Well hello there! Did you think I forgot about you?! I would NEVER do that. I feel like I blinked and November passed by. I mean seriously...it's Thanksgiving in a few days. Like, what?! How did that even happen? I'll admit, I have been a little M.I.A. on this blog recently. It's not on purpose - life is just a little crazy right now. To my fellow bloggers out there who have a full time job (outside of blogging...like me!), a significant other, social life, kids, etc. YOU ARE MY HEROES. I am seriously in awe of people who seem to be able to balance it all so well. I'm getting there, guys! I have been thinking a lot about personal goals for 2016 and one of them is to really get back to blogging multiple times a week like I used to. I love this little space and I love you guys (obvi). The funny thing is that I have recently been making a lot of new recipes, so I have the content....I just can't seem to find time to sit down and type it all out. 2016 is going to be my year. I'm really into personal goal setting so I am looking forward to doing some more self reflection in the next few weeks. Stay tuned!
BUT OK - let's get down to business. QUICHE BUSINESS, DUH. I had never made a vegan quiche before making this handsome hunk of plant-based awesomeness. I had seen a lot of recipes for vegan quiche on the blogosphere, but always thought it looked too involved. Homemade crust, pressing tofu, a million ingredients....ain't nobody got time for that. Luckily, I like things to be as easy as possible and this recipe is no exception. It does take a little effort (just a little, tiny bit though, promise!). I originally planned to make a more traditional pastry crust using homemade ground quinoa flour but when it came time to actually make it, I was like ummm wait...I'm actually too lazy to do all that. Instead, I just decided to use cooked quinoa in it's whole form and hope for the best.
I may never make another crust again.
The crust is EVERYTHING.
The filling is actually everything, too. I made this quiche when my hubby was out of town for work and I thought "well shoot...I shouldn't have made this while he is gone because there is NO WAY I am going to eat all of this myself before it goes bad". Boy was I wrong. LOL. I ate it for dinner that night, lunch the next day, dinner the next night, lunch the following day, etc. etc. I polished the whole thing off well before he got home a few days later. #sorrynotsorry. I would heat up a slice, then found myself going back to the fridge to cut off another little sliver. It's deliciously addicting!
The filling is tofu based which gives it a surprisingly awesome texture. I used butternut squash, leeks, carrot, and spinach as my main filling ingredients. This quiche just screams fall (hiiiii fresh sage!)! The turmeric gives it the most beautiful color, too! It is a nutrient-dense powerhouse loaded with plant-proteins, antioxidant rich vegetables, and tons of fiber....all things that are not typically found in traditional quiches. It's definitely not the same exact texture as traditional quiche, so don't think go into it thinking it will be exactly the same. This dish is savory and comforting and perfect for any meal. Perhaps even better than many quiches...in it's own awesome, plant-based, delicious way :)
Vegan Butternut, Carrot & Leek Quiche with Savory Quinoa Crust
For the crust:
- 1/4 cup ground flaxseed
- 1/4 cup filtered water
- 1.5 cups cooked quinoa (cook with vegetable broth for added flavor!)
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
- 2 Tbsp fresh sage, chopped
- 3 sprigs fresh thyme, stemmed (or 1 tsp dried thyme)
For the filling:
- 1 Tbsp coconut oil
- 3 large cloves garlic, minced
- 1 cup finely chopped leeks, white and light green parts only, from 1-2 leeks
- 3 medium carrots, diced small
- 2-3 cups butternut squash, diced small
- 2 cups raw baby spinach
- 1 (12 oz) package firm tofu, drained
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 Tbsp tahini
- 1 Tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp salt + more to taste
- Fresh sage, chopped, for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 400 (F). Grease a 9 inch tart pan with coconut oil (or oil of choice).
- For the crust: Combine the flax and water in a small bowl and set aside to thicken. Stir together the cooked quinoa, nutritional yeast, coconut oil, and herbs. Add the flax mixture and mix until well combined. Press the mixture into prepared tart pan using your hands. Bake for 15 minutes or until golden. Turn the oven heat down to 350 (F).
- For the filling: In a large pan, heat coconut oil over medium-high heat. Add the garlic, leeks, carrots, and butternut squash. Saute, stirring frequently, until carrots and squash are tender (about 8-10 minutes). Add spinach and stir until wilted. Remove pan from heat. In a food processor, combine the remaining ingredients until very smooth. Transfer creamy mixture to a bowl and stir in sauteed veggies. Spread the filling over the prepared crust and bake for about 35 minutes (the top should be golden). Garnish with fresh sage. Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before slicing.
*It is imperative that you press the water out of the tofu. Check out this link for some tips on how to do it without a tofu press.
*You may have extra filling. I put my extra filling in a small ramekin and baked for about 20 minutes - delicious!