Sunday, February 28, 2010

vegan crustless quiche - ethiopian style

an unusual pairing

One doesn't normally think of the words quiche and Ethiopian in the same sentence.  However, the other night that's exactly what I thought.  I originally intended to saute broccoli, cauliflower, baby bella mushrooms and onion in some niter kibbeh and then add lentils, berbere and vegetable broth to create a simple stew.

As I was pulling the vegetables out of the refrigerator a container of tofu caught my eye and before I knew it, a quiche was set in motion.

The flavor was great but the texture, while delightfully creamy, was slightly more dense than I would have preferred.

I knew the perfect Ethiopian quiche was within my reach and I had four ideas to improve the texture.

  1. Add small diced potatoes.
  2. Add mashed potatoes.
  3. Add some soy milk mixed with cornstarch.
  4. Add Ener-g beaten with water to form peaks and then folded in, like a souffle.
But which adjustment would do the trick?  I made the second quiche exactly as I did the first time, divided it into 4 bowls and added one of the above modifications to each bowl.  I then cooked them in a muffin pan to keep the changes separate.

The winner: soy milk mixed with cornstarch.  Marty and I both agreed that if I'm calling this a quiche, this version was the most quiche-like.  It was still smooth and creamy but much lighter than original version.

The second runner-up: mashed potatoes.  I quite liked this version but the mashed potatoes transformed the dish from quiche into casserole.  I would definitely make this again in the future, or some variation of it, because the potato increases the nutrition factor as well as the fiber content.

The diced potato version tasted similar to the mashed potato version however, despite cutting the potato into very small dices, the quiche fell apart and wasn't as easy to consume.

The Ener-G version was a huge flop.  It was looser and wetter and had an unpleasant mouthfeel.

For this recipe, it helps if you have the berbere and niter kibbeh pre-made.  If not, you'll need to make them (see our previous posts on berbere and niter kibbeh) and this will add about an hour to the preparation time.

Vegan Quiche - Ethiopian Style
serves 4-6

  • 1 tablespoon niter kibbeh
  • 4 cups of vegetables chopped into small pieces.  This is a great way to use up any veggie odds and ends you have. (For the first quiche I used equal amounts of onion, broccoli, cauliflower and mushrooms.  For the second quiche I swapped out the cauliflower for red bell pepper.)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 carrot, grated (optional but I add it because I like the orange flecks)
  • berbere, to taste (I used 2 teaspoons but since berbere mixes vary drastically in flavor and heat, I recommend starting with a little and adding more to suit your preference.)
  • 1 (14-ounce) block extra firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 cup unsweetened soy milk mixed with 4 teaspoons cornstarch*
  • 1 teaspoon white miso
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon salt (depending on your preference)
  • 1/8 teaspoon turmeric

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Heat niter kibbeh in a saute pan.  Add the vegetables and saute until soft.
  3. While the vegetables are sauteing, blend the tofu until smooth in a food processor.  Add the nutritional yeast, soy milk/cornstarch mix, miso, salt, turmeric and berbere (I used 1 teaspoon) and blend until everything is incorporated.
  4. When the vegetables are soft add the garlic, carrot and berbere (I used 1 teaspoon) and saute for another 2 minutes.
  5. Transfer both the tofu mixture and the vegetables to a large bowl and mix well.
  6. Taste the mixture. It should taste good prior to baking it. If necessary add extra berbere and/or salt & pepper.
  7. Pour into a greased pie pan (or muffin pan) smoothing out the top. 
  8. Bake for 25 minutes (20 minutes for muffin pan).  The top will start to brown and the edges will pull away from the pan.  Cool for 10 minutes before serving.

    * If you want to try the mashed potato or diced potato version, omit the soy milk and cornstarch and add 2 cups mashed or diced potatoes to step 5.

1 comment:

  1. I love Ethiopian and vegan quiche, but never imagined them together. I will have to make this soon.