A Tale of Two Quiches

It was the best of quiches, it was the…well, I guess, okay, of quiches?

Side-by-side Quiche Action

Here’s the gimmick: one quiche is almost entirely from scratch, the other is almost entirely from pre-packaged ingredients. In the battle of the century, which will win?! Sundaysundaysunday! Be there!

(Genius battle plan devised by Amy)

Obviously, we were pulling for from-scratch, as we try to keep our consumption of packaged/processed foods to a minimum.

Side-by-side Ingredients

Pre-packaged ingredients on the left; fresh, local, organic ingredients on the right

We unveiled these bastages at yet another brunch (this summer’s been lousy with the things)–to mostly omnivores, served alongside a “real” quiche. About half of each was eaten, which isn’t half bad given the competition, but isn’t as good as being inhaled within minutes.

The consensus, ultimately, was that the more homemade-y variety was superior, though the soysage in the faux-ass quiche was much better then the tempeh crumbles that I invented (poorly) for this recipe. Additionally, even though I took precautions against it (by using 1 block of non-silken tofu), neither quiche ended up as springy as a “real” quiche. Amy likes to think of these as “breakfast pies”. To me, that sounds a lot like “breakfast failures”.

So color this a “work-in-progress“. Consider some improvements below!

L’ Quiche au Naturale

L' Quiche au Naturale

Filling

  • 1 lb extra firm tofu
  • 1 pkg extra firm silken tofu*
  • 1.5 – 2 cups chopped kale or spinach**
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced
  • 1/3 large green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tbsp white miso
  • 1/4 cup nu yeast
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 cup faux milk beverage (preferably, unsweetened)
  • 1.5 tsp arrow root powder
  • tempeh sausage crumbles
  • faux-made cheez

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

  • 1 pkg or a 5″ x 3″ x 1/2″ block tempeh***
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 1.5 tbsp soy sauce/tamari/shoyu
  • 1 tbsp liquid smoke(tm)
  • salt and pepper (lots of pepper), to taste

Faux-Made Cheez (nabbed [and modified slightly] from Scrumpdilly)

  • 2 cups water
  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 cup nutritional yeast flakes
  • 2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/2 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin

Crust (I know, this shit is getting ridiculous. That’s what being awesome means.)

  • 2.5 cups of all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup ice-cold water

* As far as I know, this only comes in packages. Fuck. Being good is so hard.
** Whatever is available locally. Kale seems easier to find in our neck of the woods.
*** Our local coop sells locally made tempeh in bulk. This is in Ypsilanti, MI. You can find this. If you can’t, use homemade seitan.

Directions

Crust

Sift 2.5 cups of unbleached all-purpose flour into a large mixing bowl. Cut in (with two battling butter knives) 1/2 cup butter or shortening (Earth Balance makes both). You want the mixture to form large crumbs. You may need up to an additional 1/2 cup of butter or shortening–but take it easy. You want crumbs, not giant shortening boogers. Once you’ve got this crumb-ified, add in 1/4 cup of ice water, a little at a time until all the crumbs are sticking together. You want this just wet enough. Knead the dough into a big ball then separate into two smaller balls. Put this in an airtight-ish reusable plastic bag or plastic wrap. Refrigerate at least four hours. Then roll and rock, in that order. Easy!

Tempeh Sausage Crumbles

Chop tempeh into crumbles. I’ve documented this ad nauseum in the biscuits and gravy post.  In a large pan, brown the tempeh over medium heat in soy sauce/tamari/shoyu and liquid smoke, tossing in remaining ingredients once the tempeh is coated. Cook until nice and brown. Fantastic. You are a champion.

Cheez

Follow Jennifer’s recipe, sans pimiento and jalapeno.

