Divine Foods Living

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Archive for the category “Baking”

Fresh Lemon Vegetable Quiche (Eggless Quiche) Vegan Quiche

eggless quicheWelcome 2013!!! I remember how I was getting excited for 2012 as it would be the growing year for my son. These are the happenings that every parent dreams their baby sitting up, walking, their 1st words… A lot had happened this year, I feel blessed to have new wonderful additions in the family, the new entrants are Neel and Neh and Vid’s little cousin. I’m just as excited for 2013 as I was for this past year. I really am looking forward to a new year, new milestones, and new beginnings 🙂

Quiche (pronounced as keesh) is a classic French dish, has a savory crust and filling made from vegetables and cheese. I learnt the method of making Quiche from a friend Cheryl, our next-door neighbor friend, when we were in Singapore. She was a consultant in a local yoga retreat center. I still remember the time and good talks we had together. In her words, “Practice of feeding other is like practicing yoga outside ourselves. When we serve, we share a generous spirit and a sense of well being as a nourishment, which elevates the mind and feed the body and spirit.”

She used to tell me a lot about French cultures and cuisines. Being a vegetarian, I thought of a creative idea to recreate the Quiche with eggless version while still maintaining the great flavors. With variations on stuffing, I included healthy fats, vegetables, herbs and lemon. At first it looks complicated to make but with a little bit of preparation and planning, its quite convenient to make and pretty adaptable too.

eggless quiche

With all the good fats like olive oil, cottage cheese and cashew cream, which is known for its heart-healthy fats, rich in protein, iron, magnesium; whole grain flour and healthy vegetables and herbs make it a wholesome brunch or a great meal suitable for kids as well. Vitamin C from lemon enhance the absorption of minerals.

The citrus scented filling and crust makes the dish sing with flavor. The mellow flavor of cashews and the sauteed vegs. in the filling imparts its own characters. Feel free to add your favorite veggies or herbs to this recipe.

The crust comes together in mins. and maintains its crispiness even if the filling is on the wet side and I am sure this would work for savory or sweet crusts for tarts and pies as well with no herbs and replacing salt with 2 tbsp sugar and probably olive oil with butter.

eggless quiche

Recipe :- For one 8in. or 9in. tart/pie pan or three 6in. individual tart/pie pans. For Vegan version, substitute cottage cheese with Tofu or just skip cottage cheese and double the quantity of cashew, it tastes equally good.
Ingredients:-

For Crust :-
Whole wheat flour – 2 cups, 250 gm
Baking powder – 1/2 tsp
Salt – 1 tsp
Olive oil – 1/4 cup, 60ml
Water, cold – 1/2 cup, 120ml
Lemon juice – 1 tbsp
Dried Herbs (I used Oregano)  – 1 tsp

For Stuffing :-
Vegetables of your choice like cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, peas, spinach, potatoes, capsicum, etc., chopped(I used mix of carrots, kohlrabi, peas and capsicum) – 1.5 cups, 250gm
Olive oil – 1 tbsp
Tomatoes, chopped – 1 med.
Garlic, chopped – 5-6 cloves
Green chilli, chopped – 1 no. (optional)
Red chilli flakes – 1 tsp
Dried herbs (I used basil) – 1/2 tsp
Black pepper powder, freshly crushed – To taste
Salt – To taste

For Topping :-
Cashew – 1/2 cup, 100gm, soak for 4 hrs. and drain water
Cottage cheese(paneer) – 100gm, yield from 1/2 ltr. milk*
Corn flour – 2 tsp
Lime zest – 1 tsp
Orange zest – 1.5 tsp
Salt – 1/2 tsp

Method:-

Making Crust :-

1. Mix flour, baking powder, salt, oregano, lemon juice and oil together till the mixture is crumbly. You can use food processor to make dough, it works wonderfully. Now add cold water little at a time till the mixture just comes together and forms a ball. (In place of cold water I used nutritious cold whey which I collected after curdling 1/2 ltr. milk to make cottage cheese* see notes how to make fresh cottage cheese from milk).

2. Next, measure the base and up the sides of your quiche pan. If your pan is 7″ across the bottom and 1 ½” up each side, that’s a total of 10? This means you should roll your crust to about 11″ or 12″ size, which gives you enough extra for crimping the edges. Line the Quiche pan with the rolled disc, remove the excess dough using a rolling pin easily, crimp the edges if you like and refrigerate for 1/2 hr. or till you prepare the stuffing.

Preparing Stuffing:-

1. Heat olive oil in a pan, add garlic, sauté for a few secs. Add green chillies, kohlrabi, carrots and peas, cook till just tender, 5-6 mins. Now, mix in capsicum, tomatoes, basil and black pepper powder, cook on low for 3-4 mins., mix salt and switch off the flame after 1 min.

2. Preheat oven to 200C/375F. Grind cashews in 3 tbsp of water(or whey) till smooth. Add cottage cheese, corn flour, lemon zest, orange zest, salt and grind again adding 4 tbsp of water(or whey) until completely smooth.

3. Next, take out the quiche crust and prick crust using fork to ensure crispiness of the crust. Blind bake the crust(baking crust with no prepared stuffing) at 200C/375F  for 10 mins. or until just firm and set.

4. Gently mix both the cheese and vegetable mixtures and fill the quiche pan 1/2 cm below the quiche rim. Garnish with capsicum and tomato slices and sprinkle some red chilli flakes on top for color.

5. Bake at 200C/375F for 35-45 mins., until the crust edge is brown and the filling is set. Let the quiche cool for 10 mins. before slicing.

