If you want to impress your guests this Thanksgiving and hold on to your waistline, this elegant Vegan Leek Quiche has you covered. It has a creamy, silky filling of tofu, cashews, and leeks, and a delicate whole wheat and olive oil crust that melts in your mouth. Can be made nut-free and with a gluten-free crust.
Quiches are a hot favorite around our home, because they are easy for me to make, and fun for everyone to eat. And this Vegan Leek Quiche with a whole wheat crust is really healthy too, so what’s not to love?
Desi, Jay and I took a short road trip to Cumberland, Maryland, this past weekend, because they have a heritage train ride there that runs through the mountains, offering gorgeous views. As always, the train was packed, mostly with adult children at heart, and it’s easy to see why. It’s not just about the amazing scenery; there’s something about trains that fascinates most of us, especially here in America where the railroad played a key role in shaping our country into what it is today.
The steam engine that pulls the train is a giant, hissing, all-black locomotive straight out of the 1900s, and it’s a thrilling sight to watch it roll into the picturesque, red-brick Cumberland station that itself dates back more than a century.
At the end of the ride to Frostburg, a college town famed for a haunted hotel, you can watch as a turntable flips the engine around for the journey back to Cumberland.
Unfortunately for Jay (a real railroad fan if there ever was one) who was making his first trip here, the steam engine was out for repair, so our journey was made in a train pulled by an equally impressive, fire-engine-red diesel engine that chugged calmly over the curvy mountain tracks. He was jumping with joy as the conductor, wearing a black-and-gold hat, announced, “All Aboard!”
We had some time to explore Cumberland the following day before making the two-hour journey home, and we found some interesting things to do, like shopping at Barkin’ Basement, a cute little thrift store on Baltimore Avenue whose proceeds go to the Alleghany County Animal Shelter. At the Baltimore Street Grill nearby, a helpful waitress helped us tailor vegan meals that were delicious and surprisingly inexpensive.
On our way back, we stopped at a huge fruit and vegetable store on the first federal highway ever built in America, the National Road, which begins in Cumberland and ends in Ohio. The store is located in the shadow of the evocatively named Lover’s Leap– a craggy mountain ledge from which a heartbroken lover is said to have jumped to his death.
I picked up tons of fruits and veggies, including leeks, because the price was way better than anything I can ever get them for back home.
Back home, I couldn’t wait long before putting those jewel-green leeks in this scrumptious quiche.
I love this recipe because its ingredient list is simple, and yet it delivers a ton of flavor. The only vegetable in this quiche are the leeks, and it’s rather a good idea to keep it that way because the delicate flavor of these oniony greens is mindblowing.
I like adding some cashews to the recipe, because I like the creaminess they add. You can leave them out for a nut-free quiche.
Let’s fire up that oven!
- 3 leeks, light green and white parts finely chopped. Wash the leeks thoroughly in running water and wash again after cutting the leek in half lengthwise because you'll almost always find grit hiding between the leaves.
- 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 14 oz package extra firm tofu, drained
- 1/2 cup raw cashews (optional, can leave out to make the quiche nut-free)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup water
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Place all ingredients except water in the bowl of a food processor or a large bowl. Mix well, then drizzle in the water slowly until the dough just comes together. Use a fork to mix, if doing this without a food processor.
Gather the dough into a ball, and then wrap tightly in cling wrap, shaping it with your hands into a disc. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
Heat the olive oil in a saute pan. Add the leeks with the garlic, some salt and ground black pepper to taste. Saute for about 10 minutes over medium-low heat, stirring frequently, until the leeks soften and become tender, but do not brown. Turn off heat.
Place the tofu, nutritional yeast, cashews, nutmeg, and garlic powder in a blender and blend until smooth. Season with salt and ground black pepper.
Add the tofu cream to the leeks and mix well.
Roll the crust to fit a 9-inch tart pan. Fold into half and place in the pan. Unfold and, using your fingers, fit the crust into the pan. Cut out any overhanging dough by running your rolling pin over it.
Prick the bottom of the crust all over with the tines of a fork. Place the tart pan on a baking sheet.
Pour the filling into the crust.
Place the baking sheet with the tart pan into the preheated oven and bake for 35-40 minutes until the filling has set.
Remove and let the quiche cool about 20 minutes before unmolding. Serve.
- For a gluten-free crust, use this crust recipe.
More savory vegan pies for Thanksgiving or any time: