NEW VIDEO: Vegan (Eggless!) Quiche. Yes, Really.

I first learned about the technique of combining tofu and nondairy milk to use as an egg-like mixture from what may have been my first cookbook, The Garden of Vegan by Sarah Kramer and Tanya Barnard. They sit there on the cover having a picnic in vintage dresses and pretty tattoos and inside all of the recipes are sassy and 1950’s kitschy clip art is found on every page.

The great thing about this quiche recipe is that once you have learned the basic “egg filling” ratio – 1 cup of tofu blended with 1/3 cup nondairy milk – you can pretty much add anything else you’d like and make your own recipe!

I made this quiche based on what ingredients I had on hand and what I thought would look pretty and colorful. Get creative with spices and veggies. *Note that using some turmeric will make the mixture yellow and look more like eggs if that’s what you’re going for.

WATCH THE VIDEO BY LEHIGH VALLEY MIRROR (below):

INGREDIENTS:

  • 1 premade pie crust (read ingredients! or make one from scratch)
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 3-4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 5-8 mushrooms, chopped
  • 1-2 Tbsp soy sauce (or Tamari or Bragg’s)
  • about 2 tsp. dried basil
  • 1/2 block (one cup) extra firm, or firm, tofu
  • 1/3 cup nondairy milk of choice (I use almond milk)
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric
  • 2 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2-3 green onions, chopped
  • salt to taste
  • about 12 stalks of asparagus (to garnish the top)
  • 5-7 grape tomatoes (to garnish the top)

Save the Kales on Lehigh Valley Mirror

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Add olive oil, onion and garlic to a pan and sautee about 4 minutes until the onions start to become translucent. Add red pepper, mushrooms, soy sauce and basil. Mix everything and let cook until veggies just start to soften, another 5-7 minutes.

Press the water out of the tofu. (For this recipe you only use half the block, so put the rest in a container of water and put it back in the fridge.) Put tofu in a food processor with the nondairy milk. Blend until smooth.

Save the Kales Vegan Quiche on Lehigh Valley Mirror

Add tofu mixture to a large bowl along with the veggie mixture. Add turmeric, nutritional yeast, green onions and some salt to the bowl and mix everything together. Add to the pie crust and spread out evenly.

Place asparagus stalks on top along with the tomatoes in a pretty pattern, if you choose to use them. (You can also just make them part of the veggie mixture.) Bake for 35-40 minutes at 350 degrees. The top will get golden brown.

Save the Kales Vegan Quiche

*TIP: Often times premade pie crusts are sold in twos. This recipe also only takes 1/2 a block of tofu. If you have some extra veggies and spices, you can easily make two quiches instead of one!

BONUS: The extra tip in this video is about using olive oil to remove your eyemakeup! Check it out around the 6:30 minute mark.

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TOAD IN THE HOLE (vegan): Breakfast Food with Funniest Name gets a Plant-Based Makeover

Growing up in a Polish household meant I ate my fair share of “Pigs in the Blanket”, but it was only a few years ago while visiting Brooklyn that I discovered Toad in the Hole. 

Are you done giggling? No? That’s ok, read on… the folks I was with (two of which lived in Brooklyn) took us to Flatbush Farm for Sunday brunch, and while I was happy and satisfied with tofu scramble and greens, I couldn’t stop staring at my friend’s plate – her Toad in the Hole dish looked like a little handmade craft project more than a breakfast, a circle carved in the toast and an egg fried right into the middle.

Parker Posey came in and ordered it, too. I can verify at least the first half of that statement. Anyway.

I never knew you could make this vegan (fried eggs are, um, half of it after all) but that’s only because I had a lapse in memory and momentarily forgot that you can make a vegan version of nearly anything. This proves it.

Vegan Toad in the Hole, photo by VKRees

Last week I found this photo of a Toad in the Hole dish from a food blog… and as I continued to read I was shocked (along with many other people, as per the comments) that THIS DISH IS NOT MADE WITH EGGS. Go on, look at that photo. Amazing, right?

I had to do it for myself! So here’s my successful attempt to make the recipe from the VKReesPhotography Blog. (I highly encourage you to read the whole post  – not only for the breathtaking food photography, but to see a nearly concise list of all the other funny names people have for this dish, including: Birdie in a Basket; One-Eyed Jack; and the curious Elephant Tracks.)

VEGAN TOAD IN THE HOLE

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 cup extra firm (or firm) tofu
  • 10 – 15 Tbs unsweetened nondairy milk
  • 1 cup Kabocha squash, steamed (*I roasted butternut squash)
  • 1 Tbsp turmeric, optional
  • 5-6 pieces of bread
  • Salt + Pepper
  • Vegetable Oil

*Do this ahead of time! I used a butternut squash as that’s what I had on hand. Cut in half, brush the inside with olive oil, and roast in the oven for an hour at 350 degrees. Allow to cool at least 15 mins to make it easier to handle.

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One cup of tofu is about half a block. Cut into a few thick slices and lay on a towel to press out the water. Add to a food processor along with 5 TBSP of nondairy milk, and process until silky smooth but not too thin.

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Put in a bowl and set aside. Do the same with the squash – one cup of squash plus 5 TBSP nondairy milk. I added some turmeric and a little salt to the mix. Set aside in a bowl.

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Place your slices of bread on a flat surface. Using a drink glass, press the rim of the glass into the bread to cut a hole in the middle.

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Heat 1 TBSP olive oil in a pan on medium heat. Place the bread in the pan, and fill the bread with the tofu mixture. Let it cook 5-6 minutes until the bottom of the tofu is cooked and firm. Flip and let the other side cook.

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Use a spatula to plate the bread. Put a dollop of the squash mixture on top to make a “yolk”. Season with salt and cracked pepper. (And hot sauce.)

Vegan Toad in the Hole breakfast

Looks convincing, right? I was surprised at house easy this was. This would be SUCH an impressive dish for a large brunch party.

Once again, I can’t take credit for the recipe as I found it HERE and this person deserves allllll the credit, but I hope you will try this and let us know what you think! 

NEW VIDEO: Hot Cabbage “Wedge Salad”; Fall Flavors!

Thanks once again to Lehigh Valley Mirror for your video producing and editing prowess!

This dish was influenced by the nutritional abomination called a wedge salad. This usually consists of: a chunk of iceberg lettuce covered in bacon and bleu cheese. Not vegan. Not healthy. Usually (strangely enough) kind of expensive in some fancier restaurants. Who needs that?

Here I took the concept of shape and texture and created a plant-based whole foods warm dish with sweet and savory flavors. This is very simple prep work and cooking for a pretty final result.

Hot Cabbage “Wedge Salad” VIDEO

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 head of cabbage, cut into wedges through the core
  • 1 yam or sweet potato
  • 1 apple (honeycrisp is the BEST!)
  • olive oil
  • salt + pepper
DRESSING:
  • 1 Tbsp. dijon mustard
  • 2 Tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 Tbsp. maple syrup (the real kind!)
CANDIED NUTS:
  • vegan butter melted in a pan (Earth Balance!), about 2 Tbsp.
  • enough brown sugar to make a carmelized paste
  •  about 1/2 cup of sunflower seeds (or nuts of choice)
  • a dash of cinnamon
* some dried cranberries for garnish

Manatees LOVE cabbage! Invite some over for Thanksgiving!

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Place the cabbage wedges on the sheet, then lightly brush with olive oil. Season with salt and pepper. Roast in the oven until starting to brown, about 25 minutes.

Cut the yam and apple into small dices. You can leave the peels on. Put them in a bowl with a small amount of olive oil to coat. Spread evenly on a baking sheet, and add it to the oven with the cabbage when you have 15 minutes left of cook time. (Both should get done at the same time.)

To make the dressing, whisk the mustard, balsamic vinegar and maple syrup together in a small bowl.

For the candied nuts, melt the vegan butter in a pan on low heat. Add brown sugar and mix until it’s thick and caramelized. Add nuts and stir to coat – add more nuts if mixture is still really wet. Add a dash of cinnamon, and spread mixture out on a sheet of wax or parchment paper to cool.

When all components are ready, plate by putting the cabbage on the bottom then topped with the apple and yam mix. Then drizzle on some dressing, top with the candied nuts and add some dried cranberries for a garnish!

Hot Cabbage Wedge Salad

There you go! This makes an awful lot of food, and would be a great addition to a Holiday meal or potluck. Enjoy!

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If you or someone who you know has a business or organization interested in sponsoring Save the Kales! cooking videos, please tell them to contact: LVMirror@lvmirror.com 

SOUP MACHINE

It seems like 70% of my cooking these days is spent on various soups, stews and chilis.  Don’t worry, if you live locally you can reap the benefits as I add more of this to my menu! (An updated one will come out very soon!)

Keep an eye out for the Pumpkin and Cinnamon Chili, and perhaps THIS?!:

Spicy Asian Soup with Veggies (baby bok choy among others!), fresh made tofu that is firm but silky smooth, fresh made noodles (no eggs!), topped with sprouts, cilantro, chili garlic paste and a drizzle of toasted sesame oil. YES!!!!!

SPICY HEAVEN IN A BOWL.

On a completely unrelated note, I have to ask: What are some of your favorite movies that are PERFECT to watch in the Fall? This is serious as nights get longer and Sunday afternoons get snugglier.

RAW TACO SALAD: Ultra-Healthy Spin on a Typically Unhealthy Dish

After Musikfest ended, Ryan and I both noticed our bellies seemed unhappy with us. Just sort of puffy and full-feeling but always hungry, and just… blehhhh. I guess eating a lot of fried, starchy food and mugs of beer can do that to you. (Really, Jaime, you should know better.)

 So I’ve made a point to incorporate not only more whole foods into our meals following the ‘Fest, but more raw foods. I have a fascination with raw foods – mainly, the incredibly creative recipes that raw foodists and cooks dream up. When you can make pumpkin cheese ravioli WITHOUT butter, eggs, milk, pasta or COOKING, you have my attention.

I went to my first Raw Foods class back when I worked at Farm Sanctuary in Watkins Glen, NY and would pilgrimage to Ithaca every chance I got, to the Mecca that was: Green Star Food CoOp.  About 30 of us huddled together for our cooking class where I got to sample raw zucchini pasta with raw tomato-basil sauce. Amazing. 

(Note: The time I lived in Watkins Glen and frequented Ithaca, Ryan was also living in Ithaca. I like to think we met many years ago in that wonderfully progressive oasis of a town.)

I was searching web cooking videos when I came across the blog Girl Gone Raw. It’s very professional, friendly, colorful and packed full of information about health, the benefits of raw foods, and of course the RECIPES.  Right there on the main page was a recipe for a raw taco salad. One glance and I realized I have everything needed to make it, so off I went to work on a salad so good – so tasty and healthy – I’ve had it four times in the last week.

This is not my recipe, but these are my photos and my praise and endorsements. Make this as soon as you possibly can. (I did alter the dressing recipe slightly, but it’s still raw.)

RAW TACO SALAD via Girl Gone Raw blog

Taco meat:
1 cup of walnuts
5-6 sundried tomatoes, soaked 1-2 hours
1 clove of garlic
1 Tbs cumin
1 tsp coriander
1/2 tsp chili powder
pinch of sea salt
Blend ingredients together in a food processor until it looks like taco meat. Place in the center of a platter & surround with salad toppings.

Taco "meat" before processed.

Taco "meat" after. Looks convincing, right?

Salad part: 
1 head of green or red leaf lettuce, shredded
2 tomatoes, diced
1-2 ears or corn, corn removed
¼ cup of diced onion
1 avocado, diced
½ lemon or lime juiced

Surround taco meat with shredded lettuce & top with remaining salad ingredients,

Dressing:
1 cup of cashews
1 1/4 cups of water
zest from 1 lime
juice from 1 lime
pinch of sea salt

***I added some tahini and nutritional yeast to the dressing! -JK

Blend everything in a high speed until smooth & creamy. Pour into a 16 oz jar. Drizzle some over top of the salad & save the rest for later. Store in refrigerator.

Raw Taco Salad with cashew-lime dressing.

Dinner, then lunch (then dinner again then lunch again) is served!

I’ll have to include more raw recipes here. Not only are they tasty and creative, but you feel GOOD and powerful after eating them.

Hop over to GIRL GONE RAW and see what else Elizabeth is not cooking up! 

But WHAT Do You EAT?: Vegetarian Summerfest FOOD 2011!

Summerfest was wonderful (which is an understatement) for many reasons, but one of the cherry-on-top bonuses of the week had to be that the college cafeteria was turned into a 100% vegan buffet for every meal. 

