Well, I’d say my second cooking class at Whole Foods was a success. [Clean Plate Club members, all!]The theme of last night’s class came to me–as most of my witticisms do–in the middle of stream-of-consciousness typing while composing an e-mail thanking Kristen for letting me come teach and brainstorming potential upcoming classes. How about something to do with Easter? Easter without eggs? Easter….EGG-LESS!“You’ll have to wait on the recipe for that Easter Egg(less) Salad–as it will be featured on Breathe Magazine’s blog tomorrow–but the real star of the show was what originally made its home in the (now) empty pie plate above: Vegan Spinach Mushroom & Leek Quiche with Herbed Quinoa Crust.The inspiration for this dish came, from all places, a book by Jane Green.The book was rather overwrought and sappy (and yes, I still read the whole thing), but while it might not have been my favorite chick-lit novel of all time, one of the sisters was a vegan chef, and provided some nice recipes to buffer the purposeful attempts to draw tears through overemotional scenes. My favorite was the Vegan Quiche baked in an Herbed Quinoa Crust.Obviously, being me, I had to make some adaptations, but that recipe (which I typed up and have saved on my computer since January) and one from Whole Foods’ website–along with the fact that I thought it might be fun to mess around with leeks–led to the resulting deliciousness I made and served last night.Interestingly enough, the one part I was most excited about–the quinoa crust–ended up being the part of the recipe I could have done without. It was definitely good, and added a bunch of texture to the dish, but I think I would have been just fine with a crustless quiche as well.The great thing is, the recipe is completely adapatable, and, just as you can add whatever herbs or spices you like to the crust, you can make the filling with whatever veggies you have on hand and alter the seasonings accordingly. I went with mushrooms, baby spinach, and leeks.*
*In case you couldn’t tell from the title of the post.Get the leeks, some garlic, and the mushrooms cooking in a saucepan. [Since I was following Health Starts Here guidelines, I steamed them without oil.]Then add the spinach and cook until well wilted.Set that aside to cool a bit, and get started on the “egg” filling: (drained) firm tofu, unsweetened almond milk, nutritonal yeast, tamari, tahini, turmeric, and your choice of additional seasonings and herbs. Blended up together, you have a quite addicting mousse-like concoction that will inspire you to one day make ‘not’cho cheese.But for now, you are making quiche. Scoop all of the filling into the pan with the vegetables and stir everything together.Scoop the filling into the pre-baked-for-5-or-so-minutes crust (if using) and continue to bake for 30-40 minutes at 375 degrees until the top is the color of a marigold and getting a wee bit crackly.Eat it warm, at room temperature, or–as is my way with most things other people like to eat warm–cold, directly from the fridge, perhaps with the door still open.
Vegan Spinach + Mushroom Quiche with Herbed Quinoa Crust
For the crust:
- 1 ½ cup cooked quinoa
- 1 ½ tsp. dried basil
- 1 ½ tsp. dried parsley
- 1 ½ tsp. dried thyme leaves
- 3 Tbsp ground flax
- 3 Tbsp. whole wheat pastry flour
- 2-4 Tbsp. water
For the vegetables:
- 1 medium leek, thinly sliced (white part only)
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 8 oz. mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 4 cups (packed) baby spinach leaves
- ¼ tsp. dried thyme
- salt + pepper (to taste)
For the filling:
- 14 oz. firm tofu, drained
- ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1 Tbsp. low sodium tamari
- 1 Tbsp. tahini
- ¼ tsp. ground nutmeg
- 1 tsp. ground turmeric
- ¼ tsp. dried parsley
- salt + pepper (to taste)
- Preheat oven to 375⁰.
- In a small sauté pan, soften/steam leeks and garlic in a bit of water over medium heat. Add mushrooms and seasonings. Continue to cook until mushrooms are nearly done, adding more water if necessary. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Remove from heat and set aside.
- In a small mixing bowl, combine cooked quinoa, flour, ground flax seed, and herbs. Add water in tablespoon increments, stirring and mashing mixture together as you go. Press mixture into a pie pan lined with parchment paper. Bake crust for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile, combine filling ingredients in a food processor bowl. Process until smooth.
- Spoon tofu filling into sauté pan with vegetables. Stir well to combine.
- Spread tofu and vegetable filling into pre-baked pie crust. Return to oven and bake about 30 minutes until top is golden browned and beginning to crackle.
- Serve warm or cold.