Friday, June 20, 2008

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potato Vegan Quesadillas with Lots of Other Good Stuff

I've been avoiding my favorite comfort food. What kind of craziness is that, you say? I used to eat mashed potato quesadillas weekly. Shredded cheese from a bag, instant mashed potatoes from a pouch...hard to believe, but it was my guilty pleasure. The ingredients in those potatoes would stump this year's National Spelling Bee winner. In my own defense, I did use whole wheat tortillas. Okay, that's lame. Anyway, I've been avoiding making these after becoming vegan. Regardless of the nutritional nightmare they must have been, I didn't believe I could make a vegan quesadilla that would come close to their comfort food goodness. You detect foreshadowing here, right?

Then along comes the Weekend Wokking event, started by Wandering Chopsticks, and hosted this month by White on Rice Couple. The ingredient is ....potatoes! No wok required. I find White on Rice Couple's blog so entertaining. They aren't vegan, but are very vegan friendly, even offering a Joy of Soy intro to tofu. But what hooked me, in addition to the great photos, is the dog videos. Y'all have got to check out Dante, the Pupper-atti Dog Tenor. So these guys inspired me to take a stab at veganizing my favorite, mashed potato quesadillas.

Which in my home will be AKA "Treat Yourself Right Quesadillas". They were even better than I hoped. Who doesn't deserve a quesadilla slathered with roasted garlic potatoes, chipotle-spiked black beans, cilantro, corn, and red onion? Hello again, favorite comfort food, what took me so long!

The following recipes will likely make larger amounts than you'll need for a meal of quesadillas. But tortillas vary in size so it's hard to tell exactly how much stuffing you'll need. The leftovers will not be a problem to finish off in other ways, I assure you.

Roasted Garlic Mashed Potatoes

10 cloves garlic
1 pound organic Yukon Gold potatoes, cut in 1/2 to 1-inch chunks
1 Tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Salt and Pepper to taste

Remove outer papery skins from garlic cloves but don't peel. Pan roast the cloves in a covered skillet over medium heat. Shake the skillet frequently to mix the cloves up. Roast until soft. Mine took about 5 minutes. Set aside to cool. Peel and mince.

Cover the potato chunks with cold water. Add salt. Boil until tender. Mine took about 25 minutes. Reserve 1 cup of the cooking liquid. Drain the potatoes.

Place potatoes, oil, and garlic in a bowl. Mash with a potato masher, adding reserved cooking liquid until you get your desired texture. Salt and pepper to taste.

Vegan Quesadillas

tortillas (I used spinach)
1 can black beans, rinsed and drained
juice from 1/2 small lime
1 teaspoon chipotle chile powder
roasted garlic mashed potatoes
red onion, diced
corn kernels
cilantro, chopped
salsa as a condiment

Place the beans, lime juice, and chipotle powder in a bowl. Mash beans with potato masher so that some of the beans are mashed but some remain intact. You want a spreadable mixture.

Spread the bean mixture on the entire surface of a tortilla. Spread the mashed potatoes over half of the surface. Sprinkle onion, corn, and cilantro on top of the mashed potatoes. Fold tortilla over in half so that your bean mixture is on the top and bottom with mashed potatoes in the middle.

Fry in a skillet until heated through and slightly browned on both sides. Serve with salsa.
Edited to note the Potato Round-Up here!


  1. What fantastic sounding comfort food! It sounds and looks really good! Isn't it nice to have an old favorite back, but veganized and better? Mmmmmmm. I bet garlicky mashed potatoes would be AWESOME in a quesadilla, especially with those black beans, man I love black beans.

    I have to stop coming to you blog hungry Lisa!

  2. Sounds carby and comforting, and thanks to the link of the singing dog, that was adorable.

  3. oh my goodness! i want to put this in my face RIGHT NOW!


  4. Thanks for participating in Weekend Wokking! Yay! More people! :)

    I've put almost everything in quesadillas except mashed potatoes. Huh? Why didn't I think of that before? These look awesome.

  5. quesadillas are so tasty! I used to be hooked on Baja Fresh's cheese version, but I've never looked back since going vegan.

  6. Jennifer, I also like black beans so much that I have trouble getting myself to cook with other types!

    Erin, yep I'm a sucker for all things dog. Glad you liked the video.

    Jessy, thanks!

    Thanks Wandering Chopsticks. I'm glad that your event got me to finally veganize quesadillas.

    Celine, quesadillas with cheese were once a standby, but no looking back for me either since vegan eating has broadened my options so much!

  7. Dante says thank you so much for being a fan of his! Now he would love to have some of this totally delicious potato quesedilla! But no way! This stuff is waaay too good to give as a puppy treat!
    We'll give him some other stuff while we gobble down this great dish! Love it with the salsa on the side too!

  8. Geez those quesadillas look spectacular!! :D

    ~Erin @ "Vegan & the City"

  9. White on Rice Couple, tell Dante that the chipotle might not agree with him so sticking with the Scooby snacks is probably wise!

    Erin, thanks!

  10. These look awesome! I've never heard of pan-roasting garlic but I'm going to give it a try soon.

  11. Bek, Thanks! The pan roasting technique is quick, effective, and less fatty than the typical oven roasting approach. I like it because I usually don't plan ahead enough!

  12. Roasting garlic in under an hour? I'm there! Thanks for the tips and a delicious looking quesadilla.

  13. nikkipolani, it's a great trick to pull out when you don't have much time!

  14. my roommate and i just finished making and eating these--we're raving about them! mmm. thanks for sharing.


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