Recipe Revisited: Broccoli Quiche

Broccoli Quiche

I have a hard time coming up with lunch ideas, because 1) I don’t want to spend most of our weekly food budget on lunch, 2) but I still want it to be healthy, and 3) I want the prep to be quick and easy. Sometimes I come across a lunch idea that fits all three criteria and this quiche is one of them.

The last time I made this recipe, I blogged about it on here. And then I somehow forgot about it, which is a bad habit of mine. Anyway, the first time I made it, I made the crust from scratch, which is kind of a pain when you have a kitchen with hardly no counter space. So, this time around, I picked up a pre-made pie crust, which was a bit more expensive, but worth it, in my opinion.

All you have to do is cook the onion, garlic, spices and broccoli, blend your tofu and cashews, mix it all together, and bake. Let it chill overnight. And it tastes great served cold, so you don’t have to worry about using your workplace’s nasty microwave.

The recipe comes from “Vegan Brunch,” and you can find it here.

Sunday Brunch: Crockpot Hashbrown Casserole, Whole Wheat Biscuits and White Bean Gravy

Sunday Brunch

More often than not, I end up making pancakes on the weekend, not that there is anything wrong with that. But we were both craving something a bit more savory on Sunday. I’ve made this wonderful Weekend Tofu and Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole from “The Vegan Slow Cooker” before. (Though the book has tons of great recipes, it’s worth buying just for the casserole.) I’ve also made these Herbed Whole Wheat Drop Biscuits from “Vegan Brunch” before, too.

My usual go-to gravy is a simple white gravy, but it’s not exactly healthy. So as I was looking through “Vegan Brunch,” I decided to try out her Navy Bean Gravy, but I substituted cannellini beans for the navy beans. And, wow, I think this might be my new go-to gravy. The picture you see above was taken the day after I made the gravy, so it had thickened considerably, but right off the stovetop it was a wonderfully creamy brown gravy that worked really well with the herb biscuits. And while it still has white flour in it, the beans add more nutritional value than a typical white or brown gravy.

VeganMoFo 2012 and Pumpkin Bran Muffins

I woke up this morning to find that my work laptop has a virus. Not a good way to start the day/week. But knowing that I had these Pumpkin Bran Muffins from “Vegan Brunch” waiting for me this morning definitely made it much better. You can find the recipe here.

Also, today kicks off Vegan MoFo 2012! And I’m honored to be a part of this year’s blog roll. I promise to do my part to post lots and lots of vegan-related pictures, news and recipes for all of October.

Cinnamon Rolls

Yeah, it’s hot outside, but for some reason I wanted cinnamon rolls. I tried to make them a year or so ago, but failed miserably (I still blame the recipe!). But I was determined to try again. And this time, they turned out perfectly.

For these rolls, I used the recipe from “Vegan Brunch.” The recipe is pretty easy to throw together, but with any type of yeast bread, you’re going to need time to allow the dough to rise. Our stomachs were growling by the time these came out of the oven, but it was so, so worth it. The texture reminded me a bit of the Monkey Bread recipe I made around the holidays last year — kind of cake-like despite being a yeast bread.

I don’t have a lot of experience with yeast breads, so I’m not sure if you can make these the night before to bake in the morning. Still, it would worth getting up a little early to make these for yourself or for guests.

I hope you’re all staying cool!

From the Pantry Pot Pie

This is another dish from “The Vegan Slow Cooker,” and, I have to say, I was kind of disappointed. The vegetable part of the dish was awesome, but the biscuits didn’t really turn out that well. They were kind of doughy. I propped the lid of my crockpot as the recipe suggested and even let them cook a bit longer, but they just would not firm up. So, I ended up taking the biscuits off the top and making herbed whole wheat drop biscuits in the oven, which turned out really well. The biscuit recipe I got from “Vegan Brunch.” Their texture provided a nice crunch to go with the chicken seitan and veggies. I do plan on making this dish again, but I’ll just leave off the biscuits and make a batch separately.

