Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Beach Picnic: New Potato Salad with Olives & Capers and Tofu Stuffing Quiche (Vegan & Gluten Free)

Rocket & Roses HQ Play List:

Muse ~ play list on iPod

What a beautiful day I had yesterday and the best part of it was that I shared it with good friends. It was a belated birthday day out for Ann and everyone showed up to spend the day at Mappleton Beach. We arrived late morning and set up camp on the somewhat stoney sands. The surf was a spectacular sight and with every crash I felt refreshed. After a while some beach games were played and sadly I wasn't up to joining in but watching the gang throwing themselves about with great abandon made me laugh often. There was one injury when ML rugby tackled Ann to the ground...only problem they weren't playing rugby...they were playing cricket! lol There was blood and everything. We stayed on the beach for 7 hours and every second was a joy...healing waves, the 'friends family' and some of the four legged family...what was there not to like. 

We packed our own picnics and I took the chance to try out two recipes I have been wanting to try for a while. I had been craving a potato salad for the last couple of weeks...which is odd because in my vegetarian days I loathed the mayo laden cold potato offerings. Since going vegan and buying Joanne Stepaniak's great cookbook Vegan Deli I have learnt that not all potato salads have to be smothered in mayo...and the potatoes are not meant to be half cooked and crunchy. Since then I've made her Deli Potato Salad with a tofu deli dressing and celery seeds...it was an extremely interesting potato salad with many layers of flavour. Also I've tried her Potato Salad with Sesame-Tarragon Dressing which ML when nuts over..lol. Stepaniak's Vinaigrette Potato Salad blew my mind and introduced me to non-creamy potato salads. But the one recipe I have been coveting is the New Potato Salad with Olives and Capers. I wasn't disappointed although I didn't use all the dressing suggested...I halved it and it still left a beautiful dressing coating with a good zesty hit and when combined with the earthiness of the new potatoes, black olive and capers...I fell in foodie love. Sadly it's very much a High Days and Holidays dish because of the use of olive oil and white potatoes but what a delicious treat to look forward to on those days. I gave it a rating of 10/10. 

The second of the two recipes I'm sharing with you today is one I found online at EdiblePerspective.com which is a blog that I have followed and enjoyed for some time now.  For Ashley's original posting with a great photo stage by stage recipe, please simply click here. This recipe caught my eye because it uses many of my favourite ingredients and perversely I wanted to make it because I hate 'stuffing'...always have. The smell of Paxo stuffing being made can leave me running from the house. I 'thought' I didn't like sage for years until I found out it's dried sage I can't eat but fresh sage..I just love. Paxo dried stuffing mix is horrid stuff in my humble opinion but Ashley's recipe coaxed me in and before I knew it I was printing off the recipe. I was lucky to have three of my regular taste testers with me yesterday so I knew it would be perfect to make and take to the beach. I made the recipe as suggested and didn't need to alter anything. I did however make one 7/8" quiche and one smaller one to freeze and enjoy later. Being the only one eating this, aside from my three testers there is only so much one person can eat of a full 9" quiche..no matter how delicious. lol. This recipe is extremely easy to make. The crust is simple to put together and smells divine once you add in the fresh herbs. The two filling recipes are a matter of blitzing the tofu mix...and sauteing the veggie mix and then combining the two, followed by 30 minutes of oven time. Simple. The results are a beautiful to the eye quiche. The flavours are delicate but not lacking in any way. The crust is ultimately comforting and slightly crumbly but I loved that as did the others. The filling is creamy, savoury and also a little sweet but all blend perfectly. I loved this quiche. As did the willing testers being Dev, Bev and Ann. I will make this often even if I alter the filling from time to time and it was so good to enjoy a gluten-free vegan crust without all the fuss that comes with GF baking. Thanks to Ashley from creating this quiche and sharing it with us all. 

My beach picnic worked perfectly for me...I enjoyed the potato salad and quiche. They worked well together and wasn't heavy on the tum at all. At the hottest part of the day I felt refreshed by the crunchy veggies with the spiced hummus. When I felt my energy dip later in the day I enjoyed a crisp red apple and tangerine...for me this is my perfect picnic food. Just lovely....

