Vegan Cooking Tips
Quick and Easy Holiday Foods
Who has time to cook during this busy season? With a little pre-planning, you can have on hand all the ingredients you need to prepare some quick holiday dishes. You won’t even need to take the time to shop!
Quiche is a hot dish for cold holidays. You can be fast and purchase a frozen vegan quiche. If you purchase a pre-made quiche, you can jazz it up by slicing it and serving it hot, garnished with a sprinkle of red pepper flakes and dried parsley. You can also slice it and serve it cold with a garnish of chopped scallions and a sprinkle of shredded vegan cheese or vegan bacon bits.
If you would like to prepare a from-scratch vegan quiche, you can create the filling by puréeing in a blender a 1-pound package of soft silken tofu with approximately 1 Tablespoon of nutritional yeast and seasonings (such as black or white pepper, onion or garlic powder, dry mustard, herb mixes such as Mrs. Dash, or curry powder).
After puréeing, you can mix in any of the following:
- Diced canned onions
- Chopped black olives
- Crumbled, cooked veggie burger
- Shredded vegan cheese
- Diced scallions
- Diced canned pimentos
You have your choice for baking and serving the quiche. If you would like a crust, purchase a frozen vegan pie shell, usually 9-10 inches in diameter. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Pour the quiche filling into the crust, place on a cookie sheet, and allow to bake for 10-15 minutes or until the crust is golden and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Remove from the oven and serve hot, or allow quiche to cool and serve cold. You can also freeze your cooked quiche: allow it to cool, wrap it well, and freeze until you are ready to serve. If you are going to heat your frozen quiche, do not allow it to thaw; just pop it right into the oven.
If you don't want the hassle of the crust, you can pour the quiche filling into individual oven-proof baking dishes, which resemble custard dishes. Proceed as above.
If you are in a real hurry, you can pour the quiche filling into individual microwaveable dishes and microwave on HIGH for 2 minutes. You’ll have a puffy, pleasant quiche. However, be ready to serve the microwaved quiche pretty quickly, as it deflates and forms a tough skin after approximately 5 minutes. A plan-ahead variation would be to microwave your crustless quiche, allow it to cool, wrap it, and freeze. Plan to reheat in the oven, as this will allow the quiche to steam a bit, which will soften the skin, and to become golden brown.
While you have your silken tofu out, you might want to make the world’s fastest pumpkin custard. In a large bowl, mix a can of unsweetened pumpkin (usually 11/2 pounds or 4 cups) with a 1-pound box of soft silken tofu, or you can combine them in a blender. Sweeten mixture to taste with maple syrup or apple juice concentrate. Then, season mixture with pumpkin pie spice (a combination of ground cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, and ginger). Pour mixture into a microwaveable bowl and microwave for 4-5 minutes until firm. Serve hot, or place in the refrigerator and serve cold with orange sorbet. You can also bake this vegan custard in a 375- degree oven for approximately 30 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean.