BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked


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Thankful for Leftovers

Hyper-abundance is the name of the game for this all-American holiday we have rounding the corner, just one week away now. If you don’t have guests stuffed to bursting and still mountains of uneaten food after the whole ordeal, you’ve simply failed as a Thanksgiving day host. Or so the unspoken wisdom goes, compelling well-meaning mothers and wives to believe that 3+ pounds of food per person is a safe bet for menu planning purposes. It’s simply part of tradition, and honestly, though I may sound appalled by the extreme measures, it’s the waste that bothers me, not the extra edibles themselves. Thanksgiving leftovers are quite possibly the best thing about the 4th Thursday in November, having aged to perfection like a fine wine.

Not to mention, fewer pesky relatives to detract from the food, and more freedom to use it in “unconventional” ways. For all the complaints of how boring and static the menu is, should the cook dare change it up and try to foist a festive Thanksgiving quiche onto unsuspecting guests, the backlash may be felt the entire holiday season, if not the whole proceeding year.

The day after, or perhaps the day after that if you’re the type with family that likes to stick around, once the dust has settled, it’s time to use or lose those valuable leftovers. Easier is better after slaving over the original meal in the first place, so an all-inclusive meal like quiche sounded too appealing for me to resist. The beauty of this is that absolutely anything can be tucked away into that “eggy” chickpea mixture, so no matter what you still have on hand, it can find a welcoming home here. …Just don’t try to hide any marshmallow-topped potato abomination within the depths of an honest savory quiche; it’s a gross misuse of vegan marshmallows from the start, and just plain wrong. Not that I have strong opinions about such things. (Does anyone still make those disturbing casseroles anymore? Please tell me they’ve gone the way of aspic and other unfavorable culinary atrocities.)

…As I was saying, don’t be afraid to mix it up and use any veg or protein you have leftover after the big feast. I suppose I may have been a bit over zealous in my attempts to use all of my extra <a href=”http://bittersweetblog.wordpress.com/2010/11/07/hungry-for-the-holidays/”>holiday savories</a>, ending up with more filling than could reasonably fit inside a humble pie shell, but not to worry; This dilemma is easily remedied by baking the excess filling in lightly greased little ramekins, as individual, crustless portions.

So while most of America is thinking about what to serve and how to get it on the table one week from today, I’m focused squarely on the aftermath, knowing that even better delights are still in store.

Thanksgiving Quiche

1 9-Inch Pie Crust

1 Cup Diced Vegan “Turkey,” Seitan, or Tempeh, Diced or Shredded
1/2 Cup Green Beans or Brussels Sprouts, Chopped into Bite-Sized Pieces
1 Cup Roasted Butternut Squash, Pumpkin, or Potatoes, Cubed
1/2 Cup Roughly Chopped Cremini or Button Mushrooms
1 Stalk Celery, Finely Diced
1/2 Small Leek, Cleaned, Greens Removed, and Thinly Sliced
3 – 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced

1 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
2 Tablespoon Potato Starch or Cornstarch
4 Teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Sage, Powdered
1/4 Teaspoon Paprika
1/4 Teaspoon Ground Cumin
1/4 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Vegetable Stock or Water
3/4 Cup Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
1/2 Cup Pumpkin Puree
2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
2 Teaspoons Dijon Mustard
1/4 Cup Raw Pepitas (Optional)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees and have your pie crust at the ready.

First prepare your protein and veggies as indicated in the ingredient list, straight through to the garlic, and mix them all together in a large bowl. Set aside.

In a separate bowl, whisk together the chickpea/garbanzo flour, potato starch, nooch, salt, herbs, spices, and baking powder. Pour in the vegetable stock or water, non-dairy milk, pumpkin puree, oil, soy sauce, and mustard, and whisk until smooth. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter. Pour this batter into your bowl of prepared veggies, and stir gently to combine but not smash any of the ingredients. Transfer the whole mixture into your waiting pie crust, and if there’s extra, pour it into lightly greased 4-ounce ramekins. Lightly tap the pan(s) on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles. Place quiche and ramekins if using on a baking sheet to make them easier to transport into and out of the oven. Sprinkle the top(s) with pepitas, if desired.

Bake the quiche for 45 – 55 minutes, until the filling appears set and it’s lightly golden brown on top. Keep a close eye on the little ramekins, and expect them to be done closer to 30 minutes or so in; be prepared to pull them so that they don’t over-bake. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. (The leftovers also taste great cold, in my opinion!)

Serve with cranberry sauce or gravy, if desired.

Serves 12 – 14

Printable Recipe

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