Vegan Tofu Quiche with Chard, Spinach & Cheese

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2015

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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vromans back BathingandthesinglegirlCover

I have never been a huge quiche fan.  Sure – I’ll eat it – but I will eat most things if they are my only option.  I became even less charmed with quiche when I made a few & realized that they really are not mostly egg – but rather – are mostly heavy cream.  They are as rich & decadent as ice cream and, frankly, I’d rather eat a tub of sour cream with spring onion powdered mix in it & gorge on an entire bag of reduced fat Ruffles.

So – I recently discovered the charms of tofu masquerading as egg whites & I am very pleased.   I made Vegan Tofu Scramble Breakfast Burrito with Mixed Vegetables & Cheese & Vegan Tofu Chilaquiles with 5-Minute Vegan Nacho Cheese Sauce – seen below, respectively.



And, when I am working, I scramble a quarter of a block of tofu with S&P and some spinach or veggie sausage & wrap it in an 80 calorie tortilla & dip it is salsa & call it breakfast.  Every.  Single.  Day.  I am now completely off eggs.

So – I thought – why not make a tofu quiche?  Cruelty-free & way less rich than a traditional quiche.  I used chard & spinach & vegan cheese in mine but you can adapt this to reflect whatever quiche ingredients you prefer.  A little veggie sausage would be nice.

I used 5 slices of this Field Roast Chao cheese – below.

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I really, really like that cheese – in all three flavors.  The texture is believable & it tastes yummy.  I pulsed mine into the tofu so that it might melt more effectively and, no matter what kind of cheese you use – I recommend this method.

The real secret to a delicious-looking quiche is the depth of it – so be sure to pack yours with ingredients.  I could have added sausage or other veggies – like broccoli – to this & it would still have fit into the crust – so err on the side of too much stuff in the crust rather than too little.

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Vegan Tofu Quiche with Chard, Spinach & Cheese


1 prepared vegan pie crust

1 lb extra firm tofu

1 head chard – hard ribs removed – chopped

2 cups fresh spinach – chopped

1/2 onion – diced

1/2 red bell pepper – diced

1 carrot – diced

5 slices of vegan cheese (or 1/2 cup or more of your cheese selection)

2 TBS tahini (optional)

1 TBS miso (optional)

1 tsp Dijon mustard

2 TBS fresh basil – minced

Olive oil

Smoked (or other) paprika

5-10 cherry tomatoes – halved


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Heat the oven to 400 degrees.

Press the crust into a pie pan.

Heat 1-2 TBS olive oil in a large saute pan.  saute the onion, carrot & red pepper until soft.  Add the chard & spinach & basil & saute until the greens wilt.  Season with S&P.  Set aside.

In a blender or food processor – pulse the tofu & cheese together with the Dijon and the miso & tahini (if using).  Season with S&P.  Add to the vegetable mixture & combine.

Pour into the crust & sprinkle with paprika.  Arrange the tomatoes on top.  Pinch your crust edges – if you like.  Bake for 20-30 minutes or until the crust is browned to your taste.

Let sit 10 minutes & serve.

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Part 6 – The Final Post – Sixty or More Los Angeles Restaurants for Your Consideration

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Bell Restaurant, Lebanon, Missouri

All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2014

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.



Bell Restaurant, Lebanon, Missouri – where Chili Dogs are seasonal!


Apple Pan – West Los Angeles, CA

See my portfolio of Americana photos HERE.


Highland Park Diner – Rochester, NY.


Somer’s Restaurant – Cleveland, Ohio.

There is a heat wave in Los Angeles this week & cooking is just oppressive. So – I am taking the opportunity to present 60+ restaurants I have visited in the last two years. This is not a complete list & some places here reflect images from multiple visits. I am not going to get into reviewing them but I will post a link if I have blogged about specific places here in the past – and that link will likely have lots of info & more pictures (except for my earliest posts which were pretty simple). They will be listed pretty much in alphabetical order & if there is a website for the place – I will try to supply it by making the name of the place a link to their site.

HERE is the link to Part 1.

HERE is the link to Part 2.

HERE is the link to Part 3.

HERE is the link to Part 4.

HERE is the link to Part 5.

I am also taking this opportunity to post a few of my favorite images that I have taken of restaurants not in Los Angeles –  above.  Enjoy!


