Part Two of the Girly Brunch series!! My beetroot and leek vegan quiche! And the crust is gluten free with a superfood boost.
One reason I put together this brunch is that my friends have been quite curious about trying out the food I post up on the blog. This was a lovely introduction to gluten-free, plant-based eating with no kitchen time investment for any of them, and I get their fantastic company in return. Win win!
This quiche is really delicious, and you won’t really believe that there isn’t any cream or eggs in the filling! And you won’t miss it at all. It’s the nutritional yeast – it has a nutty/”cheesy” flavour that will cheat your tastebuds into thinking you’re having something with some dairy in it. Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast that gives you a whole lot of B-complex vitamins in a single serving. Seek out those fortified with B12, an essential vitamin missing in the plant-based diet. We need B vitamins to extract the energy from food and produce red blood cells, and it’s also great for skin and hair health, amongst other things. It also helps reduce stress and balance your mood.
The leeks and the beetroot have a lovely hint of sweetness, and the roasted garlic and chives brings the dish together. The beetroot also has an added benefit of making the quiche really pretty too with the peeks of purple. That gorgeous purple colour is courtesy of really good for you phytonutrients that provide antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and detoxification support. Beets are also a great source of minerals such as manganese and potassium. I do wish we had other varieties of beetroot here, all really beautiful colours, as I would love to mix it up once in a while to get different effects in dishes.
I bought a new brand of buckwheat flour (Love Earth), which bakes really dark and tastes much stronger than the previous brand I used (Radiant Foods). I have a preference for the Radiant Foods’ lighter coloured, and lighter tasting, buckwheat flour, although I thought the results looked stunning – the dark crust does look amazing, but the taste is really strongly healthy. If you can’t find light buckwheat flour, do use brown rice flour instead. Chia seeds act as a binder to make the dough stick together while providing a superfood boost with heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids. I then snuck in grated carrots just to drive home the healthy factor.
As I was serving it for brunch, I prepared the roasted beet, caramelised the leeks and prepared the crust the day before. The next day, I layered the vegetables in the pie dish, blitzed up the filling and poured it over, then baked it in the oven. Really easy. You could even make everything the night before and heat it up the next day. The quiche is great just cooled down slightly from the oven (a must to set the filling properly), or at room temperature.
I served the quiche with a light salad of rocket leaves, thinly sliced pears tossed in lemon juice, and pomegranate arils, with a light drizzle of balsamic vinegar. Sometimes perfection can be found in simplicity, don’t you think?
- 1 tablespoon chia seeds
- 3 tablespoons water
- 1 carrot
- 1 cup almonds
- 1 cup buckwheat flour (try to look for light buckwheat flour, or else substitute with brown rice flour)
- 2 tablespoons oil
- 2 tablespoons water
- pinch salt
- Filling (for a deep pie dish. Halve if using a flan tin):
- 2 medium-sized beetroots
- 4 stalks leek
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 packet chives
- 2 blocks firm tofu (about 400g)
- 2 tablespoons coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon mixed herbs
- pinch of salt
- pinch of pepper
- Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius. Peel the beetroot (use a rubber glove if you need to avoid staining your skin) and cut into around 2cm cubes.
- Place on a baking tray with unpeeled garlic cloves. Drizzle over some olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Bake for around 30-40 minutes, until a fork can easily pierce into a piece of beetroot. Remove and let cool.
- While the beetroot bakes, slice cut off the tough green leaves of the leek stalks and slice up the rest of it. Heat up a frying pan with a little bit of coconut oil (a teaspoon will do), and lightly caramelise the leek, about 10 minutes. Remove from heat.
- Prepare the crust: Measure out the chia seeds and mix with the 3 tablespoons of water and set aside.
- Finely grate the carrot and set aside.
- Using a food processor, chop the almonds until quite fine. Add the flour, carrot, oil, water and soaked chia seeds, and process until a crumbly mix forms.
- Remove the dough from the food processor onto your pie dish (or flan tin - you may have extra is using a flan tin). Using your fingers, press down the crust all over the dish until evenly spread out up the sides of the pie dish.
- Use a fork to prick some holes all over the crust. Bake in the oven for about 15 minutes. Remove and let cool slightly while you prepare the rest of the filling.
- Place the tofu, coconut oil, nutritional yeast, mixed herbs and salt and pepper into the jug of a hand blender, then blend until well combined and smooth.
- Assemble the quiche: Layer the caramelised leeks on top of the crust, then the beetroot. Peel the garlic cloves, and spread out the softened garlic between the beetroot. Sprinkle over the chives, then pour out the tofu filling. Use your spatula or the back of a spoon to smooth down the top.
- Bake for around 30-35 minutes, until the middle only lightly jiggles when you shake the dish and the top is lightly golden. Remove and let cool slightly to firm up further.
- Serve with a lightly dressed salad.