Classic Broccoli Quiche


I just realized that my food has been taking on the shape of pie lately. Weird. Anyway, this delicious dish is one of the lunch items I have included in my latest meal plan, which is in “beta” right now. The recipe comes from “Vegan Brunch.” It’s one that I’ve been wanting to make for a while, but was inspired to do so after reading a post on Luminous Vegans’ site. I opted to make my own pie crust, but I wouldn’t blame you one bit for buying a store-bought crust. The final result is so, so good and really does taste very similar to its egg-based counterpart. I served mine with a kale and apple salad with a lemon and olive oil dressing.

Want to know a trick for tenderizing raw kale? Give it a massage. First remove the woody stem, then tear the leaves apart with your hands. Submerge the kale in water to give it a rinse. Finally, massage the kale by giving handfuls of it a squeeze. Dark spots will appear on the leaves, which means the fibrous veins are breaking down and the leaves are becoming more tender. Cool, huh?

Blackberry East Coast Coffee Cake

This is one of the breakfast items I have included in my latest meal plan. It comes from “Vegan Brunch,” and the recipe is featured on the site, which you can find here. I’ve actually made it before, but this time around, I added a cup of frozen blackberries (use these to replace the raspberry jam in the recipe on the site) that I had left over from the Sweet, Sour, and Spicy Blackberry Limeade recipe my husband made last week from “Vegan Soul Kitchen.” The coffee cake was so moist and delicious, and the blackberries added a nice little bite from their tartness. A cup of coffee and/or a glass of almond milk, and you’re set.

Meal Plan Experiment

For those of you who have been patient enough to follow this blog since its inception, you know my goal has been to create budget-friendly meal plans. As you all know, working full time has a way of interfering with the fun stuff, so it kind of got put on the back burner. I also have been kind of paralyzed with too many details of how, exactly, I wanted to present a meal plan to serve you all.

Well, I woke up this morning and decided to create one based on my recent grocery trip and to just put it out there, warts and all. It’s not perfect, but it’ll give me something to work with for future posts. And I really hope that you all will offer me feedback in terms of what works and what doesn’t. I fully anticipate that the format will change several times in the weeks and months ahead, but I want to get it right. Eventually, I’d love to have a printable and downloadable version so that you can easily bring it with you to the store. (Who knows, maybe one day I’ll have my own app!)

Please keep in mind that I am not a nutritionist; I am just a regular person who is trying to do her best to adhere to a vegan diet in a fairly healthy and budget-friendly way. And if I can help a few readers do the same, then I’ll be a very happy camper.

A few notes: You’ll notice that my meal plan is expected to cover 6 to 7 days. I make my meals with the expectation that we will have leftovers to eat off of for a few days. Also, my meal plans will always be for two people, so you’ll have to adjust according to your household. And, obviously, your total will be different from mine based on where you live, where you buy your food and what you have on hand, but I’m including it to give you a rough estimate. Finally, you’ll notice a list of items that I already have on hand. I cannot stress the importance of keeping your pantry stocked. This will save you money in the long run because I like to create lists based on items that I already have in the pantry/fridge.

So, without further ado, here is my very first meal plan:

Budget: $70
Money spent:
$79.29
Time:
6-7 days

Menu

Breakfast
bagels and cream cheese
cereal
Blackberry East Coast Coffee Cake (from “Vegan Brunch”)

Lunch
Classic Broccoli Quiche ( from “Vegan Brunch”) with kale salad
soup and crackers

Dinner
Tofu, mushroom, carrot and edamame stir-fry and gyoza
Italian sausages with sautéed onions and peppers over polenta
Split Pea and Lentil Soup (from “The Vegan Slow Cooker”) and cornbread

Snacks
popcorn
almonds
apples and peanut butter
yogurt and granola
carrots, cucumber and hummus

List
Silk vanilla soy yogurt (large container)
almond milk
Tofutti cream cheese
(2 packages) extra-firm tofu
(1 package) Field Roast Italian Sausage
(1 bunch) kale
sprouted cinnamon-raisin bagels
(2) broccoli crowns
(3) Fuji apples
2lb bag of carrots
baby spinach
almonds
(4) prepackaged soups
wheat crackers
(1 lb) popcorn
(1/2 lb) granola
(1 lb) split peas
(1) yellow onion
(1) bulb garlic
Dijon mustard
(2) red bell peppers
(1 package) frozen vegetable gyoza
raisin bran cereal
shelled edamame
(1 package) sliced white mushrooms
(1) cucumber

