Looking for a way to include seasonal spring vegetables on your dinner plate? Head to the farmer's market for some baby peas and asparagus, and whip up these simple yet satisfying vegan spring vegetable quinoa tarts. These tarts are made decadent with a basic (though delicious!) pie crust recipe adapted from Minimalist Baker and a rich, lemon cashew cream sauce topping. Since making the crust is a bit messy, you may consider putting it together when you've got a bit of time to spare, or simply make the dough ahead of time and store it in the fridge until you're ready to make the tarts. I was fortunate enough to have some help with this recipe. My mother was the hero of the day and took charge of the pie dough while I got the veggies ready. Although we have some 5" x 5" ramekins, we went for some 2.5" x 2.5" copper-toned jello molds (super ancient). You can use ramekins or large muffin tins. The exact baking time may vary depending on the size of the mold you use, so keep on eye on them! The goal is to get them cooked through with a hint of gold on their edges. Enjoy!
Healthy Dinner: Spring Vegetable Quinoa Tarts
Recipe Type: Hearty Entrees
YIELDS 4-5 tarts, depending on the size of your molds
- 2 cups unbleached, all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2/3 cup chilled (solid) coconut oil
- 3-6 tablespoons very cold water
- 1 cup quinoa (uncooked)
- 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed and chopped
- 1/2 cup baby peas
- 1-3 green onions, chopped
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/3 cup water (room temperature)
- juice of one lemon
- 2/3 cup (less if you’d like a thinner sauce) raw cashews
- dash of salt
- dash of smoked paprika
- dash of finely ground pepper
For the pie crust: 1. Preheat the oven to 400*F. 2. In a large bowl, whisk together flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt. 3. Add chunks (equalling 2/3 cup) of solid coconut oil to the dry ingredients. Using a fork or pastry cutter to combine the oil and dry ingredients until the mixture is well combined. 4. Gradually add the chilled water, and stir with a wooden spoon until the dough adheres to itself. 5. Dust the counter (or workspace) with flour, and roll the dough into a fairly thin layer (about 1/4" thick). 6. Cut or tear the dough to comfortably line your molds of choice. It's okay if a little bit of dough spills over the edges. 7. Bake dough in the molds for 8-10 minutes, checking often to make sure the dough doesn't burn. When the edges are slightly golden, remove molds from the oven and set aside. For the lemon cashew cream sauce: 1. In a high-speed blender or food processor, blend the lemon juice, cashews, room temperature water, and dashes of salt, pepper, and smoked paprika until creamy. Set aside. For the filling (quinoa and veggies): 1. Cook quinoa according to package directions. 2. In a separate skillet, warm olive oil or medium-low heat. 3. Sauté the chopped asparagus for about 5 minutes. Add the peas and green onion, and sauté for another two minutes. Set aside. 4. Add a 1/2"-layer of quinoa to the bottoms of each tart. Next, fill with sautéed mixed veggies. Top each tart with a generous dollop of lemon cashew cream. Season as desired and serve.
Related: Rosemary Lemon Asparagus
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Photos: Mary Hood Luttrell