TACOMIENDO – West Los Angeles

My blog about Tacomiendo is HERE.

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TACOS POR FAVOR – West Los Angeles, CA

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TEDDY’S CAFE – West Los Angeles, CA

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THAI PEPPER –  Hollywood, CA

True dive but great food!

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INSANELY awesome!   My blog about the Biltmore Brunch is HERE.

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CAVA – Montecito, CA

My blog about Cava is HERE.

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THE ORIGINAL PANTRY – Downtown Los Angeles, CA

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TOI ON SUNSET – Hollywood, CA

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TORUNG – Hollywood, CA

My blog about Torung is HERE.

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TRAXX – Union Station, Downtown Los Angeles, CA

My blog about Traxx is HERE.

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And there you have it!  Twelve more spots you can investigate yourself.   In the last 6 days – I have shared 60+ great Los Angeles (and Santa Barbara) restaurants & bars.  All are worthy of a visit!   ENJOY!!!!

Take a peek at my pin-up, pet & decaying American photographs HERE.  They are for sale as greeting cards & framed prints etc.

And don’t forget about my book!  The REVIEWS ON AMAZON are awesome!


The top video there is trailer for my novel.  The second is me reading from it a while back – at Vroman’s.


vromans back



Breakfast or Brunch Pizza with Egg, Provolone & Arugula


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.

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All my posts now have a VERY customizable PRINT & PDF option.  Create a PDF & save the recipe to your computer or print it out.  It offers a “remove images” option & you can delete any part of the post you do not need before printing.  The button is below by the Twitter & Facebook links.



Every time I buy eggs that are not pastured (meaning the chickens really DO live outside & run around happy) I feel so evil & guilty.  And sometimes, I really think about that runny yolk & I cannot believe we all generally agree (excepting vegans) that eating it as acceptable.  It is really fucking gross if you think about what you are actually eating.  Sometimes, back when I ate shrimp, I’d think similar thoughts & I’d wonder why most people would shudder at the idea of eating a huge, grilled grub – but salivate over grilled shrimp.  Aren’t shrimp really just the giant grubs of the sea?  They look similar & must have the same texture but we shove them in our face without a second thought.

Anyway, I guess it was all the photographing of this pizza that made me think about the egg on it.  And I was really grossed out.

And then I ate it & it was glorious.

What a hideous hypocrite I am.

But, hey!  I wrote a novel & all the early word on the street is that it is exactly as hilarious as I promised it would be & it is full of all kinds of indulgent & hypocritical behavior as I outlined above – but FUNNY FUNNY FUNNY!  I promise!

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Bathing and the Single Girl by Christine Elise McCarthy

Bathing and the Single Girl

by Christine Elise McCarthy

Giveaway ends February 25, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win


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So – this isn’t really a recipe.  It is just a suggestion.  You could add cooked bacon or sausage or scramble the egg first or use a different cheese.  The only real secret to this pizza is that the egg needs about 5 minutes in the oven at the end of the cooking process to be cooked but runny.  One cool thing is that the scallion I used was one I regrew myself from the throw away bit of another one.  Check out how (and which other veggies & herbs can be reused like this) – HERE.

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Breakfast or Brunch Pizza with Egg, Provolone & Arugula

Pizza dough – I used THIS

Slices of provolone



Olive oil

Fresh basil – chopped

Fresh thyme

Scallions – chopped

Tomato – diced


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Heat the oven to a full 450.

Roll out the dough.  Drizzle a little olive oil on it & sprinkle with thyme.  Add the provolone.  Cook about 5-18 minutes (depending on how thick your dough is etc) or until it seems ALMOST done.  Then carefully drop an egg onto the hot crust & add some tomato bits.

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Cook another five minutes – more if you like the egg cooked more thoroughly/

Garnish with S&P, basil, scallions & the arugula.  Drizzle with olive oil, if you like.  Crack open the champagne & don’t go fucking it up with orange juice.

Eat your damned pizza & drink that champagne!  Oh – and READ MY BOOK!  🙂

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Roasted Salmon & Potato Hash with Hominy & Poached Egg


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


This is my kitchen – where I attempt to make the magic happen.


