Sunday, January 16, 2011

Vegan Quiche + A Pear Tart

Today, after a languid Sunday morning complete with Stumptown coffee, a bagel and a long walk in the snow I came home to tackle my produce box. After a long afternoon in the kitchen I now have a beautiful quiche cooling on my stove and batches of potato leek and lentil soup in my freezer. I used the second crust for the quiche, which kept the recipe simple. This is a veggie-loaded recipe that is SO much lower in fat than traditional quiche and perfect for all three meals.

Spiced Pear Tart with Cashew Custard
1 unsweetened spelt crust, 9"
3 firm, but ripe pears, peeled, cored and sliced into 1/4" pieces
2 t brandy
1 t cinnamon
1/2 t ground ginger
1/8 cup granulated sugar
2 T lemon juice, divided
1 c raw cashew pieces, soaked in water for one hour
1/4 c maple syrup
1/3 c filtered water
1 vanilla bean

Preheat the oven to 350. Toss the pears with the spices, brandy, sugar, and 1 T lemon juice. Drain the cashews and blend them into a smooth paste with the water, syrup and the scraped out inside of the vanilla bean. Spread the cashew custard evenly in the crust and then top with the pear slices. Take about one spoonful of the liquid from the pears and drizzle it over the top of the tart and bake for 30 minutes, or until the pears are soft. Serve warm.

Vegan Quiche with Leeks, Shallots, Mushrooms, Chard and Fresh Herbs
1 9" spelt tart crust
1 12 oz container of Firm Silken Tofu
4 oz Extra Firm Tofu
1/4 c nutritional yeast
1/8  c corn starch
1/4 t turmeric
1/4 t smoked paprika
sea salt and pepper to taste
1 leek, sliced into thin half moons
2 shallots sliced in thin half moons
1 cup sliced cremini mushrooms
1 bunch chard, stalks rinsed and diced, leaves chopped into bite-sized pieces and well washed
1/2 c fresh parsley well chopped
5- 6 large basil leaves, well chopped
1- 2 T white wine
Olive oil

In a large skillet, heat about 2 T of olive oil and sauté the shallots and leek until lightly caramelized, set them aside in a large bowl. Sauté the mushrooms until browned and set them aside with the leeks and shallots. De-glaze the pan with a splash of white wine and sauté the diced stalks of the chard until soft, add the chard and allow it to wilt. Drain the chard in a colander and squeeze all of the extra liquid out. Add the chard to the other veggies and season lightly with salt and pepper.

Preheat the oven to 350.

In a food processor or blender, purée the tofu, nutritional yeast, corn starch and turmeric until totally smooth. Taste the mixture and add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer the tofu mixture to the bowl of veggies, add the chopped herbs and lemon juice and stir until the ingredients are well-combined and evenly distributed. Spread the mixture evenly in the crust and bake for 40 minutes. Allow to cool slightly before serving.

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