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College Vegetarianism and Veggie Quesadillas

College is the time to find yourself where you can take the time to try new things, expand your horizons, and experience different ways of living. With that in mind, college is around the time when many people decide to try out going vegetarian and ditching meat as much as they possibly can. I am one of those people, and while I have not cut meat out entirely yet, I do my best to substitute wherever or whenever I can. At the moment, one of my favorite go-to recipes that do not contain meat is my recipe for vegetarian quesadillas.  They are delicious, do not require a great deal of prep work, cook time, or cleanup, and best of all, contain no meat products whatsoever.  So, if you are in college and testing the waters of vegetarianism, this might be a great place to start. These quesadillas are tasty by themselves, and you will not feel as if you are missing anything from your regular diet.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Flour quesadilla shells

  • White or brown rice

  • Black beans

  • 1 green onion

  • ½ can of diced green chilies 

  • 1 Avocado 

  • Shredded cheddar cheese

  • Mild or spicy taco sauce

Step One

Bring a pot of water to a boil for your choice of rice. Once the water is boiling, pour the rice in and allow it to cook per the box's instructions. Next, begin working on the beans. I typically use canned black beans that require no more than a minute or so in the microwave before they are ready. Once the rice is fully cooked, and your beans are warmed up, combine them and stir together.

Step Two

Now, start chopping your veggies. I usually begin with the avocado since it is the most difficult. I cut around the edge of the vegetable to split it in half. Remove the pit, scoop out the insides into a bowl, and mash it up until it is the consistency of chunky homemade guacamole. From there, I start to chop my green onion, making sure to take breaks whenever I begin to cry too much. Then finally, I crack open my can of diced green chilies. 

Step Three

At this point, you can begin assembling your quesadillas. Lay-out one shell and start by smoothing out some of the mashed avocado, similar to how you would slather one side of your PB&J with peanut butter. After that, take a large spoonful of the rice and bean mixture and cover the avocado. Then it is time to add the veggies. Take as many spoonfuls of both the onion and the peppers that you would like. Remember, the more you add, the spicier it is going to be! On top of the vegetables, I tend to add a nice drizzle of taco sauce. Again, this is to taste, so feel free to adjust the amount according to your taste palette. To finish it off, I sprinkle cheddar cheese on top of all of this, pressing the second shell on top. 
Then, put the quesadillas on a baking tray and let it bake in the oven for about 8-10 minutes at 350 degrees. During this time, the contents of your quesadilla will begin to heat up, the shell will get a little crispy, and the cheese will melt everything together.

Step Four

Once the 8-10 minutes are up, you can take your quesadilla out of the oven. As tempted as you are to dig right in, you should probably let it cool down just a tad. After 5-10 minutes, your creation should be cool enough to cut into the signature quesadilla triangles and serve with any condiments of your choosing. 

Bon Appetit! 

Ali Kochik

West Chester '22

WCU ‘22 English Writings Major Journalism Minor Women’s and Gender Studies Minor
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