‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche’

My dad always says ‘real men don’t eat quiche’. I’ve never totally understood what this means but I feel compelled to disagree. What’s wrong with quiche?! Anyway – this isn’t your regular egg and bacon quiche from the bakery, this one is vegan, and it’s lovely 🙂

Lots of healthy fats from coconut oil and cashews, and a good dose of fibre from the buckwheat and wholemeal flours too. I had planned on making the pastry entirely out of buckwheat to make it gluten free, but i ran out so had to substitute wholemeal flour. If anyone has ever given buckwheat pastry a go let me now how it turned out!

You can use any vegetable you like for the filling. Spinach and leek would be good, or mushroom.

And if you’re wondering what the hell agar agar is (I don’t blame you) it’s a type of seaweed. It’s used as a gelling agent instead of gelatine (if you’re unsure of why I avoid gelatine, read this – apologies in advance :P). Agar agar is a bit of a tricky one to find, you’ll have to go to a health food store, it’s a fine white tasteless powder and you have to measure it vey carefully! But it worked beautifully in this recipe.

 

Recipe inspired from YumUniverse.

 

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I’m really proud of this baby because I made my own pastry and it turned out pretty damn good.

Broccoli and Capsicum Quiche

PASTRY

1/2 cup buckwheat flour

1 cup wholemeal plain flour

1/2 cup coconut oil

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup water

FILLING

1 cup cashews, soaked for 2 hours

1 TBS lemon juice

1/2 tsp salt

1 TBS nutritional yeast

2 cups water

3 tsp of agar agar

1 cup broccoli florets

1/2 cup capsicum slices

1/2 cup cooked quinoa

Preheat oven to 180 C

Mix the flours and salt in a large bowl

Rub the coconut oil in with fingertips until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs

Add water and combine to form a firm dough

Wrap in cling film and leave it in the fridge while you make the filling

Blend cashews, water, salt, lemon juice, agar agar and nutritional yeast in a food processor until smooth

Roll out the dough and place in a pie dish, because of the buckwheat the dough will be a bit difficult to work with so expect it to break a little, just patch it up with your fingers

Blind bake for 10 minutes

Take pastry out of the oven, sprinkle over quinoa, then veggies, then pour over cashew mixture

Put back in the oven and bake for another 45 minutes.

Leave it to cool in the fridge before you slice!

Serve hot or cold.

Just to re-iterate once more I’m not against guys eating quiche. Especially vegan quiche. Just quietly i would be very impressed 😉

Crazy in the Coconut!

I woke up in a really good mood today.

I don’t know why but I find that the less sugar I eat the better I wake up in the morning. It’s just such a hard decision between choosing to wake up refreshed or eating sugar laden treats before bed :/ No, no..it’s not really a hard decision..I just have a well informed nutritionist angel on one shoulder and a care-free foodie devil on the other!

Anyway, this morning I was particularly chirpy, and I had two left over egg whites sitting in the fridge, so I naturally wondered what I could do with them. There would be an infinite number of healthy choices..such as throwing them into my green smoothie…or adding them to my omelette…but alas, I chose the coconut macaron option. I mean what normal person can resist coconut? I love alllll things coconutty!

You may have noticed that coconut oil has been blessed a superfood as of late. Coconut oil is a plant-based saturated fat that has been shown to raise ‘good’ cholesterol levels. I’m slightly cynical on the superfood notion..after all it still is a saturated fat and saturated fats in large amounts are never that healthy for you and are obviously very energy dense. For example, I don’t think it’s powers are so miraculous that we should be eating four teaspoons of it each day, as suggested by a well known health and wellness newspaper lift out this morning…. Keep it mind that this is an additional 160 calories being consumed that can unknowingly up your total energy intake for the day.

I think coconut oil is a great oil to use as a replacement if you are changing from something refined and overly processed, and I think it is a fantastic substitute for butter in vegan baking. I just don’t think we need to go overboard with it! You can also check out what the good old Dieticians Association of Australia has to say on the matter here.

So with that in mind, here is my fool proof absolutely delicious recipe for coconut macarons..that you should only make occasionally when you happen to have a couple of left over egg whites in the fridge 😉

 

2 egg whites

2 cups desiccated coconut

1/2 cup sugar – (I actually used a little less than half a cup and it was plenty)

1/2 tsp coconut essence

1 tbs almond meal

Beat egg whites until soft peaks form. (I am adamant that you have to do this by hand so you can get at least a little bit of exercise in!! It should only take 10 minutes)

Add in the sugar tablespoon at a time and keep beating until nice n’ shiny

Fold in coconut, almond meal and coconut essence

Use a tablespoon to make little mounds and drop them onto a tray lined with baking paper

Makes 8. Or one really big macaron if you’re super keen (no don’t do that I’m kidding :/)

Bake for 15 minutes until golden brown.

Try and leave them be so that they can cool down, and then go (coco) nuts!

 

 

Coconut Macarons