Spinach Bars (Vegan)

This is a very versatile recipe that’s really easy to put together. It’s loaded with vegetables and is very reminiscent of quiche. If you don’t like tomatoes, throw in some chopped artichoke hearts. If you don’t like mushrooms, you possibly don’t like olives either, but those would be delicious in this.

I was going to make this gluten free but didn’t have enough gf mix. I suspect it’ll work really well with a premade mix that has several starches and xanthan gum. You will want to add a few extra tablespoons of milk since these flours absorb a lot of liquid. I’ll be giving this a gluten-free go as soon as I have the flour.

To make this oil free, use veggie broth to saute the vegetables and add 1/4 cup of nutritional yeast in place of the cheese.

These are so, so good right out of the oven while the cheese is super melty, though they hold their shape much better after they have cooled slightly.

This recipe makes a 9×13 batch, so you might want to at least double that for a party. These will disappear quickly!

RECIPE

4 ounces of mushrooms, chopped

1 tablespoon soy sauce

1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke

1 tablespoon of olive oil

1/2 medium onion, diced

1 tablespoon of garlic, minced (or to taste)

1/2 pound of fresh spinach, chopped

1 tablespoon vegan butter

Pepper, to taste

1 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup of diced tomatoes or Rotel, drained

3/4 cup unsweetened plant milk

1/4 cup aquafaba

4 ounces of shredded vegan cheese (mozzarella or smoked provolone are great in this)

1/4 cup vegan cream cheese

METHOD

Heat a pan over medium-low heat. Preheat your oven to 375°F.

In a bowl, combine the soy sauce and liquid smoke. Add the mushrooms and mix well to coat them evenly. Set aside and stir occasionally while preparing the other ingredients.

Once your pan is warm, add the olive oil and onions. You want to make sure they don’t burn, but that they cook low and slow so they caramelize. Stir occasionally.

Once your onions are at least translucent (caramelized is better), add the mushrooms and whatever liquid remains in the bowl. Adjust the heat accordingly to maintain medium-low.

Add the chopped spinach, butter, and garlic. Wilt the spinach and immediately turn off the heat. Add black pepper. There will be liquid in the pan, just leave it with the veggies. It’s full of flavor.

In a mixing bowl, sift together the flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Add the milk and aquafaba and stir well to combine. Add the veggie, their juices, and tomatoes. Gently fold everything in. Finally, add the cheese and fold again to combine.

Grease a 9×13 baking dish. Add the batter and smooth evenly into the pan. Add small dollops of cream cheese on top of the batter. Use a toothpick or knife to swirl the cream cheese throughout the batter.

Bake in your preheated oven, on the center rack, for about 30 minutes. A toothpick inserted in the middle will come out clean when they’re done.

Allow to rest for 10 minutes at least before cutting.

 

 

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