I seem to find myself at my most broke in the summer- a time when I’d love to flash my feed around. There are so many food trucks, independent theatre productions, and dance parties that call my name on every street corner- but those things cost tens upon twenties of dollars.
The pattern I find myself in is working hard/being a good little country mouse all winter, only to be empowered and self-actualized by the sun’s rays. When I’m all hopped up on Vitamin D (the actual vitamin d- ya pervert), I feel invincible. Suddenly I’m ready to achieve every goal and make room for my creative self. Thing is, the stuff I shove to the side? Often the things that make me money.
It’s an age-old conundrum. What we want is time, time, time to enjoy the things and people we love. But when all you’ve got is time- you can’t budget for bus passes and lemonades and taking the ferry down to Toronto Island. So you crave money, money, money and give up all that time to make some of it.
I don’t have the answers and I don’t think anyone does. But I’ve got a pie pan and a sac of flour. And when I can’t take myself out, I stay in to make yummy food. Heatwave be damned! I’ll run this oven all day, baby! I love seeing myself with a golden aura of sweat and ingredients on my blouse.
Vegan Artichoke Pie/Tofu Quiche
I first made a recipe like this with my friend who loved Artichoke hearts on his pizza. I loved how it turned out, but never found occasion to make it again. And now I’ve lost that cookbook! So I had to wing it. Sorry, I didn’t take many pics. I was in the zone.
I wasn’t planning to Martha Stewart the shit out of this thing, but my local grocer didn’t have pre-made pie crusts. I used this recipe from Martha herself (I would never use her name in vain) and was pretty happy with the result! Just substitute butter for a vegan spread if you like. I prefer Earth Balance when I can find it. I’m not 100% vegan, but this pie is!
I don’t have a fancy food processor, so I smashed the ingredients together with a big spoon. You may start to think “there’s no way this will stick together, I need to add more water!” But don’t, don’t do that. I did that and got myself into a bit of a sticky mess. If you’re a sticky mess like me- just add more flour.
The longer you leave this in the fridge before using, the better it will be. I stuck mine in the freezer for a short period of time and it was pretty floppy/difficult to work with. I’m impatient, and I want my pie now. But Martha knows best.
I eventually gave up on trying to make it pretty and just smooshed it into a small pie tin until it looked kinda pie-like. At the advice of someone in the comments, I popped it in the oven at 425 for 10-ish minutes before adding the filling. This made me feel like a real TV baker and not like an unemployed comedian. No small feat!
Now watch me shine. I completely made this up based on memory/things I like, and I gotta say it turned out pretty great!
All I did was puree some firm silken tofu with a bunch of dill, a few sundried tomatoes, and Himalayan salt (imported all the way from Dollarama!)
When the mixture got too thick, I added some of the artichoke juice from some canned artichokes, and it got all silky and nice.
On the stove, I cooked up some garlic and onion, plus a few chopped up artichoke hearts. I notice that Minimalist Baker, an actual baker, roasts her veggies beforehand. So I may do that next time.
I puréed some of the oven stuff with the tofu and mixed the rest in for texture. Then I just poured it into the pie, sprinkled black olives on my half, and baked it at 350 for 15-20 minutes/until the top started to brown.
This was easy to make and made for a light, creamy, deliciously filling meal. An excellent distraction from an uncertain future. Mash something together in a blender this week and see how you like it! Silken tofu really can be the glue that holds your kitchen foibles/life together. It makes everything seem on purpose.
PS- I ended up with way more purée than I needed, which made for a great addition to mashed potatoes! Could also work as a creamy spread on a veggie wrap, or even a dip.