Saturday, 22 August 2015

Vegan mini spinach quiche recipe!

So the miracle that is aquafaba has been blowing up in the vegan blogosphere and facebook-o-sphere for the past few months: It turns out that the liquid from canned beans - the aforementioned aquafaba - can be beaten to a stiff foam, just like egg whites. It can be used to make meringues, chocolate mousse, and all kinds of other things that you'd use beaten egg whites for. Today, I used them to make these delicious little spinach mini-quiches, and I think this is going to be my new go-to party snack, they are *so* good!

I've made quiches using chickpea flour before, and found them tasty but a little stodgy. The beaten aquafaba gives the quiches an airiness which I haven't been able to achieve without eggs until now. The foam does subside after a while, so once you have folded it into the quiche filling, you should bake the quiches immediately, or you will end up with moist but flat quiches.

Aquafaba can be beaten by hand, but it will take a long time and a lot of effort: if you have one, use a mixer or a wand blender's aerator blade - I have the latter, and it gets my aquafaba to the desired stiffness in just a couple of minutes.

Preheat the oven to 180°C
You will need a muffin tin or muffin cups

Ingredients for 8 mini quiches:
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped  
  • 3 cloves of garlic, finely chopped 
  • 100 g spinach, finely chopped  
  • olive oil for frying
Dry ingredients: 
  • 3/4 cup besan (aka chickpea flour or gram flour)  
  • 2 tbs nutritional yeast
  • pinch of kala namak (black salt, you can leave it out if not available)  
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder 
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder 
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika (if you have it, I'm sure it would be great without as well) 
  • salt and pepper to taste 
Wet ingredients:
To assemble: 
  • 75 ml aquafaba
  • vegan puff pastry, cut into 8 2inch/5cm squares (optional - you could also just pour the filling directly into the greased muffin tin for a gluten-free version) 
  • olive oil to grease the muffin tin


1) Saute the onion and garlic in olive oil with a pinch of salt over low-medium heat until the onions are glassy, about 10 minutes. Then add the chopped spinach, and saute a little longer until the spinach has wilted. Put in a sieve to drain.

2) In a mixing bowl, mix all the dry ingredients: chickpea flour, nutritional yeast, kala namak, onion powder, garlic powder, smoked paprika powder and salt and pepper to taste (you will also be adding some miso paste, so go easy on the salt)

3) In another small bowl, mix coconut cream, lemon zest and miso until there are no lumps of miso in the mix

4) Add the coconut cream mix to the dry ingredients and blend well (this should give you quite a dry, crumbly mix), then stir in the drained onion-spinach mix.

5) Whip the aquafaba to stiff peaks, and then very gently fold it into the the filling mix - this should now be quite wet, but light/foamy. The folding method is the same as that for egg whites, demonstrated here from 1:47 (sorry, I couldn't find an eggless demonstration video :( ).

6) Lightly grease muffin cups or a muffin tin with olive oil, and press the puff pastry squares (if using) into the tin. Carefully scoop filling into each of the cups until they are 3/4 full - mine covered the puff pastry completely. If you want the filling to be completely encased in pastry, use larger pastry squares or circles.

7) Bake at 180°C for 20-25 minutes, until the quiches are golden brown. A lot of quiche recipes say to open the oven halfway through to let out steam, so I did that, I'm not sure if it's necessary or not :) When they are done, let them cool in the tin for 5 minutes, and then slide a knife around the edges of the quiches to loosen them, and remove to cool further on a wire rack.

I prefer them warm, but they are delicious both warm and cold. Enjoy!!