Filling

In a medium-sized pan, over medium heat, sautee the onion, garlic, and green pepper until soft. Combine the water and arrow root powder. In a food processor, or Vitamix(tm) if you won the lottery, blend all of the filling ingredients except the kale and sautee-fixins, along with the arrow-root-water. In a large bowl, combine the sautee-fixins, the kale, the tempeh sausage crumbles, and the filling. You may want to save a few tempeh crumblins to sprinkle on top of the quiche.

Finally

Pour the filling into the crust. Drizzle faux-made cheez (and crumblins if you saved any) on top of the filling. Bake for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees. Tada!

L’ Quiche au Faux

L' Quiche au Faux

  • 1 lb extra firm tofu (packaged and sealed [oooh! Go with Whitewave(tm), they’re total bastards!])
  • 1 pkg extra firm silken tofu(Mori-nu(tm))
  • 1.5 – 2 cups chopped store-bought, bagged or boxed spinach (go with the box, that’s really offensive–fuck you nature!)
  • 1/2 large white onion, diced (I think some places you can buy this pre-packaged)
  • 1/3 large green bell pepper, diced (you’re gonna have to do this yourself…maybe you can put some cans in the garbage to offset the positive effect?)
  • 2 tsp salt (is it still possible to get pre-Gandhi British tax-oppression salt? If so, use that.)
  • 1/2 soysage log (Litelife(tm))
  • 1/2 block of cheddar or nacho cheese (Follow Your Heart(tm))
  • 1/2 block of mozzarella cheese (Follow Your Heart(tm))
  • 1/4 cup faux milk beverage (preferably, Silk(tm), oh, where to start…)
  • 1.5 tsp arrow root powder (sorry, arrow root powder is totally awesome!)

Directions:

In a medium-sized pan, over medium heat, sautee the onion, garlic, and green pepper until soft. In a different medium-sized pan, over medium heat, sautee the processed soysage. Use a spatula to mash it into largish bits.

Combine the water and arrow root powder. In a food processor, blend all of the filling ingredients except the spinach, soysage, and enough faux cheese to sprinkle on top, along with the arrow-root-water. In a large bowl, combine the soysage, spinach, and the filling. You may want to save some soysage crumblins to sprinkle on top of the quiche.

Pop the filling into your convenient store-bought crust, sprinkle on some processed soy cheese and soysage, and bake that badboy for about 45 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit or 463.555 degrees Kelvin.

A Tale of Two Pieces (of Quiches)

Au Naturale on the left, Au Faux on the right

Possible Improvements to Au Naturale

  • Use seitan instead of tempeh; this will improve the taste and will work better as larger chunks
  • Use VeganYumYum’s cheese from the Mac & Cheez instead of Scrumpdilly’s nacho sauce (which is great, but not really suited to this)
  • add broccoli (duh! what was I thinking?)
  • tone down the salt (I know, I know, hard to believe I could ever say such a thing)
  • add in something “bready”–bread crumbs, bread makings, anything to make this a little lighter–more like a bake and less like a pie

With no end to brunches in sight, I’m sure I’ll come back to this at some point. In the meantime, I’d welcome any comments/suggestions/anti-quiche hatemail.

And for the record, the Nip is all about the natural:

The Nip Chooses Natural

4 comments ↓

#1 lauren on 08.27.09 at 3:46 pm

well…if both had their merits, then marry them!

#2 Valerie on 08.27.09 at 9:07 pm

I tried them both & agree that the L’ Quiche au Naturale was the clear winner; although they were both good! The flavor was spot on in the from scratch one!

#3 Valerie on 08.27.09 at 9:12 pm

Also it seems as though Juni agrees too, from your photo here, & has also selected the from scratch one.

#4 Breakfast Day!–> Buttermilk Pancakes and Rainbow Chard Tofu Quiche — Irreverent Vegan on 03.14.10 at 9:37 pm

[…] day, I decided a yummy quiche should be our dinner and busted out the VegNews.  Now you recall the great quiche-off of 2009.  I was never hot on either of those quiches.  I think it’s because we tried to get all […]

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