Welcome 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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.