Vegan quiche sounds impossible. What about the eggs, the cheese? In the words of a non-vegan critic, Where does all the flavour come from?
Well, if you can’t make something plant-based and flavourful, you just need to work a little harder. There is some vegan cheeze in here, as this is the second instalment of recipes that can be made with cheeze, but a lot of the favour also comes from the roasted peppers and seasonings, not to mention a rich pastry crust. At the request of Mme. Minty, I’m not officially calling this a quiche, as “eggs are gross,” so savoury pie it is. A perfectly indulgent dish for wintertime.
Vegan Savoury Pie – An original recipe by Agent Minty
One note about the tart tin: I used a 9-inch quiche/tart tin than separates into two pieces. If you only have a traditional style pie plate, that will work too, as the crust recipe makes more than enough dough.
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/3 cup (80g) Earth Balance or other hard maragarine
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp water
- One red pepper
- 1/3 head of broccoli, cut into florets
- 1/2 block (170g) traditional/medium tofu (not pressed)
- 2 Tbsp chickpea/Besan flour
- 1/2 Tbsp nutritional yeast flakes
- 1/8 tsp smoked sea salt (if you have it)
- 1/4 tsp regular salt
- 1/2 tsp miso paste
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 2 Tbsp almond milk
- 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
- 1/4 tsp thyme
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sage
- generous dash of black pepper
- pinch of red pepper flakes
- 3 Tbsp corn starch
- 1/2 cup of cubed non-dairy cheeze (soft or meltable is best), or shredded Daiya
Prepare the crust:
- Preheat oven to 450F.
- Whisk together salt and flour in a large mixing bowl.
- Drop in Earth Balance by spoonfuls or as cubes.
- Cut flour into fat with a pastry cutter until the largest pieces are smaller than peas.
- Combine water and vinegar and pour over flour mixture.
- Mix water in by cutting-motion strokes with the edge of a spatula.
- Mix until the dough holds together, and turn out onto a floured countertop.
- Knead a few times until you have a smooth-ish ball.
- Roll out to about 5mm thick.
- Cut a circle slightly larger than the bottom of your pan and lift into the bottom of your tart pan.
- Cut rectangular strips about 50% wider than the walls of your pan. Use these to line the walls, pressing to join with the bottom. Using multiple overlapping strips is fine.
- Fold excess top edge of pastry into the pan and press to reinforce.
- Prick bottom of pan all over with a fork.
- Completely line pan with a sheet of foil (I find crinkling it first makes it easier to work with), and fill with dried beans, marbles, or other weights.
- Bake for 12 minutes. Set to cool on a rack for 5 minutes before attempting to lift out foil filled with hot weights!
- Let cool completely while preparing the filling.
Prepare vegetables for filling:
- Cut pepper in half and remove seeds and stem.
- Place cut side down on a baking sheet or piece of foil.
- Switch oven heat source to broil.
- Cook in 450F oven until skin is blackened.
- Meanwhile, blanch broccoli and shock in cold water.
- Chop broccoli finely – After preparation, you should have about 1/3 cup.
- Let roasted red pepper cool or run under cold water for a few minutes to cool quickly.
- Peel skin off of pepper (even non-burnt regions) and chop one half of pepper finely.
- Turn oven temperature down to 350F.
- Puree tofu in a food processor until smooth, about one minute.
- Add all remaining ingredients except baking powder. Pulse until combined, scraping walls occasionally.
- Add baking powder and blend briefly.
- In a mixing bowl, stir together puree, broccoli, and pepper.
- Fold in cubed cheeze.
- Pour mixture into pastry shell and level out.
- If desired, decorate with herbs and shapes cut from remaining roasted red pepper.
- Bake for 40 minutes.
- Cool at room temperature for at least one hour, to allow filling to set.
- Can be re-warmed before serving.
Six more weeks of winter. Technically, only four until it’s “spring”, but in Alberta we get snow and cold weather lasting until April. However, today was a fair day with lots of sunshine, and it put me in a good mood. I decided to make sunshiny lunch bowls filled with a rainbow assortment of healthy foods to keep me going all week.
Sometimes called Abundance Bowls, these meals have a grain base combined with legumes, vegetables, and seeds. Mine contains steamed broccoli, quick-pickled red cabbage, roasted red peppers, and lentils, topped with a peanut-sesame-lime dressing. For extra protein, I’ve included quinoa and pumpkin seeds. For the calorie curious, one bowl has 395 calories, 57g carbs, 12g fat, and 19g protein. To make ahead for the week, I prefer to prepare each set of ingredients and only combine the night before.
Winter Sunshine Rainbow Bowls – An original recipe by Agent Minty
- Grains and Lentil Mix (Recipe Below)
- Red Cabbage Quick Pickle (Recipe Below)
- 2 red peppers, roasted, with skins and seeds removed
- 2 heads of broccoli, stems and florets diced and steamed
- 5 Tbsp raw pumpkin seeds
- Peanut-sesame-lime Dressing
- Spoon 1/5 of the grains and lentil mix into each bowl.
