I’m pretty certain that I never once–not ever!–ate quiche. That is, until a few months ago. Eggs were never my thing and quiche sounded way too fancy to bother with anyway. But then I discovered vegan quiche and everything changed. It’s safe to say I’m obsessed.
Nowadays, I have a very hungry toddler (and her very hungry daddy) to feed, and that means menus and meal planning so that there’s always something on hand. Otherwise, she starts to gnaw on furniture. It ain’t pretty. So there I was one day, unprepared and in fear of losing my coffee table, when I realized I had a lot of veggies, some tofu and a frozen piecrust that I never got around to using for Thanksgiving. I had daddy distract the table eater while I went to work. I liked the idea of quiche because it also meant leftovers, which are great for lunch or another dinner. And I always have some kind of veggies on hand, so it seemed also like a really easy way to use up leftover veggies–you know, that lone carrot doing backbends at the bottom of the crisper.
Well, it turns out that not only is vegan quiche not all that complicated (really), it’s actually pretty fun to make, full of healthy goodness and is really, really yummy. Having never eaten a “real” quiche, I can’t tell you how it compares, only that no chickens or cows were involved.
I documented some of my vegan quiche recipe obsession on Instagram recently, and the latest incarnation received multiple recipe requests, which I am now obliging.
The formula is simple: a few hardy veggies and a few softer ones make for a nice toothsome balance in the quiche. I always recommend using what’s seasonal and local. Avoid very starchy veggies like potatoes or winter squash, but most anything else works. (And a note to those of you who consider onions, garlic and asparagus palatable: While I would never let those vile weeds spoil my quiche, if you’re not repulsed by them, they also work.)
For the crust: Did I mention I have a toddler? Making a piecrust from scratch hasn’t happened in a few years and is not likely to happen anytime before she’s a mom of her own. So, I buy the Wholly Wholesome pre-made whole wheat crust, which comes frozen. The ingredients are super clean it’s a really tasty, flaky crust. But by all means, if you’ve got the time, make it from scratch.
Vegan Quiche Recipe
Makes one quiche, about 8 pieces
16 oz firm or extra firm organic tofu
¼ unsweetened nondairy milk like almond or hemp or veggie broth or water
a few big glugs of olive oil
½ cup nutritional yeast
½ teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon dried thyme (not ground)
½ teaspoon dried dill
salt and pepper to taste
*optional: ¼-1/2 cup grated vegan cheese
1-2 cups sautéed veggies
Veggies – pick 2-3 or load up on one and slice thin or chop small
Zucchini or yellow squash
Greens – pick 1 or mix several (or none), chop chiffonade
To garnish: tomato slices or pepper wedges
Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. In a large skillet, heat a few tablespoons of olive oil over low-medium heat. Add your chopped or sliced veggie choices from group one and sauté until about halfway cooked (they will cook more in the oven). Usually 4 minutes or so. Add in your greens and sauté another few minutes until the greens are slightly wilted. If you like a lot of veggies in your quiche, go with a full two cups worth. This will be a very veggie-rich quiche. If you like a sparser, more delicate quiche, go with fewer veggies. You can even go with none at all. (But in that case, I recommend using fresh herbs to give it more flavor.)
While the veggies are cooking, drain and loosely crumble the block of tofu into a food processor or strong blender. Add the nondairy milk, broth or water, the rest of the olive oil, nutritional yeast and spices, except paprika. Blend until smooth—about the consistency of peanut butter. Place tofu mixture into a large bowl. If you’re adding shredded cheese, add it now to the bowl.
When the veggies are done, scoop them into the tofu mixture and stir by hand making sure to get the veggies evenly dispersed. Scoop the mix into the pie shell and smooth out the top with a spatula. Dust with paprika. Decorate with sliced tomatoes or peppers.
Bake for about 40 minutes or until firm. It’s okay if it comes out of the oven a little soft; it will set as it cools.
Sprinkle with parsley, slice and serve. Enjoy!
Images: Jill Ettinger