Sunday, March 13, 2011

Tofu Quiche

Currently there are many UFIs that seem to have invaded my pantry. You may want to check because you could have some yourself - Unidentified Food Items. If you shop the bulk food section of your grocery store, you probably know what I mean. There are the staple items I use regularly, and those don't cause problems. It's the foods that look similar or are some obscure dried thing that seemed interesting in that moment that cause the problems. Is this chickpea flour, nutritional yeast or some other wheat colored finely ground powder? Barley or farro? TVP or bulghur wheat? And what are these puny dark red pellets? Sometimes I remember to label things, but, more often, I think I'll remember what it is. I just went through my drawer and found several bags of UFIs. Now, I have to decide what to do with them. Do I make my best guess and use them in a recipe only to potentially end up with an inedible meal? In some cases, it won't matter that much - barley or farro are fairly interchangeable. And, if I start tasting things I might be able to narrow down the possibilities. In the past, I know I've thrown some things away, yet I'd prefer to not take the wasteful route. The bottom line is, all of this annoyance could have been avoided with a pen and a few strokes of the hand. Lesson learned.
Tonight's dinner did not involve the pantry. I made an eggless quiche. I considered making it vegan, but once I had the mixture prepared and tasted it prior to baking, I knew it would be too bland, so out came the cheese grater. The tofu really does provide a good replacement for the eggs. The texture and consistency works. Maybe next time I could experiment some nutritional yeast (or chickpea flour or whatever that is) in place of the cheese and find out how that would work. This is a reliable recipe and at least cuts down on some of the dairy.

Tofu Quiche
1 prepared pie crust
8 0z frozen spinach, thawed or 1 lb fresh steamed and water pressed out
1 tblspn oil for sauteeing
1 medium onion, diced small
4 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz mushrooms sliced (I used baby bella)
1 16 oz container firm tofu
1 tspn dijon mustard
splash of some kind of milk (rice, soy, almond)
1 tspn dried parsley
a few pinches of red pepper flakes
1/4 tspn nutmeg
salt and pepper
cheese to taste (I used sharp cheddar and Parmesan)

1. Preheat the oven to 400. Bake the pie crust for about 5 minutes and remove.
2. Either steam or defrost the spinach.
3. Heat the oil in a sautee pan and cook the onions, garlic, and mushroom over medium high heat until much of the water is cooked off and they are starting to brown. You can add some salt to draw out the water. Add the spinach and blend.
4. Meanwhile, in a blender, mix the tofu, mustard, milk and spices.
5. In a large bowl, blend the tofu and veggie mixtures. Grate in some cheese to taste. Then pour into the pie crusts. I ended up having enough to make almost two quiches, but I added extra veggies.
6. Cook for about 35-40 minutes. Let set for 5 minutes before cutting.

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