Monday, March 30, 2015

Easter/Spring Extravaganza Week! (or A Great Excuse to Make Crustless Vegan Quiche)

Hooray for Spring! Seriously, if you are in Chicago, then you know we got run through the ringer with weather. So bring on the sunshine, walks outside with Baby M and the puppies, and general glad tidings!

For some of us, this time of year means Easter is on its way. Vegans often find holidays can be a bit of a struggle, particularly for Easter with its hams, lamb cakes, and eggs, so this week's posts will focus on ways to have a vegan-friendly, delicious, celebratory Easter without feeling like you're making sacrifices. I'll have you covered with Easter basket ideas - and even dessert!

If Easter isn't your thing, chances are you are at least a fan of brunch. Brunch is an area that tends to be tricky for vegans. When people thing brunch, most dishes are very meat- or egg-based, which can make things tough. Chances are, though, if you tell your omnivorous friends that you will make them a big batch of scrambled tofu - though delicious, you will likely scare them off by the name alone.

So what to do if you are in charge of Easter breakfast or brunch this year, or if you want to have folks over for brunch just because, and you aren't sure what to make? Vegan crustless quiche is the order of the day, my friends.

I've played with this recipe for a few months and finally gotten it to place where it is all kinds of delicious without much effort. It has been a hit every time I've made it, and no one ever believes it's vegan (or accidentally gluten-free!). Plus, I've made a double batch ahead of time and eaten for breakfast each morning before work, which gives it major bonus points. You can also make the quiche ahead of time and pop it in the oven right before guests arrive, and you don't have to mess around with having a perfect crust. Basically, this recipe has it all.

If you want to entertain with this quiche, I would recommend pairing it with a simple salad, Tofurkey Tempeh Bacon, potatoes, fruit, and mimosas (for vegan sparkling wine, check out Barnivore.) If you feel that you need a second entree, I heartily recommend Chubby Vegan Mom's French Toast, which is delicious. (Hat  tip to Angela for the original inspiration for this creation.)

Soak 1/2-3/4 cup of cashews for at least one hour (or overnight in the fridge). Press 1/2 block of firm or extra firm refrigerated tofu. (You can do this by putting the tofu between two plates and putting a heavy can on top.)

Drain the cashews. In a food processor, pulverize the cashews until they become mealy.

 Discard the pressed tofu liquid and add the tofu to the food processor, processing until starting to become smooth. Then add one jar of sundried tomatoes in oil, onion powder, garlic powder, and 1/4 cup of non-dairy milk (I usually use unsweetened almond milk, but any will do), salt, and pepper. Process until smooth (some sun-dried tomatoes chunks are fine). [If you are making ahead of time, at this point you can put the tofu mixture in the fridge.]

 When you are ready to bake it, fold in 2.5-3 oz of spinach with the tofu mixture.

 Like so. Honestly, if you want to add a little more or a little less, feel free!

You can put this quiche in a greased traditional round or square pan. If you double the recipe, it fits well in a 9x13.

 Place in a preheated oven. It bakes at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or a 350 degree oven for 40-45, until the top and edges start to brown.

And voila! You have a very fancy looking yet substantial breakfast to wow your guests without much effort at all.

Sundried Tomato and Spinach Crustless Vegan Quiche
Serves: 3-4 (when doubled, serves 4-6)

1/2-3/4 c. raw cashews
1/2 block of refrigerated firm or extra-firm tofu
1 jar of sun-dried tomatoes in oil
1/4 c. non-dairy milk (I use unsweetened almond milk)
1-2 Tablespoons of onion powder
1-2 Tablespoons of garlic powder
Salt and pepper (to taste - I tend to use 1/2-1 tsp. of salt and 1/4 tsp. of pepper)
2/5-3 oz of spinach
Spray oil

1) Soak cashews in water for at least one hour (or overnight in the fridge)
2) Press the tofu for one hour. (I usually put it between two plates with a heavy can on top.)
3) Drain cashews and pulverize in a food processor until mealy. Discard pressed tofu liquid and add tofu to cashews, processing until somewhat smooth.
4) Add sundried tomatoes (with oil), non-dairy milk, and the spices. Process until smooth; some sun-dried tomatoes chunks are fine. (If you are preparing ahead of time, stick this mixture in the fridge until ready to bake.)
5) Fold spinach into mixture; feel free to add more or less spinach as desired.
6) Add to greased (with spray oil) round or square pan (or, if double, 9x13 pan).
7) Bake in preheated oven either at 375 degrees for 30 minutes or at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes, until the tops and edges are starting to brown.

Serve or enjoy as an easy breakfast throughout the week!

1 comment:

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