Thursday, 7 November 2013

Beef Quesadillas with Avocado Salsa and Dr Libby's Chocolate Mousse with Strawberries

Quesadillas have long been a favourite meal of mine, but when you start cutting out gluten and dairy, suddenly a meal which is typically made with flour tortillas and loads of cheese becomes a little less possible. Fear not, the solution is here!! 

For those of you who are not familiar with quesadillas, they are typically a tortilla laid out flat with meat and cheese layered on, then another tortilla sandwiched on top. They are then usually cut into wedges and served with sour cream and salsa. 

This quesadilla is gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and sugar-free. The key change is in the tortilla which I made with coconut flour and eggs. I found a good recipe here which I modified slightly and came up with these yummy tortillas which worked really well. The filling is a spicy mexican beef taste explosion, and the quesadilla is topped with fresh chopped lettuce, avocado and tomato salsa and a cashew 'cheese'. All of the bold, fresh flavours of mexican food but so much more clean and nutritious. 

The meal rated very highly with both hubby and the kids. To keep it kid friendly, I removed some of the mince mixture from the pan before I added the chilli so that they had a non-spicy version. I also left the jalapeños and red onions out of their salsa. 

To finish this meal off, I had found a recipe from Dr Libby Weaver that I wanted to try out for Chocolate Mousse. It was absolutely divine! Again, gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free and free of refined sugar - the mousse is a gorgeous healthy way to get a chocolate fix without the sugar rush or the heavy feeling that traditional mousse gives you. 

 Gorgeous fresh, light Beef Quesadillas with Avocado and Tomato Salsa and Cashew 'Cheese'

Dr Libby's Chocolate Mousse served with Fresh Strawberries

Beef Quesadillas with Avocado and Tomato Salsa and Cashew 'Cheese'

Gluten-free, Grain-free, Dairy-free, Soy-free, Sugar-free


Mince Filling:
800g Beef Mince (or mince of your choice)
1 onion, finely sliced
4 cloves garlic, grated
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 cup mushrooms, sliced
2 carrots, grated
2 zucchini, halved lengthways then sliced diagonally
1/2 capsicum, thinly sliced
1 tin tomatoes
3 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp oregano
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp tomato paste
handful of fresh coriander
cayenne pepper or chilli powder (about 1/2 tsp or to taste)
salt and pepper to taste

1 cup egg whites (about 6 eggs)
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 clove garlic, grated
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground cumin
pinch of cayenne pepper
1/4 cup coconut milk
1/4 cup coconut flour
1 tsp coconut oil

2 tomatoes, diced
1/2 red onion, finely diced
1 avocado, diced
1/2 cucumber, diced
Juice of 1/2 lime (or lemon)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp jalapeños, diced (or reserve to serve on top if you would rather not have a spicy salsa)
handful of fresh coriander, roughly torn

Cashew 'Cheese':
See recipe here

6-8 cos lettuce leaves, roughly chopped to serve with the Quesadillas


Mince Filling:
1. In a large frying pan, heat the oil over a medium heat. Add onions and garlic and fry for about 4-5 minutes until softened and aromatic
2. Add the mince and cook until browned. 
3. Add the vegetables (mushrooms, zucchini, carrot and capsicum). Cook for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften. 
4. Add the tin of tomatoes, cumin, ground coriander, oregano, paprika, cayenne and tomato paste. Mix well and let the mixture cook until meat and vegetables are cooked through and the room is filled with a gorgeous spicy aroma! Season to taste.
5. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh coriander. 

1. In a small blender or food processor, place all of the ingredients except for the coconut oil (egg whites, ground coriander, garlic, salt, cumin, cayenne, coconut milk and coconut flour). Blend until well combined. The mixture will be runny. Pour into a bowl.
2. Leave the mixture to sit for 10-15 minutes. In this time, the coconut flour will absorb the liquid and you will be left with a thick paste-like batter mixture.
3. Heat the coconut oil in a small frying pan over a low-medium heat. Add about 2 tbsp of the coconut flour batter to the frying pan. Spread the mixture over the base of the pan with the back of a spoon until thinly spread but with no holes. 
4. Cook until there is no more glossy liquid look to the top. Flip, and cook for a minute or so on the other side. Both sides should be lightly golden brown.
5. Remove the tortilla to a plate with a paper towel on to absorb any moisture. 
6. Repeat the process with 2 tbsp of mixture each time until all of the batter is gone.

1. Place the tomatoes, onion, avocado, cucumber, coriander and jalapeños (if you're using them in the salsa) into a bowl. 
2. In another small bowl, mix the lime juice, salt and olive oil together. Pour over the vegetables and mix well to combine. 

To assemble:
1. Place one tortilla down on a plate. 
2. Top with about 1/2 cup of the mince mixture, then place another tortilla on top. 
3. Cut the tortilla into quarters but leave all the pieces where they are on the plate
4. Top the Quesadilla with a large handful of lettuce, then a generous helping of salsa and finish of with  a large dollop of cashew cheese.

Dr Libby's Chocolate Mousse (recipe borrowed from Dr Libby Weaver)

(Gluten-free, grain-free, dairy-free, soy-free, free of refined sugar


flesh of 1 young coconut

filtered water

2 dates, pitted and roughly chopped 
1/2 cup raw cashew nuts

3 tablespoons cacao powder

pinch of salt

8 fresh strawberries to serve

1. Place all the ingredients except the berries in a blender. 
2. Add enough filtered water to enable the blade to work effectively and process until creamy and smooth. 
3. You can either serve straight away in small bowls topped with the strawberries, or you can refrigerate until ready to serve which does thicken it a little.