Friday, April 1, 2011

Martian Food (aka Spinach Souffle)

This is my attempt to reproduce something akin to those frozen spinach souffles many of us remember from childhood. My parents - both excellent cooks - almost never had stuff like that in the house, but I was always fascinated by their strange green, brick-like appearance. (My brother-in-law grew up referring to this product as "Martian food"; hence the title of this post, and the accompanying photo.) Anyway, one recent evening I was trying to think of something different to do with frozen spinach, and this is what I came up with. The result is kind of like a frittata, kind of like a quiche, and kind of like a souffle; it is not, however, anything at all like a brick. I think that Marvin would approve.

Spinach Souffle
~ 1 tbsp. olive oil
~ 1 large onion, chopped
~ 1 tbsp. minced garlic
~ 1 lb. frozen spinach, thawed
~ 1 lb. extra firm tofu, drained and pressed
~ 1/2 cup plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 1/4 cup tahini
~ 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
~ 1/4 cup chickpea flour
~ 2 tsp. baking powder
~ 1 tsp. cornstarch
~ 1 tsp. each: salt, basil, garlic powder
~ A few grinds of black pepper
~ Pinch of nutmeg

~ Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit, and coat a deep-dish pie plate (or baking dish) with cooking spray.
~ In a skillet, saute the onion, garlic, and spinach in the olive oil for about 5 minutes over medium-high heat. Remove from heat and set aside.
~ In a large blender or food processor, puree the remaining ingredients. Add the cooked, cooled spinach mixture, and puree until smooth.
~ Spoon the mixture into your prepared baking dish, smoothing with a rubber spatula to cover.
~ Sprinkle the top with a little paprika, and bake uncovered in the center of the oven for about 30 minutes, or until the batter is set and the souffle golden brown on top. (Check on it occasionally during the process, since ovens differ).
~ Allow to sit another 10-15 minutes before serving.

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