When you think of a quiche you probably imagine a dozen eggs and a ton of cholesterol. Think again. This vegan take on a classic is healthy, simple and versatile. It still contains all the vegetables you remember but in place of eggs I use blended tofu, lemon juice and peanut butter (who knew?). Mix it up by including vegan meat or vegan cheese and an array of vegetables to suit your palate.
As there is no option to buy pre-made pie dough in my city, so I adapted a dough recipe from an older samosa recipe and it turned out really delicious. It holds up well as one large quiche or can be cooked as several single servings baked in ramekins.
My favourite quiche has always been the simple mushroom, spinach and cheese. So that’s what I’ll share with you today. Serves 6 – 8.
Here’s what it looks like before it goes in the oven.
Prep Time: 35 minutes Cook Time: 50 minutes
For the base
- 1 1/2 cups flour
- 4 Tbsp of water
- 1 pinch of salt
- 4 Tbsp vegan butter
For the filling
- 4 Tbsp olive oil, divided in 2 (optional, you may substitute water in place of oil)
- 1 large yellow onion, diced
- 4 large cloves garlic, diced
- 1 tsp salt, divided
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 2 cups fresh spinach, chopped
- 12 mushrooms, sliced. (I use shiitake)
- 1 lb. / 500 grams firm silken tofu, drained (although any tofu will work well enough)
- 2 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp tahini or peanut butter
- 1 Tbsp rice / apple vinegar
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (they must be raw and not salted)
1. Preheat the oven to 350 ˚F / 180˚C. Soak the raw cashews in a bowl of clean water. Set aside. Lightly grease a 30cm wide dish (I use a spring-loaded cake pan) or several smaller dishes if your making many baby quiches. Set aside.
2. For the dough. Sieve flour into a bowl, add salt and butter. Using your fingers, combine the butter and flour together until the mixture looks a bit like bread crumbs and takes on a yellow colour. It will form clumps when squeezed together. Very slowly add the water 1 Tbsp at a time. Kneed the dough with your palms and continue adding water until the dough holds its shape and there are no loose dry pieces. You will usually use 4 Tbsp of water but never more than 6 Tbsp. If the dough becomes too wet add small amounts of flour. Wrap in plastic wrap or pop into a ziplock bag and refrigerate for 20 minutes.
3. For the filling. In a large skillet over a medium heat, cook the diced onion in 2 tablespoons of the olive oil (or to reduce the fat content use 4 Tbsp water) . Stirring occasionally until the onions are lightly caramelized, about 6-8 minutes. Add the remaining olive oil (or water), garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and red pepper flakes and cook until the garlic smells fragrant, a further 4-5 minutes. Add thoroughly washed spinach and sliced mushrooms. Cook, stirring regularly until the spinach is wiltered and the mushrooms are brown, about 7-10 minutes. Remove from heat and transfer the mixture to a bowl. Set aside.
4. Back to the dough. Remove the dough from the fridge. On a clean, lightly floured surface, roll out the dough into the desired shape, one large oval or several smaller ones. The dough ought to be fairly thin but thick enough to hold together when lifted for transport. Move to the greased pan (I like spring loaded cake pans). It should cover the base of the pan plus 1-2 inches so you fold over the excess dough to create a crust.
5. Back to the filling. Drain the cashews and blend in a food processor with the tofu, lemon juice, tahini / peanut butter, vinegar, and remaining 1/2 tsp salt until smooth. In the pan you used to cook the spinach, add the tofu mixture and stir until ingredients are evenly mixed. Pour the filling into the prepared pie crust and bake for 45-55 minutes, or until golden brown. Leave for 10-15 minutes before serving hot or put in the refrigerator and serve cold.