Traditional quiche is decadently rich with eggs, butter, cheese and cream. Add to this some bacon and this seemingly innocent dish is pushed over the edge in calories and saturated fat. It is mouth-watering health traps like this that lead us to the far too commonly perceived notion that there is a decision to be made, between food that tastes good and food that is good for you.
Vegan cuisine is, by nature, entirely plant based. So besides the obvious lack of meat, there is also no dairy products or eggs. But if you think these restrictions make this meal off-limits, think again! This vegan style quiche is satisfying and flavorful yet loaded with nutrients and protein, which makes for some guilt-free indulgence.
2 teaspoons of grape seed oil
1/2 sweet onion, cut into small dice
8 oz white or crimini mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 broccoli stalk, cut into small florets with about an inch of stalk. Trim the end of the large stalk, cut in half vertically then slice thinly
3 oz baby spinach, rinsed and dried
2 boxes shelf stable tofu*
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast*
1/4 cup cornstarch
1 teaspoon granulated garlic (not powder or salt)
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
scant 1/8 teaspoon black salt*
salt to taste
smoked paprika to sprinkle on top
vegan unbleached white flour or wheat flour pastry crust, ready made
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
In a saucepan over medium high heat, add oil. When it is shimmering, saute the onion, mushrooms and sliced broccoli stalk for several minutes until slightly browned. Add broccoli florets and spinach, sauté for a few more minutes until the spinach is wilted then set aside.
In a mixing bowl use a potato masher to break up the tofu. Add all the seasonings through paprika: nutritional yeast, cornstarch, granulated garlic, Italian seasoning, turmeric powder, black salt. Stir well then taste for salt (an advantage of vegan cooking, no worries about raw eggs!)
Add vegetables from saucepan and stir well then pour into pie crust. Sprinkle the top with smoked paprika. Bake for 45 minutes to an hour, let sit for about ten minutes to cool.
Vegan cooking has a few unique ingredients, two of the more interesting are nutritional yeast and black salt.
Nutritional yeast sounds strange, almost medicinal, but it is just deactivated yeast and gives a cheesy flavor to whatever it is sprinkled on. It also supplies Vitamin B12, the only nutrient missing from a purely plant-based diet. It can be found in bins in natural food stores and online. The Red Star brand is popular and available on Amazon. (I top air-popped popcorn with nutritional yeast, a little melted coconut oil, and salt. The teenagers in my house make short work of this snack!)
This salt is pungent because of its sulfur content; warning, a little goes a long way! It is used in Indian cooking and gives tofu a taste reminiscent to that of eggs. It is difficult to find in stores but readily available online. Look for black Indian salt (Kala Namak.) It is not really black, but more of a pinkish/purple color.
Any tofu will work in this recipe. The shelf-stable silken tofu works well as it gives a creamy texture.