The song: “I Want Candy” by Bow Wow Wow (lyrics)
The foodstuff: Vegan Quiche with Sweet Palmiers (recipes below)
The connection: France!
You might think that it’s absurd to pair a song like “I Want Candy” with anything but candy. And you know what? You just might be right! Even so, ever since it appeared in Marie Antoinette, I’ve come to associate this Bow Wow Wow tune with French aristocracy. Bah, it really does sound absurd when you say it out loud. No matter! I’ve got French food on the brain, so French food it is!
Unfortunately, I’m no culinary genius, so I went with the first two super-obvious French foods to come to mind: a vegan quiche with Sweet Palmiers for dessert. Puff pastries paired with a tofu-egg-casserole-pie-thingie: weird? Perhaps. But it totally works!
I’ve never made a quiche before, so I hit the net and came up with a spinach mushroom concoction based on what seems to be the basic vegan quiche recipe – namely, a brick of tofu + nutritional yeast and assorted seasonings + whatever veggies your heart desires. I consider spinach the quintessential egg (and by extension, tofu) filling, since the only time I ate the stuff as a kid was when my mom scrambled it with eggs. And mushrooms are just plain awesome, so there you go. I think it’s a delicious combo – but if you disagree, just swap ‘em out for your own favorites. I won’t judge.
You can use a store-bought crust if you’d like, but making it by hand isn’t all that difficult if you have a food processor. Either way, still not judging.
As for the Sweet Palmiers, the recipe is pretty standard. And easy! Don’t let the puff pastry part fool you. Pepperidge Farm makes a frozen puff pastry that’s vegan, so go wild. These bad boys are too delectable for words – borderline addictive, I ate more than half the batch with my quiche dinner – so definitely give these a try if you’re partial to light, sweet, airy things.
And if you’re not? I don’t wanna know you. (Joking! You can just give me your half and we’ll call it even, mkay?)
Spinach Mushroom Quiche
1 pie crust (store-bought or homemade; see e.g.)
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 cup onion
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced
1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed, diced, and pressed to remove excess moisture
1 pound firm tofu
1/2 cup plain nondairy milk
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons chives
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup shredded vegan cheese (optional; I used mozzarella Daiya)
1-2 Roma tomatoes, sliced
vegan parmesan cheese to taste (optional; see recipe here)
1. Pre-bake the pie crust.
2. Preheat the oven to 375F.
3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat and cook the onions until soft and translucent. Add the minced garlic and mushrooms and continue to cook on medium heat until the mushrooms are browned to your liking. Stir frequently. Season with salt and pepper if desired.
4. In a food processor, combine the tofu, nondairy milk, nutritional yeast, mustard, chives, garlic powder, and salt. Process until smooth. Sample the batter and add any extra seasonings to taste.
5. In a large bowl, fold together tofu, mushrooms, spinach, and cheese (optional). Pour the mixture into the pie crust; top with the tomato slices and a bit of vegan parmesan cheese if desired.
6. Bake at 375F for about 45 minutes, or until the quiche is firm and lightly browned. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
1 sheet frozen puff pastry
1/4 cup brown or white sugar
1 tablespoon unsalted margarine, melted
1. Allow the puff pastry to thaw overnight in the fridge before using.
2. Unwrap the puff pastry and lay it on a clean work surface, lightly dusted with flour.
3. Sprinkle the sugar over the dough. Gently but firmly run a rolling pin over the pastry to push the sugar into the dough. Tightly roll each side of the pastry toward the middle of the dough, until they meet in the center. (Or you can fold each end toward the center until they form a cookie shape, like so.) Wrap the rolled log in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20-30 minutes.
4. Pre-heat the oven to 400F. Place a rack in the middle position.
5. Slice the roll into cookies roughly 1/3 – 1/2 inch thick. Arrange them on a parchment-lined baking sheet, about 2″ apart. Brush each cookie with the melted margarine and sprinkle a little more sugar on top.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow to cool for several minutes on the cookie sheet and then transfer to a wire rack. These cookies are best enjoyed fresh, but you can store any leftovers in an airtight container.