I eliminated eggs, among other things, from my regular diet about two years ago when I learned that I had a sensitivity/intolerance to them. This food intolerance was contributing to inflammatory reactions in my body, particularly on the blank canvas that was my skin.
I had grown up always loving my mothers’ homemade quiche and when I first learned that I would have to eliminate eggs 100% from my diet, I was mortified. How was I to enjoy food? To enjoy foods made by family? And, how was I to engage in one of the activities I loved most….baking?
My background in nutrition and education as a naturopathic doctor allowed for a smooth transition. I educated myself on egg substitutions in recipes and I began baking all manner of goodies with no one ever suspecting that they were, in fact, VEGAN. My most successful egg substitutions usually involve applesauce or ground flaxseed (e.g. 1 egg = ¼ cup applesauce OR 1 TBSP ground flaxseed in 3TBSP warm water).
Eventually, my journey brought me to my most current dilemma….would it be possible to bake one of my favorites, an egg-less quiche? With the help of ohsheglows.com, I experimented with my first ever egg-less quiche and I was pleasantly surprised. The final product not only stayed together but it was also given the seal of approval by my father, who is the veto vote in all the recipes I try mostly because he is willing to try anything and give an honest opinion!
Exploring creatively in the kitchen this afternoon reassured me and confirmed my belief that we never have to deprive ourselves of food we enjoy. When food intolerances have been identified with my patients, I encourage them to see this not as a diet of deprivation or restriction but instead, an opportunity to find those foods that are truly nourishing for their unique bodies. An opportunity to explore foods, flavours and to use them creatively!
FOR THE CRUST:
1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, mixed together
1 cup whole almonds, ground into flour (I used 1 cup hemp hearts instead)
1 cup gluten-free rolled oats or Scottish oatmeal (Bob’s Red Mill)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp coconut oil
1-2.5 tbsp water, as needed
FOR THE QUICHE:
1 block (14-oz) firm tofu
1 tablespoon coconut oil
1 leek or yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 large garlic cloves, minced
3 cups (8-oz) sliced cremini mushrooms
1/2 cup fresh chives, finely chopped
1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
1 cup baby spinach
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon dried oregano
3/4-1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
Black pepper, to taste
Red pepper flakes, to taste
1. Preheat oven to 350F and lightly grease a round 10-inch tart pan. Alternatively, you can use a 9-inch glass pie dish if desired.
2. Wrap rinsed tofu in a few tea towels. Place a few books on top of it to lightly press out the water while you prepare the crust.
3. For the crust: Whisk together flax and water mixture in a small bowl and set aside so it can gel up.
4. In a large bowl, stir together the almond meal, oat flour (or buckwheat flour), parsley, oregano, and salt.
5. Add in the flax mixture and oil. Stir until mostly combined, adding the remaining water until the dough is sticky (about the consistency of cookie dough). The dough should stick together when you press it between your fingers.
6. Crumble the dough evenly over the base of the tart pan (or pie dish). Starting from the centre of the pan, press the mixture evenly into the pan, working your way outward and up the sides of the pan. Poke a few fork holes in the dough so air can escape.
7. Bake the crust at 350F for 13-16 minutes, or until lightly golden and firm to touch. Set aside to cool while you finish preparing the filling. Increase oven temperature to 375F.
8. For the filling: Break apart the tofu block into 4 pieces and add into food processor. Process the tofu until smooth and creamy. If it doesn't get creamy, add a tiny splash of almond milk to help it along.
9. In a skillet, add oil and saute the leek (or onion) and garlic over medium heat for a few minutes. Stir in the mushrooms, season with salt, and cook on medium-high heat until most of the water cooks off the mushrooms, about 10-12 minutes. Stir in the herbs, sun-dried tomatoes, spinach, nutritional yeast, oregano, salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes until combined. Cook until the spinach is wilted.
10. Finally, remove from heat and stir in the processed tofu until thoroughly combined. Adjust seasoning to taste if desired. Spoon mixture into baked crust and smooth out with a spoon until even.
11. Bake quiche, uncovered, at 375F for 33-37 minutes, until the quiche is firm to the touch. For best results, cool the quiche for 15-20 minutes on a cooling rack before attempting to slice. The crust may crumble slightly when sliced warm, but not to worry.
12. Wrap up leftovers and refrigerate for 3-4 days. Leftover quiche can be reheated in the oven on a baking sheet for about 15-20 minutes at 350F.