Saturday, 5 June 2010

Vegan quiche (gluten and soy free)

My gluten free woes are over, readers. I'm starting to get into it, and my tummy is settling down.
I've had two hiccups. I had two digestive biscuits (graham crackers) one evening during the week, and then last night, I walked home from work, realised on the doorstep I had no keys, so walked to meet HB coming home from work. By the time we were 5 minutes from home, I'd been walking non stop for two hours, it was a really hot afternoon, and I'd had a small lunch. I was tired and ready to eat my arm, but I didn't fancy cooking. I didn't want chips because I hate too much greasiness. Instead we stopped at the Asian fusion takeaway and got udon noodles and veggies. I could have had rice and veggies but I wanted the noodles and I was hungry and I didn't care. It wasn't mindblowingly good, but it tasted better than an hour's cooking. Anyways, I slept badly and had tummy cramps and a similar boweliness that I had in France. HB had a bit of a meh stomach too. It may have been the gluten for me, it may just be that we rarely eat takeout food and our tummies can't handle it. But probably both.
My intention had been to get home early so I could get something nice ready for dinner in time for monstrous hunger to kick in. So the plan failed. But I made up for it today.
We spent the morning at the allotment, and the only stuff ready to eat is lots of herbs. I picked mint, chives, oregano, thyme and fennel.
I got home and sat around reading until the hunger monster began to poke at my belly. I was going to do socca with some salad and a herb sauce, but decided to make one of my vegan omelettes with all those lovely herbs. Why not make it a proper cooking challenge, and a more elegant lunch- vegan, gluten free quiche?

Summer herb and roast vegetable vegan, gluten free quiche

Roast vegetables
2 large zucchini
2 large red peppers
Fresh oregano and thyme (the leaves from about 4 stalks each)
Sea salt
Olive oil
Chop the vegetables, sprinkle over the salt, pepper and herb, pour over olive oil to lightly coat, and roast for 20 minutes, while you make the pastry.

Gluten free pastry
300g buckwheat flour
80g brown rice flour
2 tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp sea salt
100g vegan margarine/shortening (I used Pure sunflower, if you want to make it soy-free and can't find soy free vegan margarine, use about 1/2 cup of light olive oil)
enough cold water to form a pastry

Mix the dry ingredients, then add in the margarine or oil and rub in until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Then add water, a tablespoon at a time, until you can form it into a ball without in falling apart easily. Roll out and line your tart tin. I used a large metal-handled skillet because I don't have a tart tin/plate. Lift out the roast vegetables and put in the pastry. Bake at 200C/390F for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and leave the oven on.

2 small onions, chopped
1 cup (not packed) of chopped herbs (chives, mint, fennel or dill, basil, oregano, thyme, parsley, whatever you have)
1 cup of chopped rocket
1 cup gram flour
2.5 cups water (or non dairy milk or your choice for extra caloric density, it won't add much to the flavour of the dish)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 tsp salt
Fry the onions over a gentle heat. Leave to one side. Mix the gram flour, nutritional yeast and water until smooth, it will be watery. Stir in the rocket, herbs, salt and pepper.

Lift the pastry out of the oven, pour the onions and roast vegetables into the pastry case. Pour over the gram flour herb mix and put straight back in the oven. 30-40 minutes at 180C/350F will set it nicely. Enjoy hot, warm or cold!

I was shocked at how perfectly this mimicked quiche. The nooch adds a credible cheesiness, the gram flour sets like beaten eggs as well as having the same colour. The pastry was nicer than wheat pastry- buckwheat is without a doubt my favourite flour, I just adore that nutty flavour. I think the same pastry, with a little sweetener, would make a great apple pie. It holds its shape very well.
We had it with the first iced tea of the summer: raspberry peppermint iced tea:

Make a litre (4 cups) of peppermint tea, cool it down, add a little sweetener if you want (I added 2 tbsp of maple syrup) and serve over ice cubes, lime slices (which I didn't have, boo) and frozen raspberries.


  1. What's rocket?

    Btw are digestives and graham crackers the same thing? I think digestives are way tastier and totally worth the occasional bellyache!!!

    You made my day with this post. You even made the crust! You need your own Food Channel show.

  2. Rocket is arugula, peppery salad leaf. I've never tasted graham crackers, never mind seen them- I've just always heard they were the nearest things to our digestive biscuits. I went through a phase of making spelt digestives, they're even nicer than bought ones! I think we both like our wholewheaty tasting things. The two I ate didn't seem to affect me, the quantity of wheat is bearable for my tum, unlike a plate of noodles or a hunk of bread.
    You should totally make this quiche for a treat, it's really simple and not very time consuming, and you can save time by making the pastry ahead and freezing, then all you have to do is mix up the batter, you could use other veggies rather than roasted, like lots of rocket, spinach and peas. I'm going to do a couple of variations on it for parties over the summer:)

  3. This looks so lovely! I love the little floral flourish you added ;-)

  4. Thanks Sax! They're chive flowers, you can eat them:)