I am VERY lucky because it is huge & I designed it myself 16 years ago & it serves me extremely well.  It is a very inspiring place to hang out & in the 16 years I have lived here – I have collected nearly every cooking thingamajiggy you can imagine.  But the dish I present to you today requires only the basics.  A working stove & oven, a roasting pan & a frying pan.  If you are not a confident cook but you want to try one of my dishes, I would recommend this one highly – just maybe substituting fried eggs for poached.

This dish is so delicious, I was astounded.  I came up with it because I was hunting for new things to do with hominy – things that would not involve a ton of cheese.  Hominy seems most often used for breakfast scramble kinds of things and pozole (a traditional Mexican soup – which I will also attempt soon).  I am also still a tad fixated on the idea of poached eggs on things, probably because I haven’t yet mastered the art of poaching eggs nor have I gotten one of those glorious shots of dripping, oozing yolks bleeding yellow onto plates.  Another reason this dish was a perfect choice last night is because I had roasted a hunk of salmon & dressed it with lemon & dill but I didn’t like how it looked – so I couldn’t use it for the blog.  See?  Here it is:


Not so impressive to look at.  Salmon is cooked when the white fat in it bubbles to the surface.  I tried to wipe it away to make a prettier presentation – but I still didn’t like how it looked enough to post it here as a stand-alone recipe.  Monomaniacally obsessed with only making foods I can use for this blog, I didn’t want to eat that salmon as it was (though it was delicious) because it seemed like a waste of a great blog opportunity.  So – I wrapped it up & left it in the fridge until I figured something out.

This dish could be made with any meat, leftover or otherwise, or without the poached egg.  Lord knows, I ate half the friggin’ potatoes I’d made by simply grabbing a bit every time I passed the stove because they were delicious!  Same with the cold salmon.  But when I tasted it all together with that egg yolk blended in – I was blown away.  The potatoes were savory & delicious & the hominy added the nicest little crunch.  The salmon (which was just a bullshit piece of frozen fish from Trader Joe’s) was clean & fresh & the egg was rich & decadent.  Oh!  And some totally unnecessary $5 micro kale!  This dish is one of my favorite inventions ever.  And – except for the egg poaching – it is EASY!  If poaching the egg intimidates you, maybe fry them instead, but definitely try this dish.  I had it for dinner but it would make an amazing brunch option, too.  You can roast both the salmon & potatoes up to a day ahead & just assemble it last minute.  It is a genuinely easy dish with a few easy-to-find ingredients.  Try it!  Oh!  And here is a great idea to serve with it!  This is equal parts chardonnay & frozen berries – blended.  YUM!  The perfect pre-workout smoothie!




Roasted Salmon & Potato Hash with Hominy & Poached Egg

feeds between 2-4 depending on your appetites


2 eggs per person being served

2 yellow potatoes – cubed

5-6 red potatoes (or any other potato combo you desire) – cubed

1 medium onion – diced

1/2 lb salmon

2 tsp dry thyme

olive oil


2 jalapenos – seeded & diced (optional)

1 cup hominy – or the full can

1/2 lemon

S&P to taste

Dill or parsley – chopped – as garnish


Preheat the oven to 450.

Blend a TBS or so of butter with a TBS or so of olive oil & smear some onto your salmon.  Sprinkle with S&P.  Cook the salmon about 10 minutes – maybe more, maybe less, depending on how thick yours is.  Salmon is ready when the fat bubbles to the surface.  Remove from heat, squeeze some lemon juice onto it, cut it up into cubes so it cools faster & doesn’t continue to cook & set aside.


Toss the cubed potatoes in about 2 TBS olive oil & season with thyme and S&P.  Roast at 450, stirring every ten minutes, for 30 minutes or more or until golden.   Remove from heat & set aside.


In a frying pan, heat 2 TBS olive oil & saute the onion & jalapeno until the onion softens & is translucent.  Add the potatoes & hominy & heat through.


Add more S&P if you think it needs it.  In the last minute before you serve the hash, add the salmon & cook it just until it is warmed.  Do not overcook the salmon.  Set aside on low heat while you poach or fry the eggs.  HERE are some tutorials on poaching.

To serve, simply arrange some hash on each plate, top with your eggs & some dill or parsley & fresh ground pepper.  Devour!



Smoked Salmon & Horseradish Cream Verrine with Cucumber & Tomato

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2013

To see images of my past posts & get links to the recipes – look on my Pinterest board – HERE.


I recently discovered the VERRINE.  Here is the web definition:


A verrine is a confection, originally from France, made by layering ingredients in a small glass. It can be either sweet or savoury.
If you Google image search “verrine” you get an amazing array of gorgeous appetizers & desserts.  See HERE.
Last night, I decided to try my hand at one.  As per usual, I was restricted to what I already had on hand.  Fortunately, I had smoked salmon, cucumbers, dill & heirloom cherry tomatoes.  I also had a fresh horseradish root.ImageThat fucker cost $8 but it is like a Fred Flintstone club.  I grated a bunch up with a microplane but in the end, couldn’t really taste it.  You might just want to use a little prepared horseradish sauce,instead, if you attempt this recipe.  Also – I left my cream sauce very thick – like a whipped cream cheese.  You might like yours a bit runnier.  In that case, just use more heavy cream.The only part of this dish that is a proper recipe is the horseradish cream.  The rest is just a layering of ingredients that you can alter to your own tastes.  I made these in three sizes: a shot glass, a stemmed apperitif glass & a tumbler.  You can choose the serving size appropriate for the occasion.  Know that I ate all three of these myself last night.  These would make a wonderful brunch starter – sort of like a bagel with the works – without the bagel.



Horseradish Cream


4 oz cream cheese

4 TBS fresh grated horseradish root OR prepared horseradish sauce to taste

2 sprigs fresh dill

7 (or more) TBS heavy cream

1/8 tsp salt


Blend everything in a food processor.  Add more heavy cream if you like a thinner sauce.  Add more horseradish sauce if you enjoy kick.


Smoked Salmon Verrine with Cucumber & Tomato & Horseradish Cream


Smoked salmon


Tomato (I used multicolored heirloom cherry tomatoes)



Fresh lemon

Fresh bread or bagel

Horseradish cream

Fresh pepper



Dice the salmon, tomato, cucumber & bread.  Put some bread in the bottom of each serving glass (I only used bread in the tumbler – not in the smaller verrines) & layer with cucumber, tomato & horseradish cream.  Top with dill & capers & squeeze a little lemon on top.  Finish with cracked pepper & serve!



Brunch or Breakfast Pizza

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All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012

OK – so, by now, you might have noticed a conspicuous recurrence of certain ingredients in my posts.  This is not evidence that I live entirely on dough of some sort & smoked salmon but, rather, that some ingredients come in quantities larger than one recipe requires.  I loathe wasting food and smoked salmon, in particular, is kind of expensive.  I hate resorting to feeding it to my dogs (though I will if I have to).   This recipe appears here now because I had leftover salmon (still!) and pizza dough.  The Smoked Salmon Spaghetti ( happened because I had salmon & leftover half & half from my Carrot-Pumpkin Lavender Soup (  I considered staggering the posts that used similar ingredients – for the sake of diversity – but then I thought – other people out there probably want some ideas on how to use the extras they have from making stuff posted here.  So – that is what I am doing.  I am giving you yet another way to use that dough & smoked salmon.  I don’t think I will be buying smoked salmon again for a while.  I fear my skin is developing a strangely pink tone – like a flamingo from its diet of shrimp.


Brunch or Breakfast Pizza

1/4 – 1/3 prepared pizza dough ( or your favorite dough

Cream Cheese

Smoked Salmon

Capers – or caper berries

Tomatoes – diced

Cucumbers – sliced thinly

Red Onion – sliced paper thin or diced fine

Fresh Dill – chopped


fresh ground pepper

Put your pizza dough on an oiled sheet.  Score it several times as it will bubble up in your oven without the benefit of heavy toppings upon it.  Cook your naked pizza dough at 425 degrees or so until it is just done.  Spread a thin layer of cream cheese upon it while it is hot.  Then – put the remaining ingredients on it in the quantity & pattern that pleases you.  Very simple.  Pop a bottle of champagne & you are in for a fine morning!

If pizza dough is not handy, tear up some lavosh or use the old standby – bagels.  But the pizza dough presentation is far more special.


All Photos © Christine Elise McCarthy 2012