February 29, 2012

Swiss Chard Frittata

I have become a little obsessed with my leafy green vegetables.  I've always found ways to sneak in spinach or broccoli florets into meals but lately I've been trying to rotate other veggies in for more variety.  Nowadays our refrigerator has been crowded with some scrunchy bunches of kale and unwieldy giant leaves of Swiss chard. 

Swiss chard is high in vitamins K, A, and C as well as a good source of tons of other vitamins and minerals including potassium, calcium, and magnesium.  Sauteed, this vegetable is not bitter to taste like spinach sometimes is and there is almost a sweetness to it, especially if you add a splash of cider vinegar during the cooking.
There are many ingredients to this vegan quiche but
tofu, nutritional yeast, and Swiss chard are essential.

It has been hard to sell my kids on the delicious, healthy goodness of Swiss chard when it's presented by itself.  No matter the vegetable, one look at a heaping plateful of the stuff sends my kids running for the hills.  So I looked and found a simple recipe for a vegan quiche to soften the leafy green blow.

I found a dairy-free, egg-free recipe for Swiss chard frittata featured in Isa Chandra Moskowitz's cookbook, Vegan Brunch.  At the same time I was curious about quiche.  What's the difference between a quiche and a frittata, you ask?  Okay, so maybe you didn't ask, but I sure did.  I had never made either one -- authentic or allergy-friendly. Some online sleuthing leads me to believe that both dishes have egg, cheese, and vegetables but quiches have crusts and tend to have cream in their base.  After trying Susan Voisin's crustless vegan quiche recipe, I was an instant fan of tofu-based quiche and Voisin's blog, FatFree Vegan Kitchen.  I fused Moskowitz's and Voisin's recipes to get the texture and tastes I liked best.  I used more nutritional yeast than either recipe called for to get an extra "cheesy" flavor.

I didn't make minis but opted for a full-size frittata in an 8"x8" round pan.  Mine might not be quite as set as Voisin's mini-quiches due to the addition of lots of swiss chard, but the added nutrition is well worth the slight blobbiness when serving.  The soy milk and cornstarch aren't necessary (as you'll see if you check out Moskowitz's frittata recipe) but they helped the dish get a smoother, fluffier consistency that resembles the creaminess of a quiche.  If you want to use firm tofu, omit the cornstarch and milk substitute.  The texture will be a little softer and you won't have as solid of a consistency (like the pie-like piece below) as with using extra firm tofu in the base.  Still delicious but not as pretty when served.

Swiss Chard Frittata (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan; does contain soy)
Adapted from Susan Voisin of FatFreeVegan Kitchen's recipe for Mini Crustless Tofu Quiches

3-6 stalks of swiss chard (I use red chard), washed thoroughly and chopped
1/2 of a red bell pepper, chopped, or 1/2 cup of mushrooms, chopped
1 stalk green onion, chopped
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp dried rosemary
14 oz. package of extra firm tofu, cut into cubes
1 Tbsp corn starch
1/4 cup milk substitute (I use Soy Dream Original)
1 tsp sesame tahini (optional)
1/3 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 tsp turmeric
3/4 tsp salt 

pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Saute the chopped stalks and leaves of swiss chard in a little oil.  Cook for 5 minutes.  Add in chopped peppers/mushrooms and cook for an additional two minutes.  Add in green onion, garlic powder, and dried rosemary and turn off heat.
  3. Remove vegetable mixture from pan.  Try to drain any liquid out of the vegetables.
  4. While the chard is cooking, blend together extra firm tofu, cornstarch, milk substitute, nutritional yeast, turmeric, and tahini until smooth. Add in 1/2 teaspoon of salt and taste for saltiness.  Add in black pepper and additional salt to your taste.
  5. Add vegetables to tofu mixture.  Combine well.
  6. Spoon tofu-vegetable mixture into a 9-inch cake pan.  Gently press mixture into pan with a large spoon or potato masher to level the frittata.
  7. Bake at 350 degrees for about 35 minutes or until frittata is dark yellow and set (firm to the touch).

This frittata is now making a regular appearance on our weekly lineup.  It's incredible how much this dish looks and tastes like eggs are in it.  The tofu base can easily be used with other sauteed chopped vegetables so play around with it!

1 comment:

  1. This looks utterly delicious! I have a weak spot for eggs and cheese, and would love to try this with the little ones. Thanks!