiling water over the spinach and allow it to sit for 5 minutes. Drain and squeeze the spinach to get rid of all the water (be careful, it may still be searing from the hot water) and set aside.
  5. Once the lentils are cooked, add them and the blanched spinach to the tomato mixture and let cook another 5 minutes. Once the spinach has cooked down and softened, remove the pot from heat.
  6. It’s time to assemble the quesadillas! If non-vegan, sprinkle about ¼ cup of the mixed cheeses  evenly on top of one tortilla, leaving about a one centimetre border. Top in a uniform layer with ¼ cup of the lentil spinach mixture, and finally another ¼ cup of cheese.  Lay another tortilla on top and press down on the quesadilla. Repeat until you’ve used up all the tortillas and have 4 whole quesadillas.
  7. Heat a large nonstick frying pan on medium-high heat. Carefully life one quesadilla and lay it on the hot frying pan. Let cook for 2 minutes before carefully flipping over and cooking on the other side for another 2 minutes. Remove to a plate. Repeat for all the quesadillas
  8.  Let them rest for 5 minutes before cutting into quarters and serving hot! Serve with the guacamole and enjoy!

 

Adapted from Pinch Of Yum

Author: andreamakamba

Proudly Zimbabwean. Food lover. Book reader. Fact hoarder. Dream chaser

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