Hemp, Kumara & Bean Quesadillas w Foraged Salad

Recipe by Malina Kleine (International Student)

Sustainability

The most sustainable product used, is hemp. It is a hardy, fast growing herbaceous plant and its broad leaf blocks out sunlight inhibiting competing weeds, reducing need for herbicide use. Furthermore, it is grown organically, without need of any synthetic agricultural additives. Adding to its sustainability, hemp seed protein is highly nutritious. The seeds present a source of protein, minerals, and dietary fibre. With this it is the only plant that contains all essential fatty acids and amino acids required for body functions, having positive impacts on e.g. metabolism, skin, brain, and heart. Therefore, exchanging the source of fish for essential fats with hemp is also a solution to the overfishing and contamination of modern fish.

Foraging presents a unique method of gathering food that— when done correctly— increases biodiversity and creates habitat for myriad species. Our current food system is alarmingly homogeneous (one-sided). It is estimated that there are around 70,000 edible plant species in the world, but only 30 plants produce 95% of the food humans eat. This means over 99% of edible plant species are drastically underutilized. About half of our food derives from only four plant species: rice, maize, wheat, and potato. This compared to indigenous Maoris, who were recorded as having gathered and used over 400 species belonging to 250 or more genera.

Therefore, food from the wild means that biodiverse forests and meadows are supported over toxic, large-scale, out-of-balance entities like corn fields and furthermore do not use plastic packaging.

Nasturtium
Watercress
Shepherd’s Purse
Cleavers
Puha
Gorse-flower

Taste

The taste profile of this is a Mexican spice flavour, with a crunchy shell, richness from the cheese and depth of flavour from the tomato paste. The cheese is added into the dish to increase the richness and balance the acid flavours coming from the fresh tomatoes and the lemon juice. Because the dish is quite flavourful, the addition of a foraged salad made up from puha, watercress and other edibles gives a fresh pop to the dish. For the salad I added some orange segments to increase the sweetness and add this dimension to the dish. Before adding this there were no sweet components.

Ingredients

  • Homemade hemp tortillas or Farrah’s Garden Spinach Wraps
  • 1/2 Onion
  • 2 Diced orange kumara (1cm dice)
  • 2 Diced potatoes (1cm dice)  
  • 1 Bulb crushed garlic
  • 2 tsp Cumin
  • 2 tsp Coriander powder
  • 3 tsp Paprika
  • 2 Tbsp Hemp Seed Protein
  • 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
  • 100g Rehydrated and Cooked Black Beans
  • 100g Rehydrated Cooked Chickpeas
  • 100g Sliced Field mushrooms
  • 1 sliced capsicum
  • 200g of Spinach
  • 3 Tomatoes
  • 50g Feta or other Cheese
  • Foraged herbs (puha, watercress, shepherds’ purse, nasturgium) I got mine at Monaco but be careful with pesticides
  • 1 lemon (wedged for salad)

Total cost: $12 (the cost was noticeable low because I utilized local wild produce)

Method for the Quesadillas

  1. Dice and sweat off onion with some olive oil in a pan for approximately 5 mins on medium to low heat.
  2. Once onions are done (they will be slightly browned), add in kumara and potato and cook further 5-7 minutes. 
  3. Add in cumin, coriander, and tomato paste, cook 4 mins to release the flavors.
  4. Add 1 ½ C water to the pan and toss in the Chickpeas and Black Beans, cook and wait until the water has reduced (this will help to cook off the potatoes and kumara properly).
  5.  Once the water evaporates, test the potato, and make sure it is cooked. They should be soft with a little bit of bite.
  6. Add in sliced mushroom, spinach, and capsicum to finish and allow to cool.
  7. Place one tortilla in a frypan and add crumbled feta and spinach or any other vegetables you want inside the quesadilla.
  8. Spread the mixture across half of the tortilla and fold in two. Cook on both sides until the outside is lightly browned and crispy.
  9. Remove from heat and cool slightly.

Method for Foraged Salad

  1. Wash the forged herbs and place on a side plate
  2. Add some sliced oranges on top to increase sweetness
  3. If you want drizzle some salad dressing on top and add the lemon