Real Vegans Eat Quiche

I’ll be the first to admit, it sounds like the punchline to a joke: Soy-free, vegan quiche.  Far from what the crunchy-granola name would lead one to believe, this simple brunch staple has a lot going for it in the flavor department.

Ever since that fateful day when Melisser burst into my kitchen and whipped up the most amazing tofu-based quiche I had ever apologetically stuffed into my mouth, I’ve been a tad preoccupied with the idea of these dainty little pies. A savory, satisfying, and highly adaptable filling all neatly contained in a tender, flaky crust- What’s not to like? Well, for some, I understand that the inevitably soy-filled vegan versions can be a turn off, since nearly everyone seems to be concerned about that controversial little bean these days. Thus, I felt we have been long overdue for a revised alternative. This was a job for… Chickpeas!

I have yet to meet anyone who could claim to dislike chickpeas, and considering that they make up the bulk of some of my favorite foods like hummus and falafel, they seemed to hold great potential within their modest tan skins. Perhaps the best thing about this recipe, however, is that it’s infinitely changeable, depending on availability of produce, or your mood. Just switch out any veggies that don’t appeal, or spice it up if you so desire. Basically anything goes here!

Chickpea-Veggie Quiche

Whole Wheat Crust:

3/4 Cup White Whole Wheat Flour
1/3 Cup Barley Flour
1/4 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Cup Olive Oil
1/4 Cup Cold water

Quiche Filling:

1 Medium Zucchini, Chopped into Half-Rounds
1/2 Medium Red Bell Pepper, Chopped into Short, Thin Strips
1/2 Cup Peas, Fresh or Frozen and Thawed
3 Scallions, Thinly Sliced
2 – 3 Cloves Garlic, Minced
1/2 Cup Garbanzo Bean Flour
1 Tablespoon Potato Starch
2 Teaspoons Nutritional Yeast
1/2 Teaspoon Salt
1/4 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
Pinch Dried Sage, Powdered
1/8 Teaspoon Paprika
1/8 Teaspoon Baking Powder
1 Cup Vegetable Stock or Water
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees, and lightly grease a 9-inch round fluted tart pan with removable bottom.

The easiest way to make the crust is in a food processor, but if you don’t have one, you can also make it by hand. Just combine both flours and salt in a large bowl, and add in the oil. Mix well, and then drizzle in water until it comes together in a cohesive dough. Otherwise, you can simply toss everything in the food processor, and drizzle in water until it comes together in a cohesive dough. One method saves you time and the other saves you dirty dishes to wash later, so pick your poison.

Move the dough into your prepared tart pan, and use your fingertips to press it evenly into the bottom and up the sides. If it seems sticky, lightly moisten your hands to make it easier to handle. Bake for about 10 – 15 minutes, just to help it set up a bit and very, very lightly brown. Let cool.

For the filling, toss your chopped veggies, scallions, and minced garlic together to achieve and even distribution of everything, and then transfer it into your par-baked crust. You want to just about fill the pan with veggies, like so:

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 and oil, and whisk until smooth. It should be about the consistency of pancake batter. Pour this batter on top of your veggies situated in the quiche pan, making sure to fill all of the gaps. Lightly tap the pan on the counter a few times to release any air bubbles.

Bake for 45 – 55 minutes, until the filling appears set and every so lightly golden brown on top. Let cool for at least 15 minutes before slicing. (The leftovers also taste great cold, in my opinion!)

Serves 8 – 10

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