This Is The Ultimate Way To Prepare Onions

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Read this post to revolutionise the way you cook dinner. This will save you some serious time. Here's how one woman made short work of onions. It all started with that ubiquitous and time-consuming recipe directive: First, caramelise an onion... By 'one woman', I do, of course, mean me. And by 'caramelise an onion' I mean that thing I seem to have to do at the beginning of every home-cooked main meal or soup. Is there any savoury dish that doesn't benefit from the initial frying of an onion? Unfortunately, peeling, chopping and carefully browning an onion takes time. It can add at least 15 minutes to the start of any cooking process. That could sometimes be enough to put me off cooking from scratch, especially if I was in a rush. Until now.

Vegan Quiche That Everyone Will Love

vegan quiche Quiche, how I missed you!

Embarking on a whole-food plant-based diet can mean going without foods you love and having to invent meals to replace those once-staple favourites.

Quiche: delicious served hot or cold, great the next day, perfect for picnics, versatile enough to be flavoured differently every time...

What's a vegan to do?

You know I hate replacement pseudo-foods, fake cheese, pretend bacon and ingredients processed beyond recognition, don't you? That's what the 'whole-food plant-based' thing is all about. I wanted to make quiche that was tasty and satisfying, without any complicated, expensive ingredients: just the simplest whole foods.

And I wanted to serve it to meat-eaters. Jus' sayin'.

vegan quiche

First, the pastry.

No psuedo-butter or vegan what-the-heck-is-that 'spread' here. The pastry had to be made from wholewheat flour and vegetable oil. I tried various recipes and eventually found a really simple shortcrust pastry recipe that is quick to make and doesn't need to be baked blind.

It's just this:

Vegan Shortcrust Pastry

For one pie (though I always make at least two: leftovers today means less work tomorrow!)
  • 200g wholewheat flour
  • 6 tbsp oil (I used sunflower)
  • salt to taste
  • 1/4 cup of cold water (approx.)
Just mix the flour, oil and salt (none of the pesky rubbing-in you have to do with butter) and add the water gradually until you have a workable dough.

You can roll this dough out straight away: no need to let it rest, although resting won't do any harm. Use it to line your flan tin and get to work on the filling.


vegan quiche

The filling works in two parts; the creamy part and the 'extras'. Extras are up to you.

Example 'Extras' for the Pie Filling

You might like to fry an onion, or finely chop some spring onions, to sprinkle into the empty flan case along with other vegetables - perhaps some leftovers, perhaps lightly fried to give them flavour.  Adding a swirl of chutney in the centre of the flan case adds a tasty twist to the dish. You could also add some cooked lentils or beans, seasoned with curry or chilli if you enjoy a spicier dish. The possibilities are endless. Here is where we say goodbye to floppy bacon and watery slices of tomato (some conventional quiche is really disappointing!). Hello tasty vegetables and colourful flavours: let your imagination run wild!

Once you have your 'extras' in place, it's time to add the creamy part of the filling. Incidentally, you can stir the extras into the cream first, if you prefer, but my way is speedy and works fine.

The Creamy Pie Filling

I feel like I'm divulging a secret. It's so secret that I didn't tell my sister until after she'd eaten her first slice of vegan quiche and asked for another. She blinked at me in surprise when I reminded her that I don't cook with eggs. It simply hadn't occurred to her that this quiche was 'different'.

So, what's the secret?

How do you make a tasty, creamy quiche filling to please even the most dedicated 'omnivore'?

The answer is tofu.

To make enough filling for one quiche, get a large bowl and combine:
  • One pack of tofu (such as this silken tofu, which you can buy in bulk online or can be found in supermarkets)
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • A few tbsp of nutritional yeast (adjust to taste)
  • Seasoning such as salt and pepper, herbs, spices: this is your excellent adventure, go crazy!
Whisk. Just with a hand whisk is fine. Blend it all together to a smoothish paste. If you want to go electric and use a faster whisk or even a food processor for extra smoothness, go ahead, but in the pursuit of great food with minimal effort, a quick mash up with a hand whisk is perfectly adequate.

Spread the creamy filling on top of the 'extras' and bake the quiche at about 200oC until the top is nicely golden.

Voila. This quiche is Daily Dozen packed! You've got vegetables, pulses (the tofu and possibly some lentils or beans, if you added them), wholegrain and the opportunity to boost the list further if you want to stir in some ground flaxseed, turmeric, ground nuts... The possibilities are endless. AND this quiche will pass muster with your non-vegan friends.

You're welcome ;o)

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