Tag Archives: tofu

Roasted broccoli tofu quiche

15 Feb

 

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Poor old quiche doesn’t have the best reputation, people either think that (a) it’s a bit fiddly to make, or that (b) it belongs in the seventies along with vol-au-vents and cheese and pineapple on sticks. If either of these applies to you then please cast aside your doubts and give it a go! Vegan quiche is gorgeous, it’s a good balance of healthy (tofu and veggies!) and naughty (pastry!), and it works both hot or cold. Also, it’s not difficult or time-consuming to make at all. The most active part of the recipe is making the pastry, which takes, what… three minutes? You can do that, right?!

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Roasting the broccoli in this recipe was a last-minute brainwave. I was planning to microwave it, then I read an inspiring article written by Isa Chandra Moskowitz where she said roasting makes everything taste delicious (you can read the full article here for this and five other pearls of wisdom). I’m so glad I did, roasting the broccoli deepens the flavour and contributes to the slight cheesiness. Ground almonds add a little extra firmness to the filling, and increase the cheesy quality of the flavour profile.

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Recipe (serves 4)

For the pastry:

  • 50g margarine (check it is suitable for pastry)
  • 100g flour (white or wholemeal, this time I used half wholemeal spelt and half plain flour)
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 200g broccoli, chopped into small bite-sized pieces
  • 1 tb vegetable oil
  • A 396g block of firm tofu, drained but not pressed
  • Quarter of a cup (or 4 tb) nutritional yeast flakes
  • Quarter of a cup ground almonds
  • One clove of garlic, mashed to a fine paste
  • 1 ts salt
  • Plenty of black pepper

For the pastry, rub the margarine into the flour and salt. Continue mixing with your hands, adding some cold water a splash at a time until it comes together in a ball. Put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.

Lightly grease a 20cm / 8 inch quiche dish. Roll out the pastry and use it to line the dish. Trim the edges but not too much, be aware that the pastry will shrink a little bit when you cook it. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, then blind bake it for 15 minutes at 200˚C. You want the pastry to be starting to go dry and golden, but not brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. Put the chopped broccoli in a small roasting tin with the oil and roast for about 15 minutes, until softened and starting to brown round the edges. Crumble the tofu into a large bowl, add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well with a fork.

When the broccoli is cooked, remove it from the oven. Chop about half of it even more finely, then add all of the broccoli to the tofu mixture. Carefully tip this into the pastry case, pressing it into the corners and smoothing out the top. Return to the oven for another 30 minutes, until it is heated through and golden brown on top. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, it will be much easier to get out of the dish. Serve hot or cold.

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Doners, quiche, VegFest, focaccia – a 2014 review

1 Jan

Most-read post – By quite a long way, it was the seitain doner kebab meat that I wrote back in May. I’m a tiny bit embarrassed that my most popular recipe is also one of the unhealthiest, but I’m also so proud that something we put so much thought in to came out exactly how we wanted. I hope that people who search for vegan junk food recipes find what they’re looking for on my site, but are inspired by the healthier articles.

My favourite recipe – The recipe I posted on my one-year bloggiversary in April, it’s vegan quiche with spinach, leeks, and pine nuts. Quiche was a bit of an obsession of mine in my pre-vegan days, so I was really pleased to come up with a recipe that was both delicious and satisfying, without an animal product in sight.

My favourite non-foodie article – It’s a difficult choice, but I’d have to go with the post about VegFest London from September, simply because I had so much fun “researching” it. I wrote the post as soon as I got home from VegFest. I didn’t over-think what I was going to say, so I my enthusiasm and excitement about the event are genuine.

My top foodie discovery of 2014 – the stuffed focaccia we ate on holiday in Italy, which had roasted courgettes, aubergines, and peppers baked right into it. Just a few weeks later I went on a bread-making course and learned how to make focaccia, and I’m now getting the hang of doing it at home. Watch this space, the recipe may well appear on this blog in the near future.

Still to come in 2015 – an easy, adaptable pesto recipe; vegan parkin; and my adventures with home-made tempeh.

In my veg box this week – sorrel, kohlrabi, tomatoes

9 Aug

Sorrel
The bag was unlabelled so I had to try a little bit just to double check what the leaves were. I’m glad I only tasted a tiny bit because it’s really strong on its own, kind of like incredibly lemony spinach. It can give a mixed leaf salad a lovely tang, or can be used in cooking to liven things up.  I’ve used some to make some courgette and sorrel soup. To feed 2-3 people, dice a small onion and a small potato and sweat over a low heat with a bit of oil in a covered saucepan for five minutes; add a couple of crushed cloves of garlic and about 500g sliced courgettes and sweat for another five minutes; add 500ml vegetable stock and simmer for 10 minutes; throw in 25g sorrel then blend; taste for seasoning and serve. With the rest, I think I’m going to experiment with sorrel pesto, if it goes well it will end up here on the blog.