Every meal had a featured hot dish line, soup, fully stocked salad bar with homemade dressings (and extras like nutritional yeast and three kinds of lettuce!), a raw foods station, a gluten-free station, and several kinds of pizzas covered in Teese or Daiya. WOW.

(*Note: They do not offer coffee. Herbal green teas and juice like crazy, but for coffee you have to sneak off campus and drive a half mile up the road to stupid Starbucks. Which for some folks -ahem- needed to happen because the 4-5 hours of sleep every night made waking up difficult. Next year, BYO coffee pot.)

I took photos of almost every meal I had, and wanted to share them with you in case you are in a bit of a cooking/lunch idea/dinner menu slump. I may not remember everything exactly as it was, but I can tell you it was delicious and there is such a fun novelty of eating and not having to ask about ingredients, etc..

And now the real reason you’re here, the food!

Bean chili over quinoa with gluten free cornbread and sauteed greens. Mushroom pizza. Salad with the BEST RAW DRESSING OH MY GOSH.

A lunch.

 

Breakfast potatoes, mixed veggie millet, and fruit. Salad with lemon tahini dressing. Carrot muffin.

A breakfast.

This was my lunch after breakfast, a cooking demo with food samples, and hanging out at the vita-mix table… I opted for a mostly-raw lunch. The wrap is a savory tofu salad, and the raw foods plate is explained below.

A lunch.

They served raw food meals every day!

Sign explaining the above photo.

 

Salad, sauteed kale, pizza, veggie fritter, spicy cashew curry, raw peach soup, butterscotch cake.

A dinner.

Vegetable and tofu casserole, rice with a red pepper sauce, stromboli, salad with vegan thousand island dressing.

A lunch.

 

Baked BBQ tofu, collard greens, fresh herb and soup, pizza, salad, whipped berry dessert.

A dinner.

Potato bar! Sweet potato with tofu sour scream and PEANUT SAUCE THAT WAS INCREDIBLE, salad, bean and grains bake, garlic pizza, olive and tomato soup, cocoa cupcake.

A lunch.

 

FRENCH ONION SOUP!!!!!, unlimited Gardein baked chicken (*note: this was hilarious and weird because they are so much like chicken a lot of people were freaking out and thinking someone played a cruel joke), pasta and salad.

A dinner.

Pancakes with plums and cherries, grits, brown rice (got carried away with the sauce, woopsies), fruit and Field Roast sausage!  Plus the aforementioned coffee. 

A breakfast.

 

You’ll find this interesting: despite eating very well at every meal, noshing on cooking demo samples and lingering around the Vita-Mix guys several times a day… I lost weight. 

I thought it was just in my head, but my clothes were looser and upon returning home, one of the first things Ryan said to me mid-spooning was, “Where did your belly go?”     AH, THE POWER OF A PLANT-BASED DIET.

 

EYE CANDY… and cake, and doughnuts, and vegan soft-serve ice cream, and and and…

Vegan Treats in Bethlehem, PA

What a day! It’s nearly 1am and I have been going nonstop since early this morning! In lieu of a text-heavy post, which my droopy and half-closing eyeballs are prohibiting, please accept these delicious visuals. Today we had nearly a three hour meeting about VegFest.

Can I say for a moment how open-mouthed in awe I was when Vegan Treats owner Danielle whipped out her phone and began to read off the personal contact information for, like, every single vegan and animal rights group EVER? When she oh-so casually mentioned she knows pretty much the entire staff of VegNews Magazine, I felt like a freshman in fashion design school finding out that her teacher just happens to know everyone at Vogue. No big.

I'll have one. One what? One of everything.

Her help and enthusiasm (and um, connections) have inspired us to reach far beyond what we were originally thinking in terms of speakers… again, not sure what the possibilities are, but we’re going to keep dreaming and trying to make it happen. Wow. I am literally so excited that I can’t sleep. Hence this post. Yay! Yawn!

My dreams look like this.

 

Ryan and I are off to Providence, RI for the weekend where we are planning to eat at Nice Slice (buffalo wing pizza! vegan cheesesteaks! chipotle faux-meatballs!), Crazy Burger (an entire vegan burger menu!), and Julian’s among others. What’s wrong with planning a trip around food? NOTHIN’.

See you next week!

My notes are probably like "How do we make it possible to eat our body weight in cupcakes and grilled tofu?"

Warning: If you have a hard time making decisions, you will need to mentally prep before coming here.