Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Happy World Vegetarian Day!

When I heard it was world vegetarian day, I had to mention it! I've not eaten meat for more than half my life, its just second nature to me now, and while my principles are a little bit foggy, I still dont feel the need to eat meat.

Studying more about nutrition has reminded me that most people eat far too much meat/protein and that maybe this is a good day to assess your diet for what you really need.

I wanted something delicious to do with my lovely leeks from Bewise, so started searching for a quiche. I had every intention to make a big, buttery quiche with lots of eggs, but heidi had such a delicious vegan one that I was interested enough to give it a try. This has a delicious oaty, sesame seed crust, and the tofu is delicious and creamy as a filling. I'd go as far to say that I prefer it to eggs, as they are so temperamental, sometimes being rubbery and overcooked, and sometimes weeping uncontrollably in a most unappetizing manner! If you dont tell people its tofu, they'll probably never realize.

I did make quite a few changes, I doubled the crust recipe to make mini quiches in a muffin pan, and reduced the oil. I tried a filling of leeks and onions instead of spinach and mushrooms. It didn't take anywhere near 3 hours, as suggested, I'm sure it was under an hour before it was tucked away in the oven.

Vegan Leek and Onion Quiche -adapted from 101 cookbooks
For the crust:
1 cup rolled oats
6 tablespoons sesame seeds
2 cups whole wheat pastry flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly milled black pepper
2/3 cup unflavored soy milk or water (more if necessary)
1/3 cup light sesame oil or pure olive oil plus more for brushing the pan

For the filling:
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup finely diced red onion
4 large leeks, washed and thinly sliced
2 tablespoons dry white wine or water
1 teaspoons coarse sea salt
3 garlic cloves, slice crosswise into 1/8-inch rounds
10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
Pinch hot red pepper flakes
1 pound firm tofu, rinsed and patted dry
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tablespoon rice vinegar

Preheat oven to 350f
Toast the oats in the oven for 5 mins. Place the oats in a food processor, pulse until fine, then add other dry ingredients and pulse until combined. Add olive oil and water and pulse until dough comes together. Press into greased muffin pan and set aside.

Sautee onions, garlic and leeks for around 10 minutes until clear. Add herbs and seasonings and combine then set aside to cool.

Meanwhile, put quiche shells in oven for 10 mins while working on filling.

Place Tofu, vinegar, lemon juice and salt and puree until smooth. Combine with leeks and onions and mix, then put spoons of filling into each quiche cup.

Cook for around 45 mins or until filling is firm and crust is light brown.

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