Dr. Joel Fuhrman is a physician who has developed a nutrient-rich, plant based style of eating known as the Nutritarian Diet, starring certain foods he calls the G-BOMBS: greens, beans, onions, mushrooms, berries, and seeds. His research and books are really interesting if you’re into that stuff, even though I don’t follow his particular diet in general. I think he would approve of the mushrooms, lentils, and onions in this recipe (NOT the cheese, tortillas, and sauce part, but we’re still gonna throw those into the mix anyway for some accessorizing of these lentil quesadillas.)
I’m going to try to keep this one short and sweet today (maybe), because I’ve noticed lately when I find a recipe I want to make, I just scroll quickly through the post to get the actual goods. So I totally get it when people do the same, or say that they don’t need a whole story to go along with every recipe. BUT every time I do it I know I probably SHOULD read the post that goes along with it, because sometimes we put important recipe info in there! #thestruggleisrealpeople
So I am putting this part up close to the top: If you make these, I highly recommend taking the extra step of blending up the cilantro feta sauce!! They are really good without it too, but something about the combo of flavors with the sauce added….mmmmmm.
Another quick thing: I use TruRoots brand sprouted lentils for these, but you don’t need to search your store for special lentils to make these quesadillas. I just like these for this recipe because a) they cook quicker than bagged dried lentils, and b) they end up a little harder texture which I like when mixed with the mushrooms. If you want to use regular bagged lentils, maybe cook them for a little less time than the bag says in order to still get that harder texture. OR you can use canned pre-cooked lentils, but I have found that those are much softer and not my fave for this particular recipe. OK, can we please stop talking about lentils?! Sheesh.
So cook the lentils while you sauté the onions and mushrooms, mix it all together, and you’re ready for assembling. (Note: you can also make this mixture ahead of time and store in the fridge, then it’s ready to assemble at dinner.) I use a shredded Italian cheese mix for these, which you can get at most groceries and I highly recommend because the flavor is perfect. But you can use any cheese you like, or none at all. Using none at all is a little tricky because that cheese it what helps it all stick together, but my son likes his without cheese and it all works out!
These mushroom and lentil quesadillas with cilantro feta sauce are a hearty vegetarian meal even meat eaters will love! Make the mixture ahead of time for a quick assembling meal.
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- ½ onion sliced thinly or diced
- 1 8oz package mushrooms, washed and chopped finely I use baby bellas
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1 tsp chili powder
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- ½ - 1 tsp salt
- 2 cups cooked lentils See receipe notes
- shredded Italian cheese blend ~2 cups for whole recipe
- 8 tortillas I use Whole Foods 365 brand whole wheat
- Butter for cooking
Start the lentils cooking. (If using pre-cooked canned lentils, skip this step!)
While the lentils cook, heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium. Add the onions and sauté for about 5 minutes or until softened. Add in the mushrooms and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, for about 5 more minutes. Add in the garlic and cook for another minute.
Add in the cooked lentils, onion powder, chili powder, cumin, and salt and stir to combine, cooking for another minute or two. (I usually add in 1 - 2 Tbsp of water at this point and continue cooking/stirring until the water has absorbed, just to soften things up a bit. If your mixture already looks good, you can skip the addition of the water.) Then remove from heat.
To assemble the quesadillas, you can either use a new skillet or pour the mixture into a bowl and wipe out/re-use the same one. Either way, add a tiny bit of butter to the skillet and heat over medium. Add a tortilla and top with a sprinkle of cheese, 1/2 cup of the mushroom lentil mix, another sprinkle of cheese, and the second tortilla. Cook for 3-4 minutes or until bottom tortilla has browned and cheese is starting to melt. Flip and cook for another 3 – 5 minutes.
Remove from pan, cut and serve! The cilantro feta sauce is highly recommended with these (recipe below)!
For lentils: I use TruRoots brand sprouted lentils, because they cook quickly and I like the harder texture with the mushrooms here. You can also use regular dried lentils and just cook for a little less time to keep the harder texture, or use pre-cooked canned lentils, which will be softer.
For the cheese: For this recipe, I like the shredded Italian mix you can find at most groceries.