Kohlrabi
Looks like a cross between a vegetable and an alien space craft, tastes like a cross between broccoli stems and turnip. Smaller ones can be sliced or grated for a salad, but this is a bit of a monster so it will need to be peeled and cooked. At other times of year I might roast it or use it in a potato gratin, but it’s summer and I can’t face stodgy food so it will either end up in pesto pasta with mixed veggies, or in a spicy stir fry.

Regular tomatoes and cherry tomatoes
Another favourite glut of the summer, tomatoes are something I don’t mind getting tonnes of because I can happily put them in anything. At this time of year they’re sweet and full of flavour, and they smell of summer. For tomato scrambled tofu for 1-2 people, fry a couple of tomatoes over a medium-high heat for a couple of minutes; add 200g crumbled tofu and fry for a couple more minutes; add a tablespoon of roughly chopped basil, a splash of lemon juice, half a teaspoon of black or regular salt, and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast flakes; serve on toast or as part of a big veggie fry-up.

Also received this week: courgettes, carrots, new potatoes, broad beans, green and yellow French beans, garlic, bananas, pears, grapes, greengages.

“In my veg box this week…” is not intended as a product review, simply a description of some of the fruit and vegetables that are in season and what I like to do with them. I pay full price for my vegetable box and have no affiliation with the company that delivers them or any of their suppliers.

Vegan quiche with spinach, leeks and pine nuts

6 Apr

WordPress has just reminded me that today is my blog’s first anniversary. I started the blog one Saturday afternoon, when I decided that the pea pesto recipe I’d invented a couple of days before was so good that it deserved sharing with the world. Armed with a name I plucked out of nowhere, and a slightly blurry photo of some basil, I got started. I only really expected a couple of people to look at it, that maybe I’d put one or two more recipes online, and that basically it wouldn’t really go anywhere. Over the next few weeks I did post a few more times, and I read a lot of other people’s blogs, and I got hooked. One year later, with 38 posts, 149 comments, 123 WordPress followers, I feel like I’ve become part of a community. I’ve made contact with people all over the world, stayed up late because I was having an interesting conversation with strangers on Twitter, and annoyed my husband on many an occasion by spending ages taking photos of our dinner. Other bloggers and Twitter-folk have given me the inspiration and support to go from sort-of-cutting-back-on-dairy to 99% vegan (I’m almost there), and I’m grateful to each and every one of you for that. To thank you, I’m sharing a new recipe, my first ever attempt at a vegan quiche.

Quiche is one of my favourite things to make. It does require a fair bit of multitasking, but it’s really versatile and over the years I’ve come up several different combinations, usually involving a vegetable and a cheese. Making something eggy and cheesy without eggs or cheese sounds impossible, but as firm tofu can act as a good sub for both vegan quiche is actually easier to make than the real thing. It’s not strongly cheesy – think ricotta rather than feta – but I am certain that I could feed this to omnivores and they wouldn’t realise it was vegan.

Recipe notes:

  • The filling from this recipe would also work well wrapped in puff pastry, à la my non-vegan spanokopitta sausage rolls.
  • I use frozen for spinach-heavy recipes like this. It’s better value for money by a long long way, you’d need a sack full of fresh spinach leaves to get the same amount, plus you’d still have to wash and cook it. Unless you’re growing your own and have a glut of it, just buy whole leaf frozen spinach.
  • If there is any filling left, you could use it to stuff a couple of tomatoes and bake them at the same time as the quiche.

Recipe (serves 4)

For the pastry:

  • 50g margarine (check it is suitable for pastry)
  • 100g flour (white or wholemeal, I use a mix of both)
  • Pinch of salt

For the filling:

  • 1 ts margarine or oil
  • 1 leek, white and green parts, sliced into thin half-moons, thoroughly washed
  • 50ml your preferred non-dairy milk
  • 400g frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed
  • 50g pine nuts, toasted then very roughly chopped
  • A 396g block of firm tofu, drained but not pressed
  • ¼ ts grated nutmeg
  • Plenty of ground black pepper
  • 1 ts salt
  • 1 ts cider vinegar
  • 1 ts olive oil
  • 2 tb nutritional yeast flakes

For the pastry, rub the margarine into the flour and salt. Continue mixing with your hands, adding some cold water a splash at a time until it comes together in a ball. Put it in the fridge to rest for at least half an hour.