Notes:-

1. Cashews are among a small number of foods that contain measurable amounts of oxalate which hinders the absorption of nutrients. Soaking for at least 4 hrs. reduces its oxalate content.

2. You can replace 1/2 cup of the whole wheat flour with oats(roasted and powdered) or barley flour or use combinations of multigrain flours. Temperature and time for bake vary accordingly.

3. *To make fresh cottage cheese (paneer) – Boil 1/2 ltr. milk in a pan, add either curd or vinegar or lime juice to curdle the milk. You may need 2 tsp or more to curdle depending on the quality of the milk.  Once the milk coagulates/curdles completely, turn off the heat, strain the milk using a muslin or a fine strainer and collect the fresh cheese. Don’t discard the left over water, it’s whey and is pure gold, use it in rice, veggies or soup or kneading Chapathi dough. Or like I used in making quiche crust and grinding cheese-cashew mixture.

Linking this to  Pallavi’s Blogoversary Event:
Hearth & Soul Hop 
‘Healthy Food’, ‘Healthy Vegan Fridays’
Breakfast Club

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Cherry and White Chocolate Cookies… A Very Cherry Christmas!!!

Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

While cleaning the refrigerator this weekend, a couple of cherries fell down from the box. I took it as a sign that I have to do something out of it. And so I baked cookies. Thinking about their partners – cherries with what? White chocolate. And nuts? Pistachios.

It’s the festive season with new year looming. Though we do not celebrate Christmas but I like the spirit of baking this season.

The cookies turned out great and they fall into the ‘can’t eat just one’ category. Quick and simple yet elegant, they’re nutty and crunchy and sweet. These colorful and gorgeous cookies incorporate the wonderful flavors of dried fruits and nuts.

I love dried fruits and nuts in baking. They are extremely nutritious with flavors concentrated and so versatile in baking, desserts, sweets and what not. Every other cookie or sweets or desserts recipe has them in some form or the other.

Cherry White Chocolate Cookies

With a little bit of decoration, like frosting or icing or simply dipping them in a melted white chocolate and adorned with sprinkles, you can have a nice boost of chocolaty sweetness on top. You can even roll them into sheet and cut them into various shapes and sizes using your favorite cookie cutter before baking.

I like to keep a stash of homemade cookies and biscuits and other baked goodies in home and hardly buy any. And of-course I ‘healthify‘ them by using wholegrain flour, oats, flax seeds, maple syrup in place of sugars and adding nutritious dried fruits and nuts. I like to make a small batch at a time and vary the flavors and combinations every time.

For a Divine Cookie :

1. Use good quality butter and whip it up nicely with sugar. This helps incorporating air for a light cookie and helps dissolve sugar, avoiding dryness and graininess in cookie.

2. Always use salted butter when making cookies. Unsalted butter leaves the cookies tasting bland. The salt improves the flavors of the butter in the cookies.

3. People generally melt the butter in a microwave while baking. This doesn’t give the good results with texture and taste of the butter-sugar mixture. Butter gives cookies the consistency, flavor, texture and body. So use butter only at room temperature.

4. Using rice flour in making cookies gives them a nice crunchy texture. Rice flour is gluten-free, and this results in a crumbly cookie. For more delicate taste, use cornstarch (corn flour) or custard powder.

5. Make sure vanilla extract you have is labeled “pure”.

Ingredients:-  Make 26 cookies

All purpose flour – 1 1/2 cup
Rice flour – 1/3 cup
Custard powder(vanilla or pineapple) – 3 tbsp
Icing sugar – 1/2 cup
Butter – 180 gm
Vanilla extract – 1/2 tsp
Dried cherries, chopped – 1/2 cup, 100 gm
Pistachios(soaked, peeled and chopped) – 1/3 cup, 70 gm
White chocolate chips – 1/2 cup, 120 gm

Method:-

1. Toast pistachios lightly and set aside.
2. Sift all purpose flour, rice flour and corn flour together.  Sift it 3-4 times. The flours need to be well mixed and the flour aerated.
3. Whip up the butter and sugar with hand mixer at low speed till light and fluffy, for 3 mins. Add vanilla and whip again.
4. Add sifted flour, 1/2 cup at a time. Keep on mixing the flour till the mixture just starts to come together. Don’t over-mix. Its okay if the dough looks crumbly. If the mixture is too dry to hold, add 1 tsp water at a time until it holds together.
5. Add cherries, pistachios and white chocolate and mix. Roll into a log about 1.5 inch. in diameter(wider or thinner as you wish). Wrap with foil or wax paper. Refrigerate for at least 1 hr. This firms up the dough to retain its shape.
6. Put baking rack in the center of the oven and preheat to 180C/350F. Slice the log into 1/4 in. slices. Arrange them on the baking sheet, placing them 1 in. apart.
7. Bake for 13-15 mins. or till the cookies just start turning brown.
8. Remove from the oven, allow cookies to cool on a wire rack.

Tips:-

1. Different ovens work differently and may have different heat settings. So baking time and even temperature may vary. You can always check to see if the cookies are done.
2. Cookie dough is versatile. In place of dried fruits and nuts, you can add chocolate chips to make chocolate chip cookies, or adding some cinnamon and nutmeg will give you a cinnamon flavored cookies. All it takes to have a nice citrous flavored cookies is to add some finely chopped orange or lemon zest.
3. Vary sugar according to your preference. I like it mild sweeter. Also you may change the amount of butter required for the right consistency.
4. Cut the log with sharp knife. If the crumbs fall apart, shape them with hands. I used electric knife to slice them neatly without the crumbs falling apart.

As we all loved these cookies, I am sending some over to dear Kavi as an addition to her Foodomania’s Christmas Cook-Off.

To the Bake Fest.

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