Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Spinach Tofu Quiche

Months ago my friends, David and Michelle, made me my very first quiche.  It was super yummy, all loaded with spinach on a light, flaky, wonderful crust.  It was certainly not a traditional quiche as it used crumbled tofu instead of eggs.  So, voila!--vegan quiche.  
See, as I mentioned, I never liked the flavor or texture of eggs growing up.  So I never in my early life ate any quiche.  Then as a young adult the horrors of factory farms scared me off eggs altogether.  Within the next year though we will be adding a few chickens to our household (well, the backyard, but you know what  mean) and so I will get to find out how this vegan quiche stands up to the eggy real-deal.   So, I can't really compare at the moment, but like I always long as it tastes good it works for me!

I am sure that I will grow to like eggs more as an adult.   I hope so anyways.  I am quite confident that I can train myself to like anything so I don't really think it will be a problem though.  Also, I hear these backyard fresh eggs will blow away any store-bought egg any day.  Maybe its just what I've been waiting for!  Sooner or later I will get to find out about that personally, too.  I look forward to it.  

In the meantime, Matt and I have discovered that this tofu quiche is an easy way to preserve the overload of spinach we have coming in from the garden at the moment.  I love freezer meals.  I think its brilliant to have scrumptious dinners all ready to go.  You know, sometimes a person wants to eat like a queen, but lacks the ambition to make that happen!  I suppose that could be the time to call in for a pizza or head out to a restaurant, but hitting up the freezer is so much cheaper, not to mention healthier!

Here is our take on the originally linked recipe.
Spinach Tofu Quiche
1 1/2 C white flour

1 t sugar
1/2 t salt
1/4 t baking soda
1/3 C shortening
1/4 C cold water (+ an additional 2 T, if needed)

2 t apple cider vinegar

Put dry ingredients into food processor.
Add shortening and process until it forms fine crumbs.
Combine water and vinegar and drizzle into the processor while it is still running until it forms a dough.  

Chill dough if time permits as it makes it easier to roll out.  But, its not required.
Roll out to desired thickness.  
Drape over pie pan and trim excess.
Pinch crust edge.
Fill as below.

Filling: 1 lb firm tofu, crumbled

1/2 cup raw, unsalted cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1-2 lb fresh spinach, washed, stemmed, and chopped fine
2 T olive oil
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 T garlic, minced
1/4 C homemade veg stock or a glob of veg bouillon concentrate
2 t dried Italian seasoning
pinch of cayenne
1/2 t paprika
1 1/2 t salt
1/4 t ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.  
Process cashews in food processor until it form fine crumbs.
Add tofu and nutritional yeas and process until creamy.  Set aside.
Saute onions in the oil over medium/high heat, for about five minutes or until tender.
Add garlic and continue sauting until fragrant.  
Add stock, herbs, cayenne, paprika, salt, and pepper.
Add spinach and saute until its completely wilted.
In a large bowl combine the tofu mixture and the spinach mixture.  Taste and adjust seasoning as desired.
If the filling is too stiff or thick add a couple tablespoons of soymilk.  Alterately add flour, one tablespoon at a time, if the fillings doesn't firm up enough.
Add filling to crust and spread it out evenly and smoothly.
Dust with nutritional yeast or paprika.  Or both!
Bake for 10 minutes to set the crust and then turn the temperature down to 375 degrees F.
Bake for 25-35 minutes, until the crust is golden brown.
Cool on a wire rack for five minutes before serving.

Note:  Use the lower temperature the whole time if baking a frozen quiche.
Matt has also played around with the spices in some pleasing ways, like the fennel-sage seasoned breakfast quiche we had over the weekend.  Or adding in other vegetables like cauliflower and chard.   It seems to be a pretty flexible recipe in that regard.

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