“Kimchi” and “quesadilla” aren’t generally used in the same sentence—unless you’re famed vegan chef Chloe Coscarelli, who melted the two together in the best way. Some people may find the Mexican and Korean combo strange, but trust me: The two cuisines pair perfectly together and offer an entirely new spin on traditional flavors.
Let’s get one thing straight: Kimchi is so underrated. The fermented staple is packed with probiotics that help boost the amount of good bacteria in your gut, preventing an imbalance that could lead to weight gain, digestive issues, skin problems, and chronic health conditions, says the Mayo Clinic. It’s best benefit, though? Kimchi pairs well with just about anything, making this the cheezy gut-boosting dish of your dreams.
Coscarelli shared her kimchi quesadilla recipe on Instagram, and it’s easy to make. After preparing your ingredients, assembling everything together takes little to no time at all. Just spread the homemade cashew-based cheese on half the tortilla, pile on as much kimchi, spicy tofu, and sautéed spinach as you desire, and finish up with a nice layer of avocado. Then fold your tortilla and get to toasting.
A couple minutes later, you’ll be left with a super-healthy meal that combines two great cuisines into one.
Chef Chloe’s Cheezy Kimchi Quesadillas
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1 cup raw cashews
1 cup raw shredded carrots
2 cups water
¼ cup tapioca starch
1 tsp onion powder
2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp canola or olive oil, plus extra for brushing tortillas
1 pound extra-firm tofu, drained and crumbled
3 Tbsp agave
3 Tbsp chili-garlic sauce
½ tsp sea salt
8 large flour tortillas
baby spinach (lightly sautéed before adding to the quesadilla)
shredded red cabbage
black sesame seeds
sliced chili pepper
For the Cashew Cheese:
1. Soak cashews overnight or boil cashews for 10 minutes and drain (if you have a Vitamix or another high-powered blender skip to step 2).
2. Blend all cashew cheese ingredients together until smooth, two minutes.
3. Transfer to a small saucepan and whisk over medium heat until it thickens.
For the Tofu:
1. In a medium saucepan, heat oil and add crumbled tofu.
2. Cook until brown and add the remaining tofu ingredients (including your sautéed spinach).
Assembling the Quesadilla:
1. Spread a layer of cashew cheese on half of the tortilla.
2. Add spicy tofu, kimchi, sautéed spinach, and avocado on top of the cheese.
3. Fold the tortilla over (like a half moon).
4. Brush both sides with generous amounts of oil and over medium-high heat cook the quesadilla about 2 minutes or each side until lightly browned.