Items already on-hand:
frozen blackberries
all-purpose flour
sugar
apple-cider vinegar
vanilla extract
cinnamon
nutmeg
canola oil
baking powder
sea salt
pepper
olive oil
green lentils
chicken-flavored bouillon
bay leaves
tarragon
thyme
turmeric
marjoram
rosemary
(2) yellow onions
tahini
(2) lemons
(1 can) chickpeas
raw cashews
Earth Balance
cornmeal
Bragg’s Liquid Aminos
Sriracha

Books used:
“Vegan Brunch”
“The Vegan Slow Cooker”

Gingerbread Waffles and Sage Sausages

Vegan Brunch” is one of my favorite cookbooks and, yet, I’ve barely scratched the surface when it comes to trying all the recipes. These Gingerbread Waffles have been on my list of recipes to try and they did not disappoint. I was worried that they would turn out too sweet when topped with maple syrup, but the waffles contained just the right amount of spice to cut through any of the sweetness.

The homemade sausages featured in the cookbook have also been on my list. I’ll admit that I was intimidated by the idea of making them, but let me assure you, these sausages are so easy to make and are really tasty.

The original recipe calls for dried cherries, but I didn’t have any on hand. I decided to use raisins as a cheaper alternative and they worked out perfectly. Also, the recipe makes four large sausages, but after making one large sausage, I decided to make them smaller. And I’m glad I did because they turned out much firmer than the larger one.

At the end, my links weren’t very pretty when I took them out of the foil; I definitely need more practice shaping them. But per her suggestion, I cut them into slices after they steamed and browned them in a cast iron skillet, which added a nice texture to the outside. I will definitely be making these again.

Vegan Food Happenings

Man, I’m a bad blogger. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record, but I apologize for the lack of posts. This past winter seemed to hit me pretty hard, motivation-wise. But I still cooked quite a bit and I even took a few (blurry) pictures. I tried out some new recipes—some good, some not so good. I even experimented a little on my own. For this post, I thought I’d share a few of the dishes that I made over the past few weeks.

My husband has been working nights for school, so I’ve been left up to my own devices for dinner. I’ve been making lots of tofu scrambles like the one you see below. I use the tofu scramble recipe from Isa Chandra Moskowitz’s Vegan Brunch. It’s so easy and leaves lots of room for variation.

For this year’s Super Bowl, I decided to make a few snacks. While browsing the Whole Foods deli section, I came across a bag of pretzel bites that were vegan. They were still warm, so I couldn’t resist. The bags of pretzel bites were on a display with large blocks of cheddar cheese and beer, which gave me the idea to make a vegan version of beer cheese. It turned out way better than I expected. I used Lauren Ulm’s mac and cheese sauce for the base and added a few extra ingredients, including beer, to give it a more authentic taste. I plan on making it again, and when I do, I’ll post the recipe on here.

In addition to the beer cheese and pretzel bites, I also made a big bowl of guacamole.

I’m a big stickler for not wasting food. I’ve been known to throw together some, um, interesting dishes to avoid throwing out food. This cauliflower and lentil dish was such an experiment, but it turned out really well. It consisted of cauliflower, red lentils, and lots of spices that gave it an Indian vibe. Next time, I think I might roast the cauliflower in the oven to add another layer of flavor. Again, when I make it again (if I can remember how), I’ll post the recipe on here.

Finally, I’ve really been making an effort to make a substantial breakfast on Sundays. My husband and I are big fans of “CBS Sunday Morning,” so we’ve made it a tradition to enjoy our coffee while watching the show, and then make a good breakfast/brunch after the show ends at 10:30am. This morning, I decided to make banana-cinnamon pancakes with a side of veggie sausage.

Well, that’s it for now. I’m sorry I couldn’t offer any recipes this time around. Hope everyone is well!