Vegan & Gluten Free Beach Picnic Perfection

New Potato Salad with Olives and Capers   Serves 6
(Recipe from Vegan Deli/Stepaniak)

1 lb new potatoes 
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
salt and pepper
20 pitted olives, chopped (I used black)
2 tbsp capers, rinsed and squeezed
4-6 spring onions, thinly sliced (I used 2 med-large)   

Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender. Cut in half, if small, or quarters, if large.

Dress the potatoes with the lemon juice, olive oil, salt and pepper. Toss gently. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Serve warm or thoroughly chilled. 

NB: I barely used half of the lemon/oil dressing and that was plenty but obviously the choice is yours folks. ~R~ 

Ashley's Tofu Stuffing Quiche  Makes one 9" quiche
(Recipe from EdiblePerspective.com)  

For the crust:

1 cup ground gluten-free rolled oats, ground nearly to flour consistency 
3/4 cup almond meal 
1/3 cup gluten-free rolled oats
1 1/4 tsp finely chopped sage
1/2 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
3 tbsp unrefined coconut oil, softened
2 tbsp tahini, or natural almond butter
1-3 tbsp ice cold water

For the quiche:

1 cup sliced leeks, rinsed well
2/3 cup chopped celery, halve the stalk then chop
1/3 cup chopped carrot, halve the carrot then chop
2 tsp finely chopped sage
1 1/2 tsp minced garlic
3/4 tsp chopped thyme
1/2 tsp salt and pepper
1 14oz block firm tofu, drained, pressed and patted dry
2 tbsp olive oil
1/8-1/4 tsp turmeric
3 cups baby spinach, chopped

Crust directions: Preheat the oven to 400'F/200'C/GM 6 and grease a 9" pie/tart tin. Mix the ground oats, almond meal, rolled oats, sage, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Add in the coconut oil, tahini and 1 tbsp of ice cold water. Mix thoroughly with both hands until the mixture starts to hold together when squeezed. Add 1-2 tbsp more of water if needed to help hold together. 

Press the mixture firmly into the pan starting at the centre and work your way out, pushing the dough about 1" up the side of the pan. Firmly pack the dough all the way around the sides and on the top edge. Bake for 10-12 minutes until just starting to brown. Let cool. 

Quiche directions: Turn down the oven to 375'F/190'C/GM 5. Lightly oil a saute pan and place over a medium heat. Once hot add the leeks and 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and stir frequently for about 2 minutes. Add in the celery and carrot and stir frequently for another 6-8 minutes until just starting to soften. Stir in the sage, garlic, and thyme and let cook for 1 minute more. Remove from heat. 

Place the tofu, olive oil, 1/4 tsp salt and pepper, and turmeric into your food processor. Turn on and process until smooth, scraping the side of the bowl as needed. Empty into a mixing bowl and stir in the leek mixture. Stir in the spinach and then scoop the mixture into the crust. Gently and evenly spread the mixture to the edges. Place in the oven uncovered for 32-38 minutes, until the tofu feels set and the crust is golden brown. Let cool 10-15 minutes then slice with a sharp knife and remove each slice with a thin spatula. 

Serve and enjoy folks....

Thanks for stopping by and I hope your weekend was a great one...

When taking the photos, two of my favourite little ladies in the whole world was around to 'help' set everything up and then insist on being in one of the photos. So..Beach Picnic with little Noo and little Layla assisting...ahem!...lol 

Toothless cheeky grins..if only you could hear the giggles...lol

~Red~ aka proud Auntie of a bunch of crazy kids...beach addict...

NB: Neither of these recipes are mine and therefore I take no credit for them whatsoever. The Potato Salad is the hard work and creation of Joanne Stepaniak and hers alone. The tofu quiche is the hard work and creation of Ashley @ EdiblePerspective.com and hers alone. I do however thank them both for such great recipes...~R~