Mushroom Bourek (or Burek or Börek)

I have not been sharing recipes for a while, but this one reminded me of home and comfort food I grew up with, so I thought why not share it with the world! Bourek or Burek or Börek is one of the most favorite breakfast foods (yes, you heard that right – BREAKFAST) on the Balkans, Eastern Europe, Turkey… Burek is a baked pastry made of very thin layers of dough – in the US this type of dough is known as phyllo. A “pie” filling (traditionally meat, cheese, spinach (or other leafy greens like chard), sautéd mushrooms…) is placed in between the dough layers to create a very rich and amazingly delicious pie. It’s actually quite impossible to describe burek – if you have not tried it, you should, and with the recipe below now you can make one at your home!

Mushroom Bourek

What you’ll need:

  • 20 sheets of phyllo dough (about 8 oz, 250 g)
  • 16 oz (450 g) white mushrooms, diced
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red peppers
  • 1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1/4 cup water
  • salt and pepper to taste

What you’ll do:

  1. Prepare the phyllo dough according to the instructions on the package. For most of you who live in the US, this means leaving the dough out to thaw either in the fridge or on the kitchen counter following the directions of the manufacturer. This can take anywhere between 4 hours to overnight.
  2. Once the dough is ready, preheat the oven to 375 F (190 C).
  3. Prepare your mushrooms, onion and garlic by: dicing the mushrooms and the onion into small pieces (1/4 inch (0.5 cm) or so), and mincing the garlic.
  4. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil into a large frying pan and heat over medium high heat. Add the onions and sauté for 3-5 minutes, until golden.
  5. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes.
  6. Add the mushrooms and cook them through, which will take about 5-8 minutes.
  7. Stir in nutritional yeast, crushed red pepper flakes, rosemary, salt and pepper and sauté for another 1-2 minutes. Turn the heat off and let the mixture cool.
  8. Place 1/4 cup vegetable oil and 1/4 water in a bowl. They will not mix, so you will have to “agitate” aka mix the two each time before applying.
  9. Using a pastry brush, or a spoon, spread 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil around 9 x 13 in (23 x 33 cm) baking dish.
  10. Once the dish is oiled, start layering your phyllo dough sheets into the dish. The sheets are gentle, so treat them with care. Layer a single sheet to cover the bottom (you will likely need to fold it in half to fit into the dish, and that’s ok), then sprinkle with water/oil mix. To do this, use your pastry brush to mix the water/oil well then “paint” the dough layer all over. The dough should not be soaking wet, but it should be moist. Layer another sheet of dough in the same manner, moist with water/oil mixture, and repeat until you’ve used 5 sheets of dough.
  11. Once the 4th (or 5th) sheet of dough is in, you are ready to add 1/3 of your mushroom filling. Spread the filling evenly across the phyllo dough. It should cover the layer thinly. Proceed to layer the phyllo dough, 5 sheets wetted with water/oil mix in between each layer. Top with another third of your mushroom mix, topped with another 5 sheets of phyllo dough and repeat one more time. At the end, you should have a pie with 5 sheets of phyllo – 1/3 of mushroom filling – 5 sheets of phyllo – 1/3 of mushroom filling – 5 sheets of phyllo – 1/3 of mushroom filling – 5 sheet of phyllo. Make sure that the top sheet of phyllo is brushed well with the water/oil mix.
  12. Place the pie into the hot over and bake for 20 minutes then increase the heat to 425 F (220 C) and bake for another 10-15 minutes, until the top layer is crispy and golden brown (see photo). Let cool for 5-minutes before cutting. Enjoy hot for breakfast, lunch, or dinner! I like to add some yogurt on the side – it’s delicious!

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2021

Quick Quiche with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Tofu

Quick Quiche with Tofu and Mushrooms
Quick Quiche with Tofu and Mushrooms, via Eat the Vegan Rainbow

Eating pie for lunch sounds so decadent, doesn’t it? And that’s what makes quiche so appealing. I usually stay away from making quiche because I can’t deal with making my own crust. The crust takes time and effort that is beyond my capacity. Luckily for me, and I am guessing many of you, stores carry pre-made pie crusts that are ready to use.

My quiche recipe uses one of those and that really makes it come together relatively quickly. One tip when using the store bought frozen pie crust is to bake the crust by itself first for ten to fifteen minutes while you are mixing and preparing the other ingredients. This pre-baking will help make the crust nice and crunchy and help it hold the filling.

Filling is definitely the star of any quiche and it is traditionally made of eggs and cheese, often with mushrooms, ham, spinach, artichokes or other meat and vegetable components thrown into it. So, the result is usually light in texture but heavy on your stomach and very calorie dense.

In my first attempt to veganize quiche I decided to keep it simple and start with mushrooms, red onions and tofu as main ingredients. Most of the cooking actually takes place in a pan on the stove top as both red onions and mushrooms need to be fully cooked before they hit the pie crust. I recommend taking the time to caramelize the onions nice and slow, as well as let the mushrooms cook most of the way before adding tofu. In this case, the tofu needs to be drained and crumbled but you can skip the “pressing tofu” step that almost all tofu recipes have making this a really quick dish!

Quick Quiche with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Tofu

What you’ll need:

1 store bought pie crust, vegan

1 red onion

10 oz (300 g) white mushrooms

14 oz (400 g) extra firm tofu, drained

2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

1 tablespoon corn starch

1 teaspoon dry basil leaves

1 teaspoon dry oregano leaves

Cooking spray

What you’ll do:

    1. Preheat oven to 350 F (180 C). Once ready, put the pie crust in to pre-bake for 15 minutes.
    2. Cut the onion into fine, thin slices.
    3. Spray the bottom and sides of a frying pan with cooking spray and place it over medium high heat. Add the onion and let caramelize for 5 to 10 minutes. The onion should be nicely browned and soft.
    4. While the onion is caramelizing, clean and slice the mushrooms, or you can always buy sliced mushrooms and skip this step.
    5. Add sliced mushrooms to the onion mix and cook until mushrooms soften, which will take another 5 minutes or so.
    6. Drain tofu and crumble it into small crumbles with a fork or with your hand. The size of the crumbles should be similar to scrambled egg.
    7. Add crumbled tofu, nutritional yeast, corn starch, basil and oregano. Stir well the quiche filling, let brown for another 1 to 2 minutes, then turn the heat off and let sit until your pie crust is done pre-baking.
    8. Pour the filling into the crust, spray the top with some cooking spray and return to oven for another 20 to 25 minutes, until the top is golden brown.
    9. Take the quiche out, let stand for 5 minutes then serve with your favorite salad or top with some sun dried tomato shreds like I did on this occasion.

Copyright © Eat the Vegan Rainbow, 2017