- Arrange on top 1/5 each of the cabbage, sliced roasted peppers, broccoli, and pumpkin seeds.
- Drizzle dressing on top and enjoy.
Grains and Lentils Mix
- 3/4 cup dried quinoa
- 1/4 cup dried red lentils
- 1/2 cup cracked wheat
- Wash quinoa well and combine with 2 cups of water.
- Bring to a boil on high and simmer with lid on for 7 minutes.
- Stir in the lentils, and turn down heat to medium-low for 5 minutes.
- Stir in cracked wheat and 1/4 more water.
- Allow to return to a simmer for 2 minutes, then turn off heat.
- Sit, covered with a lid, for at least 10 minutes.
Red Cabbage Quick Pickle
- 1/3 red cabbage, shredded (about 2 cups)
- 2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 1 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- Combine all ingredients and sit at room temperature at least one hour.
- 2 Tbsp lime juice
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 2 Tbsp peanut butter
- 2 Tbsp tahini
- 1 1/2 tsp soy sauce
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1 tsp maple syrup
- 1/2 tsp Sriracha (reduce if you dislike spicy things)
- 1/3 cup water
- Combine all ingredients and blend until smooth.
I’m going to enjoy this bit of brightness and sunshine in my days all week – I hope you have a good week, too!
Growing up, my favourite meal was homemade macaroni and cheese. It had four ingredients: boiled elbow noodles, shredded cheddar, skim milk poured all over everything, and crushed potato chips on top. Talk about simple. And man, what an overload of dairy.
I’ve made a recipe to share with you that has the comfort food spirit of my childhood favourite, but with a little more flavour and zero animal products. Ooey, gooey, creamy, cheezy. This is my first follow up to my Vegan Cheeze post, and uses Daiya shredded Pepperjack and some Kick-Ace cheddar spread. This makes a large batch – be sure to use a very deep 9×9 dish, or a larger casserole dish will also work. It is amazing as leftovers, too.
Amazing Vegan Mac – An original recipe by Agent Minty
- 3 cups dried elbow macaroni
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp margarine
- 2.5 Tbsp all-purpose flour
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup plus 2/3 cup almond or other non-dairy milk
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup prepared Kick Ace cheddar
- 1/3 cup plus 2/3 cup Daiya Pepperjack shreds
- 1/4 cup parsley flakes
- Optional: a handful of rippled potato chips
- Preheat oven to 400F and generously spray your casserole dish.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook macaroni until al dente, while preparing the sauce.
- Melt the margarine and oil together in a heavy-bottomed pot on medium-low heat.
- Whisk in the flour and stir vigorously until it starts to foam and thicken slightly.
- Gently sprinkle in a few spoonfuls of the wine and whisk vigorously until combined with the paste.
- Drizzle in the remaining wine while whisking vigorously.
- Stir in 1 cup of milk while continuing to whisk.
- Take the pot off of the heat and whisk in the kick-ace cheddar and 1/3 cup of the daiya shreds.
- Return to medium-low heat and stir until cheezes are melted.
- Remove from heat and stir in drained, cooked noodles.
- Fill casserole dish with alternating layers of 1/3 of cheezy noodles, 1/3 cup reserved daiya, and 1 Tablespoon of parmesan, until all are done.
- Bake in centre of oven for one hour.
- Top casserole with crushed potato chips, if desired.
- Broil casserole for 3 minutes, or until golden brown.
- Cool out of the oven for at least 5 minutes before serving.
As the stores are already littered with Valentine’s Day displays, memories come to mind of my childhood ideas about what “romance” meant. Flowers, dinners in fancy restaurants, and, for some bizarre reason, having a date who would appreciate it when I wore pantyhose (I think I associated it with being grown up). And of course the mysterious lover would be attractive, sweet, think I was funny.
I did and up marrying someone I love, who is sweet, beautiful, and has a sense of humour. Sure, flowers and fancy dinners happen sometimes, but the love and romance stems from more than that. Coming home during a stressful week and her playing an album on the stereo that I told her I’ve been thinking of for a while. Picking up her favourite candy when I’m out running errands. Taking the time to learn about and become interested in each others’ hobbies. After nearly a decade, love still isn’t boring. Making cookies for each other helps, too.
These cookies could be described as a cross between chocolate shortbread and a trail mix cookie, with lots of chocolate flavour. Share them with whomever you love.
Double-Chocolate Dream Date Cookies – An original recipe by Agent Minty
- 2/3 cup rolled oats
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 3/4 cup white flour
- 2 Tbsp finely grated coconut
- 2 Tbsp cocoa powder
- 1/2 tsp baking powder
- 1/2 cup soft margarine
- 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp white sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 1 tsp egg replacer + 2.5 Tbsp water, mixed well
- 1/2 cup chopped dates (cheap ones are fine)
- 1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp chocolate chips
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Process rolled oats in a blender or food processor until they are a coarse, uniform flour (think bran flake size).
- Combine oat flour in a bowl with salt, flour, coconut, cocoa, and baking powder.
