I would never have ordered a soufflé at Panera. Although I do eat eggs and dairy when I’m eating someplace that’s not home, I avoid dishes that contain large quantities of either. I’m not even a fan of hot breakfast food — if I don’t eat breakfast at home, I’m more into donuts and pancakes and sugary stuff. But one morning, the office brought in Baked Egg Soufflés from Panera. I was hungry and had forgotten my usual snack. And when I get hungry, I get cranky. So I dug through the box and found one labeled spinach and artichoke – worth a try, right? It was amazing.
I didn’t even know what the heck a soufflé was – I’m not sure I still do, and I don’t care. I HAD to make a vegan version of whatever this was – a cheesy, savory, spinach and artichoke filling baked in flaky croissant dough! Idly, I googled “vegan soufflé” and found that I’m not the only wannabe vegan who fell in love with this decidedly-not vegan dish. Jessica at Clean Green Simple (http://cleangreensimple.com/2011/06/spinach-artichoke-souffle/) is very ambitious – she re-made Panera’s recipe into something that was not only vegan, but gluten free! I set out to make a simpler, gluten-y but still vegan version.
This is my high-tech tofu press. Good Housekeeping (circa 1985) informs me that a soufflé contains butter, flour, salt, pepper, milk, cheese, and eggs. No croissant crust. I knew I liked my version better…
I’m not above occasionally using prepared convenience foods (except for cake mix – cake mix is always evil). So I used Pillsbury crescent rolls – which, despite the prominent label “Butter Flake,” contains no actual dairy products. So apparently “flaky” describes this product in more than one way… (I’m aware that ingredients vary for lots of foods based on country and even region of the United States, so don’t take this as the case for what you’ll find at your grocery store).
I used 8 ounce ramekins, they’re about 4” in diameter. One roll of crescent rolls was enough for 3 ramekins, and I had filling left over that would have filled another 2-3 ramekins.
2 rolls Pillsbury crescent rolls (or other vegan crescent rolls)
¼ cup white or yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
½ can artichoke hearts in water, drained
2 large handfuls fresh spinach
½ block extra-firm tofu, pressed and crumbled
¼ tsp turmeric
1 to 1 ½ tsp salt
½ cup nutritional yeast
½ cup Daiya mozzarella shreds or other vegan cheese substitute
2 Tbsp Earth Balance (spread or sticks – optional)
Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees F.
Heat olive oil in skillet; sauté onion, garlic, and artichoke hearts until onion is soft, about 5 minutes. Add spinach until wilted.
Mix artichoke/onion/spinach mixture and crumbled tofu in mixing bowl; add turmeric, salt, nutritional yeast, and vegan cheese.
Spray 5-6 4”, 8-ounce ramekins with cooking spray; use 2 to 2 ½ crescent roll triangles to line the bottoms and inside of each ramekin, leaving enough to fold over top. The top does not have to be completely covered. Fill ramekins ¾ full with filling; add 2-3 tsp Earth Balance, and fold excess dough over top.
Bake ramekins on a cookie sheet for 20-30 minutes. Let cool 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!