Lightly grease a 20cm / 8 inch quiche dish. Roll out the pastry and use it to line the dish. Trim the edges but not too much, be aware that the pastry will shrink a little bit when you cook it. Prick the pastry all over with a fork, then blind bake it for 10 minutes at 200˚C. You want the pastry to be starting to go dry and golden, but not brown.

Meanwhile, prepare the filling. In a small saucepan over a medium heat, melt the margarine or heat the oil, then add the leek and fry for two minutes until it starts to cook down. Add the milk and cook for a further five or so minutes, until the leeks have completely cooked down and most of the liquid has evaporated.

Tip the spinach into a sieve or a muslin-lined bowl. Squeeze as much liquid out of the spinach as you can.

Crumble the tofu into a large bowl with your hands. You could use a fork or masher, but doing it by hand is much more efficient.

Add the nutmeg, pepper, salt, vinegar, oil, and nooch to the tofu and mix well. You could continue mixing it by hand, but it’s less messy from now on to use a spoon or spatula. Add the cooked leeks, pine nuts, and drained spinach, and mix until well combined. Tip the filling into the blind-baked pastry, and return it to the oven for around half an hour, until the top is firm and golden. Leave to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving, it will be much easier to get out of the dish. Serve hot or cold.

Veganizing a Mrs Veg classic – breakfast muffins

6 Apr

One of the most popular posts on my blog to date is the veggie bacon and egg muffins from August 2013. It does bother me a little that on a mostly healthy, mostly plant-powered blog, the thing I’m most recognised for is neither of those things. The vegan version is still junk food, still delicious, but just a little healthier. Here’s how I veganized it:

  • The English muffin can obviously stay, just check the ingredients as some contain milk.
  • You can get vegan cheese singles, but I’d much rather use a lovely thick layer of guacamole. Vegan cheese just sounds wrong, I can’t bring myself to try it. The healthy fat from the avocado satisfies my cheese craving, but unlike vegan cheese you can actually see what it’s made out of when you look at it.
  • The fried egg is replaced by fried or grilled tofu. On this occasion I used Cauldron smoked tofu, but plain tofu marinated overnight would work just as well.
  • A rasher or two of veggie bacon. In the original I think I used Quorn Bacon Style Rashers, which contain egg. I’ve now switched to Cheatin’ Rashers, which don’t. Tempeh bacon would also be an excellent choice.

The next stage is to make it classier, but that’s a post for another day.

Vegan breakfast burritos

9 Feb

Burritos are one of my favourite weekend breakfasts. Whether you’re hungover or just feeling like you need a bit of an indulgent treat, some protein and veg wrapped in a tortilla is bound to make you feel much better without being too heavy or greasy. I like to combine something vaguely mexican with anything breakfasty, and encase them together in a corn or whole wheat tortilla (or to be honest, two or three). Here are a couple of recent combinations:

Spicy canned refried beans, scrambled tofu with onion and sweetcorn, avocado.

Half a potato waffle, a vegetarian sausage, diced tomato, avocado, borlotti beans, hot sauce.

Here are a few more ideas for fillings:

  • guacamole
  • hummus
  • vegetarian bacon or tempeh bacon
  • grated carrot
  • salsa
  • grilled courgettes
  • roasted peppers
  • hash browns
  • fishless fingers (it might sound a bit odd but they go really well with avocado)
  • fried or grilled mushrooms
  • beans in spicy sauce
  • savoury french toast

What would you have?

Spicy thai curry noodles

9 Aug

This recipe is adapted from a Jamie Oliver 15 Minute Meals recipe for chicken laksa (you can see the original recipe here). I can’t really take any credit for this, all I’ve done his taken his soup recipe, turned it into a sauce and vegetarianised it. I love the flavour profile so much – it’s spicy, fresh and zesty and it makes a really sexy accompaniment for noodles and stir fried vegetables.

Recipe (serves 2)

For the sauce:

  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • About 2cm root ginger, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli, as hot or mild as you like, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • ½ teaspoon turmeric
  • 2 kaffir lime leaves
  • ½ tablespoon toasted sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 15g fresh coriander, stalks and all
  • ½ tablespoon peanut butter
  • ½ tin coconut milk (200g)
  • The juice of one lime

Everything else:

  • Two nests/bundles noodles of your choice, cooked according to packet instructions
  • Stir fried vegetables
  • Some kind of protein –I normally go for marinated tofu, but I think toasted cashews could be even better
  • A good sprinkle of sesame seeds

While the noodles, veg and protein are cooking, throw all of the sauce ingredients in a blender and whizz until completely blended.

Briefly heat the sauce up in a pan until just hot. You don’t want to cook it for more than a couple of minutes or it will start to lose its zinginess. As soon as it starts to bubble, add the cooked noodles and toss to coat. Serve the noodles topped with the veggies and protein.

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