Vegan gluten-free quiche

Ah, a vegan and gluten-free quiche. That sounds boringly bland, blandly healthy and healthily boring. It sounds like the national dish of one of those religions that want to feed you death until you accept that it is part of your life: death for your taste glands, death of your comfy and luxurious appetite, death of her sister the epicurean senses that demanded colour, texture, variety, extravagance; and slowly but surely, death of your sense of bite, of your sense of taste, of your senses.

I always liked the challenge of creating something relatively traditional without necessarily having the expected ingredients for creating it. I have had to face this many times when my hunger demanded what my purse could not afford. Pancakes without milk or eggs were quite prized at the table of my struggling childhood. I am not quite at the point of creating creamy effect in cake out of avocado and I am not persuaded that you would not taste the avocado anyway, but there are definitely ways of recreating what we like with minimal sacrifice to the taste.

One does not always opt for a vegan meal because they are vegan, allergen-free because they react badly to some ingredients. There are always a plethora of alternative reasons, especially for someone like me who just likes rethinking tradition to understand its inner clue, boundaries, choices or preferences. Indeed, some choices are made by the limitations of the environment, some considerations are not made because we know not yet what we do not yet know, and one lucky advantage of this generation is that we can pop down the local supermarket and find culinary products from Asia, Africa, America and Europe.

The first thing is to understand the alternative ingredients. They do not work or react the same for sure and so might require more or less compensating ingredients to reconstitute a texture, a taste, a feel. Better yet, at times, it is about seeing what those new ingredients might bring to the recipe that the traditional one might not have had and even more than adapting to this, discovering something better or just positively different.

What I did not have for my quiche was wheat flour, cheese, or milk. What I had was the knowledge of how I wanted it to taste, look and feel, ingredients that together helped with this purpose and the will to make it work: rice flour, water, margarine (Pure), almond milk, fermented rice (Rizella), spinach, egg replacer.

I am flexible with the quantity because the science has its variables. about 1 cup of rice flour, a third of a cup of tapioca flour, a third of a cup of corn flour, a third of a cup of potato starch, half a spoon of xanthan gum, half a cup of margarine (I did end up putting more on mine) and some more for buttering the pie plate, salt and/or dry stock to flavour (for extra and interesting flavour), some water (up to a third of a cup but you might want a little more in your versions), two teaspoons of apple cider vingar, half a teaspoon of xantham gum, up to a cup of coconut vream or greek yoghurt, , up to a third of a cup of almond milk, up to 3 teaspoons of egg replacer. Ingredients inside the quiche vary with my fridge contents and my moods but I have been known to love putting spinach or asparagus, freshly roasted peppers or roasted peppers in apple cider vinegar brine, crispy seaweed, even corn. if you eat fish, raw salmon or smoke salmon work really well there.

1/2 cup millet flour (2 1/4 ounces; 64 grams)
1/2 cup finely ground white rice flour (2 ounces; 54 grams)
1/3 cup sweet rice flour (1 1/3 ounces; 38 grams)
1/3 cup tapioca starch (1 1/3 ounces; 38 grams)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon apple cider vinegar or white vinegar (1/2 ounce; 14 grams)

I combined rice, corn, potato and tapioca flours/starch, margarine, salt or dry stock, apple cider vinegar, xanthan gum and little water and knead the dough. I have it rest, covered for a minimum of 30 minutes but not in the fridge because I hate how  hate how the margarine hardens and the dough flakes. I roll it and put it in a ‘buttered’ pie plate. All the ingredients I want in my quiche are then added at the bottom, like spinach, crusty roasted cuts of pepper. I then cover this with a mix of . I spread a batter mix made of coconut cream or greek yoghurt, dry stock, spinach and/or crispy seaweed, egg replacer, a little almond milk. I cover with slices of Rizella and bake in a 180-degree preheated oven for about 20 minutes. I like to grill it a little at the end so it is properly golden. although sometimes, like in the image, the smell is far too enticing for me to give it more time.

I get a crispy, yummy, healthy, vegan quiche!