Quesadillas, Guacamole and Happiness


If there is one thing I can never get enough of, it’s Mexican food. Or at least, what I know as Mexican food (aka, the stuff you get from taco trucks in LA). Unfortunately I chose to live in the city with the possibly worst Mexican food on the planet: London. To be honest, I’d even prefer it if they didn’t even try, then there wouldn’t be that constant wishful thinking that that new burrito place in Soho might actually be good. When after immediately after setting foot into the place it becomes obvious that yet again, I have been fooled. Paying £6 and up for a veggie burrito with no pico or green sauce or anything that could remotely be described as free sauces and the burrito size generally reminding me more of a very big sweet potato, I don’t even know why I’m still secretly hoping.

So lately I’ve been craving the taste of California at night. Nothing is ever going to be as satisfying as that burrito from that place at the corner the Mission in San Francisco or that first bite of the green sauce from Taco Zone in LA after having too many Martinis during happy hour. Hence, I’ve been drenching everything on every occasion that I’ve had lately in limes and cilantro. And I mean everything. I’ve even started putting cilantro in my salad dressing that I now make out of soy yogurt because I’ve decided I use up too much olive oil (one bottle every two weeks. Not good, right?) So when those tortillas were on offer across the street it was only a matter of time until I tried myself at vegan quesadillas. You probably can’t call them that any more because of the non-cheese part, but heck, that’s what they look like, that’s what I’m gonna call them. And you can’t go wrong with a big serving of fresh guacamole.

So this one goes out to all those who miss their Mexican fare. I’m with you!

Makes enough for one hungry person or two lovely sharers.

For the quesadillas
2 tortillas
1 big sweet potato
1/2 tsp cumin
pinch of chile powder
big bunch of cilantro
salt and pepper to taste
olive oil to brush

For the guacamole
2 ripe avocados
1 small white onion
2-3 medium sized tomatoes, seeded
juice of 1 lime
big bunch of cilantro, the more the better
salt and pepper to taste

Bring water in a pot to boil and cook the peeled and cut sweet potato until soft, about 15-20 minutes.
While the sweet potato is cooking prepare your workspace: half the tortillas and brush both sides lightly with olive oil.

To make your guac
Slice the avocados in half, twist them and remove the pit. Scoop out the flesh and mash it up with a potato masher or a fork until no bits remain. Chop up the onion and the tomatoes very finely and add them in with the avocado. Squeeze the lime, chop up the cilantro and add those in to and mix it up really well with a fork or spoon. Add salt and pepper to taste and refrigerate until ready to use.

Your sweet potatoes should be done by now. Drain them from the water, put them in a bowl and mash them up as well. You want them to be the same consistancy as normal mashed potatoes, the creamier the better. Stir in the cumin, chile powder, cilantro and salt and pepper.
Spread out a quarter of the mixture on each of your tortillas.

Heat up a heavy-bottom skillet over medium heat and throw the first batch of quesadillas in. If you’ve got a skillet that’s big enough to fit all, go ahead and do them all in one batch. I would be impatient too! Let one side brown nicely, but be careful not to burn them. Flip them over and let the other side brown. While the last side is happening get the guac out of the fridge and arrange it nicely on your plate. Or just leave it in the bowl and scoop it out of there, the less dishes the better.
Flip over the quesadilla to make sure its browned nicely, put it on your plate and let the scooping fun begin!

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