Breakfast Taco-dillas

Along with stylish cupcakes and food trucks, there’s been a trend in breakfast tacos. Wraps long have been popular. My vegan version of the handheld meal can be made in either form, but I like the toasty accent of quesadillas, and it’s only another five minutes. Plus, a folded-once tortilla can hold more fillings than a burrito or taco — and might be a bit sturdier when eaten while commuting.

Fat-free refried beans are readily accessible and usually vegan. But after a can or two, an insight: While those are pennies higher than cans of regular beans, why not go back a step and customize with your favorite salsa? It becomes a Latin hummus, if you will. Also, a sandwich needs a gooey spread to keep toppings from spilling out easily.

The “taco-dilla” is a great way to repurpose leftovers. But crunchy is fun, so any vegetable commonly eaten raw can be incorporated — with consideration, as carrots don’t make sense here, tomatoes too wet, and peas would fall out. In between is to quickly dry-saute fresh vegetables perhaps with a little water, more to warm and begin to tenderize them.

  • 1 15-16 oz. can plain beans, black, pinto, kidney etc., rinsed, OR 2 cups homemade beans, drained
  • 2-4 Tablespoons salsa
  • 1-2 cups cooked vegetables OR 2 raw vegetables such as 1 zucchini and 1 bell pepper
  • 6-8 small tortillas, corn, whole wheat OR gluten-free

Heat large nonstick skillet on medium.

In a small bowl, place drained beans and 2 Tablespoons salsa, and mash with fork or potato masher. Add another tablespoon or two of salsa if needed to make a peanut-butter consistency. It need not be absolutely pureed. The process takes 1-2 minutes.

If using leftover vegetables, cut if needed into bite sized pieces; if very wet, drain the liquid. If using raw vegetables, cut in long thin slices. Or cook the sliced fresh produce until just tender, adding 1-2 Tablespoons of water at a time to braise.

Warm tortillas according to package directions. (They tend to crack otherwise.)

Spread the bean mixture medium-thick on a tortilla, leaving bare 1/4 inch along rim. Cover half of the tortilla and beans with some the prepared vegetables. Fold in half.

(Optional: Add a little oil or vegan margarine — not even a tablespoon — to the preheated skillet to aid browning.) Place in the skillet 3-4 quesadillas, in one layer, and toast about 2 minutes on each side, until a few brown spots appear on the bread. Cook remaining quesadillas. Serve plain, or with more salsa, avocado or tomato slices or other nondairy traditional toppings. For breakfast, 2 might be sufficient, 3 ample. Fat-free and highly nutritious, they’ll last you to lunchtime.

Serves 2-4 people.

Copyright 2013 Ben S. Pollock Jr.

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