Wednesday, July 21, 2010

The Betty Crocker Project : Crab and Corn Quesadillas

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I don't really buy into the concept of "Guilty Pleasures". I don't save cupcakes for special occasions and I love bad TV. Give me a day of Lifetime made-for-TV movies, full of Tori Spelling, Jennifer Love Hewitt, and Richard Greico, and I'm a happy gal. I freely admit I'll read almost any book with a vampire in it, no matter how pulpy or melodramatic or just down right dirty. Believe me, some of those vampire books get pretty perv-y. But hey, that's what it is, and I shamelessly admit I read them.

I love quesadillas because they're fast, you can stuff a ton of things in there, and pile a ton of stuff on top--and yet they remain strangely simple. I like to call this The Quesadilla Paradox.

Now, you would think that anything that's mostly melted "cheese" would be considered a "guilty pleasure"; yet I rarely hear anyone talking about a late night quesadilla binge, or having to hit the gym because they overdid it on the quesadillas this weekend. Hmmmm. It's almost suspicious really. Why have we accepted these wonderful "cheese" vehicles as being in any way healthy?

Betty's Corn and Crab Quesadillas are not healthy, but DAMN are they good. We used the Match Vegan Meats Crab, Tofutti Cream Cheese and Daiya Cheddar to replace all the animal products, which I think should lessen the blow. The recipe made five quesadillas, but next time we'd add more vegetables--like spinach, broccoli, or maybe kale--and the mix may make more like eight.

So here's a guilty pleasure you don't need to feel guilty about. No one was hurt in the making of these quesadillas.

Corn and Crab Quesadillas
  • 1 Package Vegan Cream Cheese
  • 1 Can Whole Kernel Corn
  • 1 Can Black Beans (drained)
  • 1 Can Black Olives (sliced and drained)
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Cilantro (You'll want a bit more to sprinkle over the top.)
  • 1/3 Cup Sliced Green Onions (You'll want a bit more of this to sprinkle over the top too.)
  • 1 Tablespoons Pimientos (drained and diced)
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Lemon Pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Lemon Juice
  • 1 Teaspoon Cumin
  • 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
  • Dash of Hot Sauce
  • 2 Cups Match Vegan Meats - Crab (I love The Match Crab and recommend you use it in this recipe, but there are a lot of vegan seafood options out there. Or, you can do this trick: slice a Portebella Mushroom into strips and fry it up with some Olive Oil, dash of Worcester Sauce, a little crushed Dried Seaweed, and a dash of Lemon Juice. Is this really fake seafood? No; they're flavored mushrooms. But it does have that "fishy" flavor. I have to remind everyone that the "Fake Crab" you can get at the deli counter at the grocery store is NOT VEGAN, and is actually made from a type of fish. So please don't use that. I heard from some folks who made The Crab Cakes that they tried that recipe with the deli fake crab, and it broke my heart to tell folks they just ate fish, and I felt sad that I hadn't mentioned that again. Sorry about that, and I will do my best to always mention that in every crab-seafood recipe. Please know it breaks my heart to know my recipe lead to someone eating and buying an animal product.)
  • 1 1/2 Cups Daiya Cheddar Cheese
  • 1 Package Whole Wheat 8-10 inch Tortillas (Ours had 10 tortillas and that was great for 5 quesadillas.)
  • A Jar of your favorite Salsa
  • 1-2 Ripe Avocados (sliced; to put on top)

Heat oven to 350.

In a large bowl, blend Vegan Cream Cheese, Cilantro, Green Onions, Pimientos, Lemon Pepper, Cayenne Pepper, Lemon Juice, Cumin, Nutritional Yeast and Hot Sauce with a hand mixer. Once it's smooth, fold in Black Beans, Corn, Olives and Match Crab.

Then, spread on one Tortilla spread about 1/2 Cup to 2/3 Cup of the Fake Crab Mix, and then sprinkle a handful of Daiya Cheddar over the top. Make sure you have a little room along to edges for the mix to melt and spread out. If you spread your Fake Crab Mix too close to the edge, it'll melt on onto the pizza stone, and you can't eat that. No one wants that... we want to eat as much as possible. Put another Tortilla on the top. Put it on your loyal pizza stone, and put in the oven for around 10-15 minutes. You want the edges to be crispy and the mix to be meted. You'll want to gently push down on the top of the quesadilla to seal it up.

Then, top with Slices of Avocados, Salsa, Cilantro and Green Onions. They're messy to eat, but if you use a fork, you can eat them anywhere.
So, cozy up on the sofa with a loved one and some vampires, or maybe a computer game that's really just a fancy spreadsheet with cool graphics*.

*No one should ever feel guilty about loving spreadsheets or cool graphics. We love this game and play it often.


  1. Yum! I really need to try this Match crab meat. Back in my "pescatarian" days (I know, I know) I loved crab meat. I've been skeptical of the faux seafoods, but your recipes are making me want to try them out. And this is a perfect True Blood-watching dinner!

  2. This looks EXCELLENT and it might be what's for dinner tonight! I love your recipes!!