It was a day or two after I had just made a delicious vegetable pot pie. I had leftover cashew gravy and spinach in the fridge. My stepmother had been packing my dad wraps instead of sandwiches (which is what he usually gets) for lunch, and there were some tortillas left. I been thinking about some delicious quesadillas and waffle quesadillas that one of my friends, the head chef of our North Carolina canvassing program, made for us for breakfast a couple of times. She used cashew cheese, and the cashew gravy recipe that I used was based off of the same cashew cheese recipe that she used. I had just gotten up, and it was about breakfast time. I asked my stepmother if she would use the tortillas for anything. She gave me the go ahead to eat them…so I got to work…
I got out our waffle iron (which is about 6-7 inches in diameter, guesstimated). The waffle iron is a convenient way to cook. I’ve been told it doesn’t use as much electricity as our stove does, and it also cooks quickly and requires no flipping.
Of course, these would also make delicious quesadillas if cooked in a frying pan or on a griddle or grill. They would just have to be flipped after about 5 minutes or so.
I also used oil, because it comes out with the best taste and crispness, and I have a suspicion that it’s healthier than nonstick cooking spray, but nonstick cooking spray can also be used instead of oil, sprayed directly on the waffle iron.
This recipe is a guesstimation of how much of the ingredient that I used. In the case of this recipe, the exact measurements don’t matter anyway. After all, it is a Leftover Day recipe, but it would also be delicious served fresh. When I have the ingredients available again, I would like to make this again. Right now, I’m not in a position to buy my own groceries, but I think I would even go out of the way to buy the ingredients for this. These quesadillas made a delicious breakfast for me, but would also make a nice snack, appetizer, or side dish, and could be served with salsa, but I like to eat them plain. We had a left over cucumber in the fridge, too, so I ate them with cucumbers. The quesadillas were even so filling that I put two slices in the fridge for when I got hungry later.
I only had white flour tortillas on hand this time, but I’m sure this recipe would also taste delicious with tomato-basil or spinach tortillas, and whole wheat tortillas would be a healthier option as well.
- 4 12-inch tortillas
- 1/2 cup cashew gravy, cashew cheese, or other vegan cheese
- 1/2 cup spinach (fresh, frozen, or canned, so long as the juice is drained if not fresh, and it’s washed if fresh)
- sea salt (to sprinkle on spinach, optional if not using spinach)
- about 1 Tbs oil (I recommend 100% extra virgin olive oil.)
- Spread 1 Tbs of oil onto a tortilla.
- Rub together the wet tortilla with a dry tortilla to thoroughly cover one side of each of them with olive oil.
- Repeat with the other two tortillas. You should have enough oil on the one to evenly distribute it with all the others. If you cannot, try rubbing just a couple drops of olive oil onto whatever part(s) of the tortilla is/are dry, but you do not have to be completely thorough either.
- Place one tortilla, oil side down, on the waffle iron.
- Spread ¼ cup of cashew gravy on the tortilla. (If using a waffle iron that is at least 6-7 inches in diameter and a tortilla at least as large. Our waffle iron is about 6-7 inches in diameter. If your tortillas are especially larger than your waffle iron or you are using a rectangular waffle iron, so that it is more convenient to fold the quesadillas instead of having a tortilla on the top and on the bottom, you may want to half the amount that you spread on each tortilla [to about 1/8 a ]cup). You may also want to reduce the amount if you are using smaller tortillas. You may want to use less gravy if you are using smaller tortillas as well.) (If you don’t have a whole half a cup of gravy, or think it might be too much, you can also just scoop out the amount you want to use by tablespoonfuls until you think you have enough on your tortilla.)
- Randomly distribute spinach, a pinch at a time, onto the tortilla, leaving enough for the other quesadilla(s). If making two whole quesadillas, use about half of the spinach. If making four half-quesadillas, use about ¼ of the spinach at a time. (This is optional, only for if you want spinach.)
- Lightly sprinkle spinach with salt. (This is optional if you are not using spinach.)
- Plug in the waffle iron. (You can plug it in before you start, if you want to. It may cook more evenly if you wait until this step.)
- Top with other tortilla, oil side up. (Or fold, if you are making the folded quesadillas.)
- Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until tortilla has golden brown waffle print and the tortilla is crispy (but not burned).
- Remove and place on a plate. Repeat steps 2-8 for each quesadilla. If you want that even cooking, unplug the waffle iron until you get to step 6 again.
- If you are using very large tortillas (like I was) and care about how your tortillas look, you can cut around the edge of the tortilla to cut off the “trim” or “excess tortilla”. I fed some of mine to our dog, but ate most of it.
- If desired (especially if you are sharing or using as a side dish or snack), slice tortillas along the lines that would be used to indicate a separate waffle (for example, my waffle iron makes round waffles that are in quarters. You can see the picture as an example and see how the waffle has four quarters. Some waffle irons make two square waffles that can be separated, but some might even make whole waffles. You could also just slice the quesadillas even if there are no guides to work with.)
- Serve and enjoy!
In our waffle iron (which is about 7 inches) with about 9-10 (guesstimated) inch tortillas, I made 2 quesadillas, 8 beautiful and delicious slices.
These quesadillas can be made with other ingredients like black olives, tomatoes, roasted red peppers, and/or mushrooms, if desired, and taste delicious alongside fresh vegetables like cucumbers and would also go nicely with beans or salsa, but they are delicious plain.
The same steps can also be followed with different kinds of vegan cheese, like cashew cheese or Daiya cheese. The results will obviously be different. Don’t be afraid to experiment.