Sunday, November 20, 2011

Vegan Spinach Quiches

I loved the look & idea of these mini-quiches I saw on Finding Vegan. These little quiches came out great- a delicious quinoa crust and a hearty filling. Yum all around. They are easy to make, and relatively quick - about 30 minutes of prep time and 30 minutes in the oven. These are also good for lunches or storing in the freezer for an easy meal later in the week.

Adapted from this recipe from the Healthy Hipster.

  • 1 cup cooked quinoa
  • 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds (I used whole flax seeds and ground them in a food processor for a few minutes)
  • 2 Tbsp ground oats/oat flour, or flour
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 Tbsp Spike or other seasoning
  • 1 10 oz package of frozen spinach
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp tumeric
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 heaping Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 1 package extra firm tofu
For the crust:
  1. Cook the quinoa according to package instructions (will take about 10-15 minutes). Add the seasoning to the cooked quinoa, along with sea salt to taste.
  2. Add about 1/2 cup (enough to cover the flax seeds) of water to a small bowl with the ground flax seeds. Allow the seeds to soak in the water for 5-10 minutes to thicken. 
  3. Grind the oats in a food processor, or use whole wheat flour or ground oats instead, and add to the cooked quinoa. (I actually added about a spoonful of extra whole oats as well, just for a little additional texture, which I think came out well). After the flax seeds have soaked, add those as well and mix. 
  4. Grease a muffin pan well, and add a large spoonful of the quinoa mix to each of the 12 muffin spots. Press along the outside of the muffin mold to form a crust. (The quinoa mix will be a little sticky, so it's easiest to use a spoon).
For the filling:
  1. Drain the tofu well, pressing out any excess water. Slice and put into food processor along with the spices and all other filling ingredients besides the spinach. Mix until smooth.
  2. Allow the spinach to thaw (or cook in microwave for a few minutes). Press out as much liquid as you can, making sure the spinach is not watery. Add the spinach to the food processor and briefly blend.
  3. Add about 1/4 cup of the filling to each crust.

Cook at 350 F for about 30-35 minutes. Allow the mini-quiches to cool for about 5 minutes prior to removing from the pan. Serve warm & enjoy!

Notes: Based on this recipe, I just might start adding flax seeds to my quinoa dishes now. Is it weird that I like the smell of flax seeds??! In any case, I really liked the resulting flavor of the crust. Speaking of flavor, as with most recipes calling for it, I cut down the nutritional yeast in these quite a bit (from 1/4 cup to 2 Tbsp) - and this worked perfectly for me, as someone who doesn't like overwhelming nutritional yeast taste. I think 2 Tbsp is my limit... any more, and it would have been too much for me. 

A word on filling the quiches: make sure you press the filling into the crust- how you put it in is pretty much how it will come out, so you want the filling and the crust neatly pressed against the muffin mold. I didn't do this so well, which wasn't a big deal - it still tasted good! But if you are serving for others, you want to aim for a neat little pie. 

Additions & substitutions: Next time, I'm definitely adding some thinly sliced mushrooms to these- I think they would be a perfect addition here. I also think broccoli would go really well in these - there are so many variations here that would work well - tomatoes, asparagus, peppers (if you like 'em), artichoke hearts.... vegify the quiches to your heart's desire!

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