Sunday, April 1, 2012

Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Smokey BBQ Sauce

"I feel like something spicy for dinner."
"Like Indian?"
"Like Mexican. Refried beans and rice in a tortilla with hot sauce or something. Like a burrito."

The simple suggestions from my token omnivore are often what get my culinary wheels turning. In my head I'm thinking - burritos are simple. But we can do better.

After a bountiful trip to the farmers market this weekend, I came back with some "perfectly" sized sweet potatoes that seemed to have been grown just for me. At grocery stores, I often see sweet potatoes on steroids... a big orange reminder of American portion control issues. The tubers at the market were dainty and a petite, so I snagged a few to cook up single servings throughout the week. Well they also happen to cook more quickly, and when thinly sliced, fit perfectly inside a tortilla.

Chipotle and sweet potato, according to my palette, were made for each other. The smokiness and spice of the chipotle pepper can only be fully appreciated when paired with something sweet to accentuate its flavor (there is a reason Asian food is laced with sugar - sweet takes spicy to a new level). So I whipped up a quick BBQ sauce using a dollop of adobo sauce from canned chipotles. With a killer combination of sweet potatoes, Russet potatoes, and smooth refried beans, only a pinch of Daiya was needed to give these a full fledged, indulgently cheesy texture and taste.

The recipe for BBQ sauce is an approximation, so taste as you go and adjust accordingly. I also used a pinch of makeshift taco seasoning in each quesadilla. Though I included a recipe, packaged seasoning will work just fine. Get your glass of water ready, cuz these are smokin!

Sweet Potato Quesadillas with Smokey BBQ Sauce
Makes 4 quesadillas
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes


1 small sweet potato, pierced a few times with a fork
1 medium Russet potato, pierced

4 whole wheat tortillas
1 c. Daiya
1+ c. refried beans
1 T. taco seasoning (recipe below)
1/2 c. Chipotle BBQ Sauce (recipe below)
Safflower or coconut oil
Fresh cilantro and green onions, chopped


First cook the potatoes: fill a medium sauce pan with enough water to cover the potatoes. Bring water to a boil and add potatoes. Cook until potatoes feel tender but not mushy, about 10-15 minutes (you should be able to pierce easily with a fork, but not pull the fork out smoothly). Remove potatoes from water and pat dry. Set aside to cool for a few minutes.

(While potatoes are cooking, prepare the taco seasoning and BBQ sauce.)

When cool enough to handle, slice the potatoes thinly into coin shapes, about 1/8 inch or slightly thinner. Set aside.

When ready to assemble, prepare one quesadilla at a time. Lay tortilla flat on a large plate and cover one half with a couple tablespoons of Daiya. Then cover cheese with a layer of alternating white and sweet potato slices. Spread the other half of the tortilla with about 1/4 cup (or 1/3 cup if you want a nice thick dilla). Sprinkle another couple of tablespoons of Daiya and a pinch of taco seasoning over everything. Drizzle with 2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce and fold carefully in half.

To cook, heat about 1/2 tablespoon of cooking oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Add quesadilla when oil is hot and lower heat to medium. Cook until golden brown on each side, about 2 minutes. Be careful with the first one, as the pan tends to stay really it hot and will burn the tortilla easily.

Garnish with another drizzle of BBQ sauce, fresh cilantro and green onions.

Taco Seasoning
Makes about 1 tablespoon
Prep time: 2 minutes


1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. paprika
1/4 tsp. garlic salt
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. dried oregano
Pinch of cayenne pepper


Combine all ingredients in small bowl.

Smokey BBQ Sauce
Makes 1/2 cup
Prep time: 5 minutes


1/4 c. ketchup
1 T. apple cider vinegar
2 tsp. brown sugar
2 tsp. chipotle adobo sauce
2 tsp. vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp. yellow mustard
1/4 tsp. onion powder
1/4 tsp. garlic powder
Couple shakes of liquid smoke


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl. Cover a microwave for 45-60 seconds, or until sugar is dissolved. Adjust seasoning to taste.


  1. Dankeschon. I am picking up the ingredients today. Gotta make this.

  2. Bitte! Let me know what you think :)