- Cream together margarine, brown sugar, and white sugar.
- Add in vanilla and “egg” and beat until fluffy.
- Mix in dry ingredients.
- Stir in chopped dates and chocolate chips.
- Drop in 2-Tbsp piles on a parchment-lined cookie sheet.
- Bake for 12 minutes in the middle of the oven, rotating sheets halfway through.
- For best texture, cool completely before eating.
Going dairy-free doesn’t mean giving up on all the salty, creamy savoury deliciousness that is a cheese platter (or as I refer to dairy-free versions, cheeze). I received a copy of the book Artisan Vegan Cheese for Christmas, and have been exploring some of the recipes. Amazing! I’ve also been using a few recipes from the blog Vedged Out with success over the past year. Not to mention, some of the dairy-free cheezes on the market are decent, especially in casseroles. Below is a little snack platter I made myself recently.
Left to right: Daiya shredded Pepperjack, Aged Cheddar from Artisan Vegan Cheese, Kick-Ace Extra-Sharp spread from Vedged Out.
Stay tuned for some cheezy recipes later this month!
I’ve been a busy person lately. In the kitchen, too, making some recipes to share with you, but I haven’t had time to finish all of the photo processing and recipe typing. While I work on other things, here’s a recap of some of the mess I made in my kitchen today:
One of my 2015 resolutions is to try to incorporate more vegetables into every meal. Last week I tried making Serious Eats’ Instant Noodles with Miso-Sesame Broth. They were so good I’m making a jar for every workday this week! My version includes pressed tofu pan-fried in olive oil (as the first layer after the sauce base), fresh mushrooms, zucchini, carrots, snap peas, and udon noodles. I switched to using freeze-dried chives instead of chopped scallions after my office was left with a lingering smell of green onions.
I’m also trying to improve my early-morning preparedness. For three breakfasts this week, I made a big batch of high-protein oatmeal that I’ll keep in the fridge and reheat before eating. For two other meals, I’ll make VegMcMuffins – I’ve already prepped the tofu and “meat”, all I’ll need to do is toast an English muffin and add slices of pepper and tomato.
I made a batch of cookies but didn’t take pictures. They were a cashew variation of Nephew Cookies, to give to a neighbour. It was like he was psychic – as I was convincing myself to bundle up and drop them off, he same over with some Vegan chili he had made for us. Awesome!
Finally, I made a big pot of minestrone, like we do every month. This will last in leftovers for a few dinners this week, or be frozen as extra lunches for days when we don’t have time to make anything fresh but want something healthy and delicious.
A few hours of work made me food for at least twelve meals plus more to share, with lots of healthy ingredients and flavour. Yum!
When I was in junior high, one of my favourite sandwiches was cheddar and dill pickles on onion bread. Yes, it was odorous, but also delicious! These days I prefer my onion bread sliced thick and toasted with plenty of margarine. Or just sliced hot out of the oven – the loaf in the picture here was still warm when I ate my first slice – yum!
This recipe is altered from one my Gramma made to be used in a bread machine. If you want to use it in your bread machine, reduce the yeast to 2 tsp and add it in last, according to the directions in your machine’s manual.
Gramma’s Onion Bread
Makes 1 loaf
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp very warm water
- 2 Tbsp brown sugar
- 4 tsp rapid baker’s yeast
- 1 packet of onion soup mix
- 1/2 cup non-dairy milk
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 Tbsp melted margarine or butter
- 3.5 cups all-purpose flour
- Combine warm water with sugar and baker’s yeast in your mixing bowl.
- Allow to sit at room temperature until fully dissolved and bubbly, about 10 minutes
- Stir in onion soup mix, milk, nutritional yeast, and melted margarine.
- Let mixture sit 5 minutes to allow the soup mix to rehydrate.
- Stir in 3/4 of the flour into the liquid mixture.
- Start mixing the dough with the hook of your machine, or vigorously with a wooden spoon.
- Gradually add in all of the flour.
Dough should be soft and stretchy – not too sticky, but not too dry, either. Add more flour if needed.
- Knead for about 10 minutes until silky smooth.
- Place the ball of dough into clean, oiled bowl and cover with plastic wrap.
- Let rise in a warm place for about an hour until doubled in size.
- Punch down dough, knead on the counter with a small amount of flour about five times, and return to the oiled bowl.
- Rise for another hour or so.
- Roll out the dough on a floured counter into a 12×16-inch rectangle, and roll up the long end to make a 12-inch long cylinder.
- Pinch seam closed and orient at bottom of loaf. Pinch each end of the roll and tuck under. Place in the loaf pan, and cover with a damp towel.
- Heat oven to 400F.
- Meanwhile, let loaf rise until the top of dough rises about 1 inch higher than the top of the pan, 10-30 minutes.
- Slash the top of the loaf with a sharp knife and immediately place in oven.
Optional: toss a few ice cubes on the floor of the oven to steam it up and give the loaf a nice crust.
- Bake at 400F for 10 minutes, then turn oven down to 375F.
- Bake for 30 or so more minutes, until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a fingernail.