Sunday, February 26, 2012

Day 50: Quiche Just Sounds So Sophisticated, Doesn't It?

There was a debate on what to dub my dish that I created tonight: At first, I was going to call it a vegetable flan, but then I decided that it didn't really have a flan texture and my Puerto-Rican roommate versed me on the true meaning of the word 'flan,' and how it was a sweet dessert, not this crazy savory invention of mine.  Then I thought, how about a custard? But again, although it had an eggy texture, custard really does make it sound like a dessert, so then it came to me: What I just invented tonight was in actuality, a quiche, and that word really makes it sound much more sophisticated anyway, doesn't it? And who doesn't love quiche (crazy people, that's who)? Not only was my quiche vegan, but it was also gluten-free, so how about that? Care to be adventuresome and try it out? Look below for some culinary bliss--it looks really complicated, but it really wasn't, I swear and the reward in the end will so make it worth it:

Mini Thai Vegan Quiche Over a Bed of Arugula and Baby Bok Choy
Makes 8 mini quiches

Gluten-Free Green Thai Pie Crust:
½ c. ground dried green chickpeas (I ground up some by Dr. Snack Garden Gourmet brand)
1/3 c. ground black sesame seeds (I ground up some by Roland’s)
½ c. almond meal/flour
1/3 c. ground dry-roasted edamame (I ground up some by Seaport Farm’s wasabi flavor)
1/3 c. crumbled baked kale chips (I used New York Naturals spicy miso flavor)
1 tbsp ground sprouted sunflower seeds (I used Kaia Foods sweet curry flavor)
1 tbsp crumbled dried nori seaweed (I used Eden nori crinkled toasted seaweed)
1 tbsp sesame oil
1 tbsp unrefined peanut oil (or the oil that’s separated on top of all-natural peanut butter)
3 tbsp unsweetened almond milk
8 tbsp vegan buttery spread or margarine (I used Smart Balance)
1 ½ tbsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp flax powder
1 packet raw stevia
1/3 c. unsweetened shredded coconut

Vegan Tofu Filling:
3/4 c. silken tofu
½ c. light coconut milk
2 tsp peanut butter
1 c. frozen green chickpeas (same as the dried green peas in the crust only frozen)
1 tbsp gluten-free Szechuan hot and spicy marinade and stirfry (San J brand)
1 tsp ginger paste
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp almond extract
3/4 tsp Mrs. Dash fiesta lime spice
¾ tsp Chinese five-spice
1 tsp lemon or lime zest
1 packet raw stevia
2 dried kale chips (same brand as the crust) crushed into small crumbs
black sesame seeds to garnish
unsweetened coconut flakes to garnish
pickled ginger slices to garnish (optional--I forgot to purchase, and I didn't want to spend the extra time to make some, so mine didn't have any)

3 c. arugula
1 baby bok choy, leaves divided

Thai Salad Dressing:
2 tsp peanutbutter
¼ c. lemon-thyme tea
1 tsp. gluten-free Szechuan hot and spicy marinade and stirfry (San J brand)
1 tsp. vegan pesto sauce (Bear Pond Farm brand)
1/8 tsp dried basil
1 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped
1 packet raw stevia
1 tbsp. Tofutti sour cream
¾ tsp. ginger paste

1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2) Line 8 regular-sized muffin cups with aluminum cupcake liners.
3) In a food processor, grind up black sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, dried edamame, and dried green chickpeas. Place in a medium glass bowl.
4) Crush and crumble the kale chips and the nori seaweed with your hands and add to the bowl with the almond meal, flax powder, and coconut flakes and stevia. 
5) Pour in the sesame and peanut oils, along with the unsweetened almond milk and rice vinegar.
6) Spoon out chunks of the vegan buttery spread and mash into the mixture with a fork until it's all blended and soft.
7) Spray the muffin cups lightly with Pam olive oil and spoon in the crust mixture into each cup, using your fingers and a spoon to form little crusts.
8) Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes and then remove the muffin pan from the oven to cool.
9) While the crusts are baking, beat together all the filling ingredients except the chickpeas until the mixture is smooth and creamy.
10) Heat up the chickpeas in a small bowl in the microwave on high for 2 minutes.
11) Grease a small skillet with Pam olive oil and turn the burner to a medium heat level.
12) Dump the chickpeas into the pan and cover the pan with a lid, turning down the heat slightly. 
13) Let mixture bake in the skillet for 2-3 minutes and then turn off the heat.
14) Mash the chickpeas with a fork or put them into the food processor.
15) Add chickpea mash to the filling and blend with the mixer.
16) Divide filling into the muffin pan, sprinkling the unsweetened coconut and sesame seeds on top for garnish.
17) Bake in the oven for about 45-50 minutes, until the tops feel slightly firm to the touch (the filling will still be soft and somewhat creamy inside).
18) Remove from oven and whisk together salad dressing ingredients in a small measuring cup.
19) Rinse off some arugula and the baby bok choy and set aside.
20) Spoon some dressing on the center of a plate, topping it with the arugula and then the baby bok choy.
21) Remove the aluminum liner from one of the mini quiches and place on top of the bok choy. Serve immediately!

Enjoy and Bon Appetit!

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