Meatless Monday: You won’t miss the eggs

Americans are eating less meat – and we can prove it. According to a report from the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Americans are eating about 12 percent less meat now than they were a year ago. When asked, 80 percent said they were eating less meat because they wanted to eat healthier.

Recipe creators are answering the “Meatless” call by creating new delicious dishes using ingredients such as tofu that were once scorned by carnivores. Tofu – soybean curd – was once used almost solely in Asian dishes, but it is so versatile it has found its way into American-style foods as well.

The beauty of tofu is it has almost no taste on its own, but soaks up the flavors of whatever it is cooked with. And it is a champion at replacing eggs for a low-cholesterol dish. Firm tofu can be crumbled and used in place of eggs in omelets and quiches and soft tofu can be pureed to replace eggs in pancakes or muffins. Or you can simply slice the tofu, marinate it in barbecue sauce and slap it on the grill. Use your imagination.

Spinach and Mushroom Eggless Quiche | Photo by Kathryn van Roosendaal, St. George News

Spinach and Mushroom Eggless Quiche

Trust me: You won’t miss the eggs in this eggless quiche.This makes a hearty dish for any meal of the day.

Ingredients:

  • 1 store-bought pie crust
  • Olive oil
  • 1 cup finely diced onion
  • 10 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced (I like to use Crimini)
  • 2 tablespoons dry white wine or water
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 10 to 12 fresh basil leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • Pinch hot red pepper flakes
  • 1 pound firm tofu, rinsed and patted dry
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 pounds fresh spinach
  • Paprika for dusting (optional)

Method:

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly brush a 9-inch or 10-inch tart pan or deep-dish pie pan. Remove the pie crust from the packaging and press evenly into the pan, making sure to fit it into the sides. Trim any excess dough from the edge of the pan and place it in the fridge while you prepare the filling.

Heat about 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and mushrooms and sauté until the onions are browned, about 6 minutes. Add the wine or water and scrape any brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt and continue cooking until they are dry. Scrape the veggies into a mixing bowl and set aside.

Heat another 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in the pan. Add the garlic, basil, thyme and red pepper flakes. Saute for 3 to 4 minutes or until the garlic turns golden. Scrape the garlic mixture into a blender or food processor. Crumble the tofu into the garlic mixture. Add the lemon juice and about 1 teaspoon of salt. Puree until smooth. Pour the tofu mixture into the mixing bowl with the vegetables.

Wash the spinach and remove the tough stems. Chop the leaves and then put it in a microwave-safe bowl and microwave about 30 seconds or until just wilted. Squeeze dry and add to the rest of the filling. Mix well. Pour the filling into the crust and smooth the top. Dust with Paprika if desired. Bake for 45 to 50 minutes or until the filling is firm. Let it cool about 10 minutes before slicing and serving.

Serves 6.

For more information on Meatless Monday, including more recipes, visit www.meatlessmonday.com on the Internet.

 

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Copyright 2012 St. George News.

 

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