I am so stoked. There are certain foods that I never thought I would see veganized when I became a vegetarian almost 10 years ago now (I have always strived to be as plant-based as possible) but now more than ever I see Vegan products popping up all over the place! There is bound to be pros and cons with the growing trend (I only see Pros but I like to play devils advocate from time to time just to stay un-biased) but I know that this shift is extremely beneficial for our society and our planet and as a result, I have transitioned into a being totally Vegan and I am so incredibly stoked!
Now, I know many would argue that not all of these products are healthy and yes some are processed, refined, etc. however, not supporting big animal agriculture is a giant leap in the right direction and the real truth is you do not need a “product” out there on the market such as “faux chicken” to maintain a perfectly balanced plant-based diet, all the nutrients we need can be obtained strictly from the plants our amazing planet already provides, without altering or processing them in any way but, I digress. This is post is not about the arguments on plant-based eating and the products out there (I’ll save that for another post, it is a huge topic!). This post is about a new product that is in fact amazing tasting and health-supportive!
The Vegan Egg: produced by Follow Your Heart may be my new favorite product and it is sort of genius. It is made from algal flour and protein otherwise knows as micro-algae which according to several food journals and other publications this may be the next big thing in the plant-based protein world. We already know how beneficial sea vegetables and algae are for the body so the fact that we can start incorporating them in more familiar ways like bacon and eggs or quiche is pretty amazing! I like the fact that this product doesn't have very many ingredients and the ingredients can be traced back to the plants, we really don’t have to feel like we are consuming some space-age concoction.
All of that being said I started experimenting with this product because it was gifted to me by a friend (thanks Rima!) as her and her hubby took off on a long back-packing trip and would not be able to use up the precious Vegan Egg! Shortly after I begun experimenting with this new product (bacon and eggs with coconut bacon was a good one!) my Mom had decided to make her Swiss cheese and mushroom quiche which prior to committing to being Vegan I used to love! I mean whats not to like.... its a savory pie....that I can eat for dinner, need I say more? Well unfortunately I simply cannot stand behind the egg and dairy industry anymore so a friendly version needed to be discovered. I took the opportunity for a quiche-off, me vs. Mom.
I don’t usually like to go up against my Mom in anything culinary because she takes me to school every time, I just can’t compete against her years of experience in the kitchen I suppose. Even though my confidence was lacking in myself and in a new product still in it’s early stages of discovery I am proud to say not only was this successful, it was better than the original! (sorry, Mom!) Who would have thought you could turn a derivative of algae into a quiche?
The composition of this quiche is basically identical to it’s traditional egg based counterpart; flakey buttery crust, creamy but also fluffy custard, savory mushrooms, slightly sweet onion, cheesy well, cheese, all vegan, all delicious and all friendly to the animals, environment and our bodies! It’s a win, win. So I used the same recipe as Mom, swapping the egg for Vegan Egg and the cheese for a vegan brand of cheddar. Are you starting to see why I’m stoked yet? This has been made so easy!
I hope you get your hands on some Vegan Egg and experiment away even if you aren’t vegan or vegetarian, maybe you’ll just be curious/ open minded and expand your culinary possibilities.
Here’s the recipe! :
Mushroom-cheese Quiche w/ Herb Crust (Vegan!)
Pre-prep: Heat oven to 375
For the Crust:
1 stick of earth balance vegan butter, very cold (I put mine in the freezer for 20 min before assembling) and chopped into small cubes- I have also used the “spread” and frozen it and then chopped it into cubes, worked beautifully!
1 1/8 cups of organic all purpose flour
1/4 cup chilled water
1 tsp. dried thyme (feel free to use fresh if you have it!)
1 tsp. dried rosemary
1 tsp. salt
Additional flour for kneading/rolling.
For the Custard:
3 servings of Follow Your Heart Vegan Egg, 6 tbsp. powder & 1 1/2 c. water, blended well.
1 c. Vegan Cheese (I used shredded “cheddar”)
1 medium yellow onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1/4 lb. mushrooms, sliced
2 tbsp. vegan butter
1 tsp. thyme
Salt & Pepper to taste
OPTIONAL (but highly recommended): White truffle oil to garnish with!
In a food processor add flour, salt and herbs; pulse a few times to blend then gradually add in butter cubes while pulsing until butter looks like small peas incorporated into flour, does not need to be smooth by any means at this point. Begin gradually adding in water and extract while pulsing, again the mixture doesn’t need to be smooth yet. Turn the dough out onto a floured surface and gently knead the dough together with your hands a few times until you have one cohesive ball of dough, does not need to be perfect and you do not want to over work the dough. With a rolling pin roll the dough out into about 1/4 inch thick round, then gently place the dough over your pie tin or glass pie dish (I always prefer glass), press the dough into pie dish gently so that no air bubbles can get under dough.
Now begin working on crimping the edges, I use my fingers and press the dough into a traditional crimped edge but if you aren’t up for the task you can simple press the edge with the prongs of a fork, boom, done. Place a lightly moistened towel or paper towel over the crust while you prepare your custard.
In a medium sauté pan heat your vegan butter over medium-high, then add your onion and garlic and sauté until translucent then add mushrooms and salt. Sauté until water from mushrooms has cooked off and mushrooms start to brown, turn off heat and set aside.
Blend your Vegan egg in blender until smooth (this will make your custard super fluffy! and add thyme and a bit of salt and pepper to taste. In a medium bowl combine egg mixture with mushroom mix and cheese; don’t over-mix this simply fold everything together and call it done. If you have extra vegan cheese sprinkle some on the bottom of your pie crust, the cheesier the better right? Add your egg-shroom mix to the pie shell and sprinkle a little cheese on top. Bake at 375 for 45 min. and then allow for quiche to cool and set before slicing, about 10 min. Serve warm with a drizzle of white truffle oil and a yummy fresh salad, and wine…of course.
There you have it, Quiche made vegan! Huge thanks to Follow Your Heart for being awesome as always.