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      RECIPE TITLE "Portobello and Red Pepper Quesadillas" Author: Candle Cafe Cookbook: Over 150 Enlightened Recipes from New York's Renowned Vegan Restaurant

    yields serves 4 time---difficulty moderate

    These quesadillas are perfect for a party. You can serve them as an appetizer, or cut them into smaller wedges for the perfect portable finger food. They're also great when you want a light bite along with soup or salad. The bean purée can be prepared well ahead of time and works with almost any kind of bean.


    Bean purée

    1 cup white, black, or pinto beans
    1 1-inch piece of kombu
    1 minced garlic clove, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    1/2 teaspoon chili or chipotle powder
    1/2 teaspoon sea salt
    1 teaspoon fresh lime juice
    2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

    Quesadilla filling

    2 large portobello mushrooms, thinly sliced
    1 red bell pepper, stemmed, seeded, and thinly sliced
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Sea salt
    Freshly ground black pepper
    2 12-inch flour tortillas
    1 small red onion, very thinly sliced
    2/3 cup grated soy cheese


    1. First, prepare the bean purée. Pick over and rinse the beans and put them in a bowl with the piece of kombu, add enough water to cover by about 2 inches, and set aside to soak for 6 to 8 hours or overnight.

    2. Drain the beans, reserving the kombu, and transfer them both to a soup pot. Add 6 cups of water and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce the heat and simmer the beans, uncovered, for 40 to 50 minutes, until just tender. Drain and set aside, reserving about a cup of cooking liquid.

    3. Transfer the beans to a food processor or blender. Add the garlic, chili powder, sea salt, lime juice, cilantro, and a bit of the cooking liquid and pulse until smooth. Taste and adjust the seasonings. The purée canbe made up to 3 days ahead of time and kept in the refrigerator.

    4. Preheat the oven to 350°F.

    5. Prepare the quesadilla filling: Toss the mushrooms and pepper in olive oil and salt and pepper to taste. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 30 to 45 minutes. Set aside.

    6. Assemble the quesadillas: Spread a thin layer of the bean purée onto a tortilla. Top with half the roasted mushroom-pepper mixture and half the onion slices. Sprinkle half the cheese over the vegetables and repeat with the second tortilla. Fold the tortillas in half.

    7. Bake the quesadillas until warmed through, about 15 minutes, turning once. Or, for a crisper result, broil or grill the quesadillas for about 5 minutes per side. Cut into quarters and serve at once.

    HOT! We recommend:

    Candle Cafe Cookbook Candle Cafe Cookbook
    A treasure trove of casual and creative recipes from one of New York's most popular and acclaimed meatless restaurants, the Candle Cafe. It's hard enough to satisfy diners at a hot restaurant--imagine having to do it without using meat, fish, dairy, or eggs! At New York's award-winning Candle Cafe they have been doing just that and now its co-owners, Joy Pierson and Bart Potenza, bring together their customer's favorite dishes in The Candle Cafe Cookbook. More and more people are becoming aware of how the food they eat affects their health. But what about flavor? These recipes expand the horizons of vegan food, creating balanced dishes with vibrant taste. Rich and varied offerings include white Bean and Rosemary Pate, Tempeh-Portabello Burgers, Stuffed Red Peppers with Roasted Potatoes, and Chocolate Praline Pie. From aromatic Asian and Mexican flavors to subtle French influences, this is vegan food for any palate. With nutritional breakdowns and informative sidebars, this is a must-have for every vegan and healthful cook.


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