Killer Callaloo Quiche (and other Quiche Variations) (Gluten-Free, with Paleo, Vegan and Vegetarian Options)

Remember that time when I promised to post my callaloo quiche recipe and then a year passed and I still hadn’t posted it?  lol.  Life happens.

The following is my Jamaican twist on a beloved brunch favourite.  I received some of my inspiration from Angela Liddon’s sun-dried tomato, mushroom and spinach tofu quiche.  I’ve also given you options to make it vegan.  The recipe can be easily customized to your tastes.  I’ve given you a selection of add-ins that you can mix and match to suit your fancy.

Happy Sunday brunch!

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This is not callaloo quiche. This is a quiche I made with eggs, broccoli, orange bell peppers and turkey bacon.

CRUST

  • 1 chicken egg or “flax egg” (1 tablespoon ground flax + 3 tablespoons water, mixed together)
  • 1 1/3 cup almond meal (can be omitted; just add more oat flour and buckwheat flour; if paleo, just use almond meal and 1 cup coconut flour, and omit the oat/buckwheat flour)
  • 1 cup gluten-free oat flour or buckwheat flour (I used half and half of both)
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt
  • 1 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
  • 1/2 cup quinoa, cooked (optional)
  • 1-2.5 tbsp water, as needed

FILLING

Vegetarian:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1/2 cup coconut cream (the cream scooped off of the top of a refrigerated can of coconut milk) or non-dairy creamer
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup ackee (optional)

Vegan

  • 1 block (14-oz) firm tofu
  • 1/4 tsp tumeric
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 1/3 or 1/4 cup almond milk
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 tbsp tahini
  • 1 tsp salt (I use black salt or kala namak to lend an “eggy” taste to the tofu)
  • 1/2 cup ackee (optional)

Add-ins (Mix and Match or Omit as you please…):

Tip:  Try not to use watery vegetables, else you will get a watery quiche!

Tip:  You can’t use all of these vegetables or add-ins.  Pick a maximum of four (not including seasoning — use as much seasoning/spice as you would like).

  • 1 can of callaloo, strained (if you are lucky enough to find fresh callaloo, use 1 – 1 1/2 cup packed.  You can substitute  baby spinach or regular spinach if you can’t find callaloo).
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp onion powder (or 1/2 red onion, sliced)
  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp rosemary
  • 2 strips of bacon (turkey, chicken, tempeh bacon or coconut bacon)
  • 1 – 3 stripped of smoked salmon (if using smoked salmon, you may want to scale back on the salt…I learned the hard way)
  • 4 stalks of asparagus, chopped
  • 1 – 1 1/2 cup of broccoli flowerettes
  • 1/2 orange or red bell pepper, chopped
  • 3 cups (8-oz) sliced cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/4 cup of ackee
  • 1/2 cup fresh chives or green onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves, finely chopped
  • 1/3 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes, finely chopped
  • 3/4-1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1/4 cup Daiya (cheese cheddar or pepperjack)
  • Black pepper, to taste
  • Red pepper flakes, to taste
  • Salt, to taste
  • 1 tomato, sliced
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 F and lightly grease a round 10-inch tart pan or a 9-inch glass pie dish.
  2. Mix the ingredients for the crust.  Press the batter into your pan or pie dish, by starting in the centre and working your way up the edges.  Poke a few holes in the bottom so that air can escape while baking.
  3. Blind bake your crust: Bake your crust for 15 mins, and then remove to cool while you prepare the filling.
  4. While the crust is baking, saute your vegetables in 1 tbsp coconut oil.  I like to saute them with a little bit of salt, pepper and crushed garlic (or garlic powder) so that they taste better in the quiche.  Once cooked lightly (because they will cook more in the oven), remove and set aside.
  5. If making the vegetarian version: In a large bowl, beat your eggs with the coconut cream.  Set aside.
  6. If making the vegan version: Process all of the base ingredients for the filling (tofu, tahini, almond milk, tumeric, tamari, nutritional yeast and salt) in a food processor.  Add more milk if necessary until you get a smooth consistency.  Empty out into a large bowl.
  7. In your large bowl with the tofu or the egg, add any or all of the add-ins you want (don’t go overboard — you should still see more quiche than vegetables).  Make sure veggies are mixed with the filling.  Adjust seasonings if necessary.
  8. Pour your quiche into the blind baked crust.  Top with sliced tomatoes if preferred.
  9. Bake for 40 minutes.  I like to broil my quiche on low for 5 mins towards the end of baking.  Serve hot.  Leftover quiche can be stored in the fridge or frozen for later use.

The following are pictures of quiches (vegan and vegetarian) I’ve made over the years…

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Smoked salmon, mushroom and spinach quiche made with eggs.

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Quiche made with tempeh bacon and eggs.

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Quiche made with tofu and vegetables. I left it under the broiler for a little too long though…

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Ackee and “Saltfish” with Orange-Ugli Fruit Juice

For me, Sundays = food.  Growing up, Sunday brunch consisted of ackee and saltfish and fried dumplings.  Now that I’m grown, I try to carry on the tradition.  When I was in law school I would often host some of my friends at my apartment for what I would call “Saltfish Sundays” and I’d cook up a storm.

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I miss those days. 😦

A few weeks back, my sister posted this on my Facebook wall (from the “Your probably not Jamaican if” Facebook page):

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That’s fried dumpling stuffed with ackee and saltfish and peppers, with a side of fried plantain.  Foodgasm.

