Some time ago I started going to a local gluten-free support group. I went not because I necessarily thought I needed help figuring out the gluten-free diet (although I’ve learned a lot from my fellow members), but because I thought it would be fun to get together and socialize with other people that shared the same gluten-free lifestyle. It turned out to be a great idea, and a social event that I thoroughly enjoy. We generally have a big potluck at someone’s house- usually with a theme- and talk and stuff ourselves silly. This last meeting had a “luncheon” theme and I decided to make quiche. That was well and good, but a traditional quiche contains dairy and a fair number of our members have multiple intolerances including dairy. I decided to make allergen-friendly alternatives for those who could have egg, but couldn’t have dairy or soy. (Unfortunately those who can’t have egg also can’t have soy, or I might have made a tofu-vegan quiche as well.) The pie crust I used for the traditional quiche recipe contained dairy and potato starch (another allergen for some members), so that was out. I considered making my standard dairy-free chebe crust, but I wanted to have a base that contributed a flavor element as well as a texture. I ended up deciding to do a creative riff on my green chili crustless quiche, using South American inspired flavors of chili and tomato- and thus, a corn polenta crust, almost like an open tamale, came to mind.
I made one quiche with a vegan (dairy-free) sundried tomato pesto topping inspired by Vegan with a Vengeance, and then in case the nuts in the pesto made the quiche off limits for anyone, I also topped some of my quiche with simple but beautiful slow-roasted tomatoes and/or fresh cilantro leaves. The results were lovely, tasty, and allergen-friendly, and my friends with multiple intolerances seemed to thoroughly enjoy them. Trying to cook for these friends has really taught me a lot about creative baking with limited ingredients- and I enjoy the challenge as well as the results! Enjoy! And if you haven’t looked into joining a support group in your area- I highly recommend it.
Here’s one of the nut-free quiche, topped with lovely slow-roasted grape tomatoes, corn, and garnished with oregano.
Vegetarian Dairy free green chili quiche recipe
1 onion, diced
2 tsp. olive oil
Grits/ Polenta Base:
1 cup rice milk
1 to 2 cups water*
3/4 cup yellow cornmeal (I use arrowhead mills)
1/2 (7-ounce) can ORTEGA® Diced Green Chiles
6 ounces sweet corn
2 tbsp. fresh, chopped cilantro
oregano, smoked paprika, epazote (optional) to taste
1/4 tsp salt (or less, to taste)
1/2 cup rice milk
10 ounces sweet corn
1/2 (7-ounce) can Diced Green Chiles
salt, to taste
1/4 teaspoon pepper
oregano and any other herbs you like
A) Sundried Tomato Cilantro Pesto
1/2 cup sundried tomatoes (either reconstituted dried or in oil, rinsed)
3/4 cup water
1/4 cup almonds
no oil if using tomatoes in oil, otherwise small amounts to taste
sprinkle of salt and pepper
1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
B) Slow Roasted baby tomatoes
Large handful of small tomatoes
2 tbsp. fresh cilantro
C) Fresh Cilantro in Olive oil
Enough sprigs of cilantro to decorate 12 muffin size quiche
Prepare a muffin tin with (or without) liners, greasing with spectrum shortening or your favorite dairy-free margarine if you are not using liners.
Sautee 1 diced onion in a nonstick pan in olive oil until translucent and remove from burner, reserving in two parts for base and quiche.
1. Combine rice milk, water, cornmeal in a large saucepan and heat until you get a gentle boil. Lower temperature slightly if needed and keep stirring for 10 minutes or longer until you get a nice thick consistency. Add corn, half of your sauteed onions, and chilies and cook a few minutes longer. Season with herbs and seasonings and remove from burner. Fill prepared muffin tins 1/4 to 1/3 with polenta and let cool until firm.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Puree eggs, 1 cup of corn, salt and pepper in a blender. Add remaining corn, chilies and sauteed onion to puree and mix well with a spoon. Season. Pour into muffin containers on top of the polenta base. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until center is almost set. Top with options a, b, or c and bake until you can insert a toothpick and it comes out clean.
A) Sundried Tomato Almond Pesto
Combine ingredients in food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Spread on top of quiche when half baked and return to oven.
B) Slow Roasted grape tomatoes, halved, drizzled with olive oil and sprinkled with fresh cilantro and roasted for an hour or two on 325. Garnish quiche when half baked and return to oven.
C) Fresh cilantro leaves, drizzled with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper and let steep until oil is infused. Garnish quiche when half baked and return to oven.
After done, cool COMPLETELY before removing from pan. Enjoy!
Made to accommodate complex allergies of friends at local GF potluck.
*Polenta note: I used 2 cups water, but the polenta was softer than I would have liked. I would experiment and try this with 1 cup water instead and add more as needed.