Tuesday, January 29, 2013

{Quiche} Me...

I’ll admit: I still love eggs. I don’t eat them, but I love them.  I wasn’t crazy about meat, so that was easy to give up; and thanks to Daiya and Sheese, my lifelong love affair with “cheese” hasn’t skipped a beat.  But eggs were a tough one to replicate.  Yes, there’s tofu for the texture and protein, but how do I make them exude that rich decadence that only an egg yolk can provide?  

Meet nutritional yeast. Cheesy, nutty, creamy and rich, yet it contains absolutely no animal by-products and no dairy.  Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast
(which means that it is no longer living and will not produce the effects of “active” yeast), and is a complete protein.   Add a tablespoon or two mixed with water in a food processor, blitz for 30 seconds, and you have an egg yolk. Seriously. I’m not kidding. 

I’ve used nutritional yeast as a cheese substitute when cooking but never thought to try it as an “egg” until recently, thanks to Daddy Vegan’s discovery of a product called Vegg. It’s basically fortified nutritional yeast with black pepper, beta carotene and a bit of salt.  And it has changed my life (and my breakfast menu).
I love quiche.  It’s rich, satisfying and always a crowd-pleasure. Most importantly, I can hide all kinds of vegetables in it and Little Miss Vegan is none the wiser as she gobbles it down. 

I had recently posted a picture on Facebook of a vegan caramelized onion, roasted potato and cheddar “quiche” I made.  The most asked question I got was, “it looks like it has egg in it. How did you do that?” followed by, “can I please have that recipe?”

Well, now you know how I did it. Here’s how you can too. 


Caramelized onion, roasted potato and cheddar “quiche”

The building blocks of this recipe are the crust and the “egg” mixture. The toppings are optional and totally up to whatever suits your taste. If you’re looking to add a “meaty” addition, I recommend Field Roast brand vegan sausages, removed from the casings, chopped and mixed in with the cooked onions.)

This recipe is adapted from an original recipe for a creamy leek and cashew quiche that can be found at: http://mouthwateringvegan.com/2011/03/23/creamy-cashew-leek-cheezy-quiche/


½ cup whole wheat flour
½ cup unbleached all purpose flour
¼ cup vegan butter (Becel Vegan or Earth Balance. I find Becel Vegan blends into dough better)
¼ teaspoon coarse salt
Cold water
2 large Vidalia or sweet onions, cut in half and sliced into half circles
Vegetable broth for sautéing
1 cup soy cream
½ cup soy milk
2 teaspoons: Vegg and ½ cup water blended in a food processor (if you don’t have Vegg, just use the same amount of nutritional yeast and a few turns of black pepper)
2 – 3 yukon gold potatoes (skins on), cut in small cubes
1 cup shredded Daiya cheddar cheese
½ cup roasted, unsalted cashews (totally optional – this is just a topping)
1 teaspoon olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


1.       In a large bowl, mix both whole wheat and all purpose flour. Measure out butter into a measuring cup.  Put flour and butter and pastry cutter (or two forks) in the freezer for 30-60 minutes.
2.       Preheat oven to 425F. Toss potatoes, olive oil, salt and pepper in a bowl and combine. Spread evenly onto a parchment-lined baking sheet in a single layer and roast for 25 minutes.
3.       In a large non-stick sauté pan, heat 3 tablespoons of vegetable broth on medium high heat (6), add onions and sauté for approx 15-20 minutes, until onions are soft and golden. Stir often to ensure onions do not stick to the pan and add more vegetable broth (a tablespoon at a time) throughout the cooking process to keep onions from drying out/burning. Remove from heat when done and combine with potatoes. Set aside to cool.
4.       Remove flour and butter from freezer. Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles a coarse ‘corn meal’ type texture.  Add cold water, 2-3 tablespoons at a time, and combine with fork until a dough is formed. Add more water a tablespoon at a time until dough comes together. Place dough between two sheets of wax paper and roll out until it covers the bottom and sides of a quiche , tart or baking pan. I use a silicone round baking pan. 
5.       In a medium size bowl, combine egg replacer (Vegg or nutritional yeast) with soy milk, soy cream and salt. Whisk until combined.
6.       Add onion/potato mixture to the pan, and spread out to evenly coat the bottom of the pan.  Pour the egg/soy mixture over the filling and tilt pan/spread with spatula until liquid covers all filling. Top with shredded cheddar and cashews if using.
7.       Place on a baking sheet and bake at 400F for 40 minutes, until cashews are browned, cheese is melted and mixture is bubbling. Remove from oven and let it sit at least 20 minutes to firm up before serving.

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