I knew I had to try to duplicate this for nostalgia’s sake.  Here’s my attempt:

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Ackee and “saltfish” sliders with freshly squeezed orange-ugli fruit juice.

This is my kind of “Egg McMuffin.”  I used my juicer to juice an orange and an ugli fruit.  Instead of saltfish, you can use tempehfish inside of your dumplings.  Ackee and “saltfish” also tastes and looks lovely when plated on a bed of baby spinach.

Happy “Saltfish” Sunday peeps!


Ackee and Tempehfish (A Vegan Take on Ackee and Saltfish)

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I just had to create a vegan rendition on Jamaica’s national dish, ackee and saltfish.  Ackee is a yellow-fleshed fruit that grows on a tree.  It is poisonous to eat before it has fully opened and ripened.  Many people say that the flesh of the ackee, which is eaten, is more reminiscent of scrambled eggs than your typical fruit.  Saltfish is salted cod.  The two together create a match made in yardie heaven.

 

Saltfish is fishy and salty.  Thus, I decided that seaweed would give our tempeh fish that fishy and (slightly) salty taste.  Seaweed is packed with trace nutrients and iodine, both of which are essential to thyroid health.  It makes for a great snack as is and can enhance the flavor and nutritional profile of any dish (including the “Cock” Kelp stock found on page…).  I like to throw a strip of kelp into my slow cooker when I’m cooking beans, which also helps to make the proteins more digestible.  The key in using tempeh, like tofu, is to ensure that it is well marinated before incorporated in a dish.  That one step will drastically improve its flavor.

 

Black salt is what really kicks this dish up a notch.  It has a salty, eggy taste that complements the ackee well.  It is greyish white or slightly pink in colour with a slightly stinky smell (due to the sulfur) and also goes by the name kala namak.  You can find this salt in West Indian food stores or Indian food stores, but if you can’t seem to source it, you can substitute sea salt in the same proportion.

 

While for many Jamaicans ackee and saltfish serves as a symbol of national pride that has been repatriated throughout the Diaspora, for me, it holds more sentimental value.  On the morning of my convocation from law school, it was the dish that my mom and dad made for all of our guests in my tiny apartment in Montreal.  I hope that this vegan version evokes just as many memories for you as it does for Jamaicans the world over.

 

1 block of frozen tempeh

2 5 inch strips of kelp and/or dulse (or

Your choice of seaweed (2  five inch strips of either kelp, kombu, wakame, dulse, or nori.  Nori has the “fishiest” taste) and 1 nori sheet or 1 tbsp dulse flakes

3 tablespoons miso paste (any colour will do – white or yellow)

1 package of tempeh (I used the Noble Bean brand with sea vegetables)

1 stalk of green onion, chopped

1 tomato, diced small or 3 sundried tomatoes, chopped

1 green or red pepper, diced (optional)

1 can of ackee

Black pepper or cayenne pepper or red pepper sauce, to taste

 

  1. In a medium size saucepan, boil the seaweed and frozen block of tempeh until soft yet still firm. I know that sounds imprecise, but we are not looking for precision here.  This should only take 2 minutes.  Boiling the tempeh helps to minimize the bitter aftertaste that some detect when eating it.  It also makes the tempeh chewier.  If you are pressed for time and don’t care about bitterness or chewiness, you can skip this step, since the tempeh will thaw as it marinates in the next step.
  2. Pour the contents of the saucepan (tempeh and cooking liquid included) into a medium-sized bowl. Marinate the tempeh for at least 1 hour in the refrigerator (overnight is best) to give the tempeh the opportunity to better absorb the fishy flavours (we want our tempeh to taste as fishy as possible!).  Add more fresh seaweed to the marinade, if desired (although recommended).   A note here on the seaweed: You can use whatever seaweed you have on hand; once again, precision is not an issue here. Dulse flakes will make the final result look speckled and pretty . Nori does not hold up well with soaking. Thus, if you marinate using the nori, the nori will get soggy and slimy. It won’t negatively affect the taste, but some people might be a little turned off by the texture. If this doesn’t bother I would definitely use it.
  3. Pour the marinade, seaweed and the tempeh into a medium sized frying pan. I would add more seaweed at this stage to ensure maximum “fishiness.”  Now, “cook eit down”: cook the tempeh on medium heat until the marinade has been absorbed or “reduced” (as is the proper cooking term).  Once the tempeh has cooked, set it aside.
  4. Drain off the excess water on the ackee. Spray your frying pan with coconut oil (I would suggest you use the same pan you used to cook the tempeh.  The residual tempeh flavours are already in the pan, and you will save yourself from washing one extra thing.).  Sauté the green onions and tomatoes for 1 minute.  Add the ackee and gently stir in the tempeh, and more seaweed (if you like; strips of nori sheets would be especially good here).  Add your black salt (to taste, being mindful that if your ackee was preserved in a salt brine, the ackee may already be somewhat salty.  Always taste your food before you add salt). Gently stir until just combined – not too much, or the ackee, which is fragile, will crumble.  Add black pepper to taste.  Serve hot.  This dish is best served with some fried dumplings or fried or baked plantains.

 

“Trying a Ting”: Instead of tempehfish, you can substitute scrambled tofu or tempeh bacon.  Feel free to add TVP bacon bits too!

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