Entries in Asparagus (4)
Confession #1: I have never made quiche.
Confession #2: I have never eaten quiche.
It's not that I never wanted to try quiche. It's just that I always assumed it was one of those things that could never be healthy and still taste good. I never indulged in this savory treat before because of the copious amounts of eggs, butter and heavy cream. Eeek! That's a lot of fat. And besides the fact I'm one of those people that would rather save up their treat calories for a sweet dessert ;)
With a bit of experimentation and researching I was able to create this health-ed up recipe. I'm happy to say that a slice of this quiche will not go straight to your hips...and the smell of it in the oven while cooking is intoxicating!
Okay, okay. So how did I do it?
Well the first step was the crust. At first I was stumped. I'm usually good with making pastry but this isn't pastry, it's more of a short crust, and anyway it needs to be healthy. Instead of all-purpose flour I used whole grain unrefined red fife flour, which works top notch in pie crusts. I used about 4 tbsp of unsalted butter (that's not very much fat when it comes down to a serving size) and my little secret, a pinch of nutmeg.
After making the pastry I put it in the fridge to set. Well I thought I mucked it up because it wouldn't roll out and it kept falling apart. While muttering a few expletives...ahem...I pieced the dough backed together in the dish and it turned out just fine! I realized this was to be expected with the type of crust it was, without all that fat to hold it together. Don't worry if this happens to you while rolling out the dough. If it splits just pinch the seams back together.
You should end up with it looking something like this:
Also note how I perforated the dough with a fork (or "docked" it). Can you see all the little holes? That's because we're going to be backing this crust before we add the filling.
Now if you can believe it the filling only uses 1 whole egg and 2 egg whites, 1 cup of skim milk, and creamy goat cheese for its lower fat content.
Asparagus, onions, and spinach are sautéd and caramelized in a bit of olive oil for extra flavour.
Fill-er-up and bake!
Asparagus & Goat Cheese Quiche with Caramelized Onions (serves 8)
For the crust:
- 1 cup of red fife flour
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 3 tbsp ice cold water
For the filling:
- 1 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1 medium onion, halved and thinly sliced
- Pinch of black pepper
- 1 cup asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups of spinach
- 1/2 cup brussels sprouts, halved and thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
- Goat cheese
- 1 egg
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup low-fat milk
- 1/2 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/4 cup chopped chives
- Begin by combining the flour, salt and nutmeg in a food processor or mixing bowl. Mix the butter into the flour mixture until there are pea-sized (or smaller) pieces of butter. Gradually pour the water in, one tablespoon at a time while stirring the mixture. Grasp the dough (still in the bowl) and mix with your hands, gently. Place dough on heavily floured countertop, and flour your rolling pin. Roll it out gently until it's about 1/4 inch thick and large enough for you pie pan. I used a fluted dish and pressed the dough into the flutes. Dock the bottom of the crust with a fork to prevent it from bubbling up while it's cooking. Bake in a 400*F oven for 10 minutes.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and season with a pinch of pepper. Stir and spread out to cook until they start to caramelize, about 3 minutes. Add the brussels sprouts, stir to combine and cook for about another 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and asparagus and cook over medium heat until the asparagus is fork tender.
- Whisk together egg, egg whites, milk, chives and nutmeg. Spread the vegetable mixture in the bottom of the prepared crust. Sprinkle goat cheese to taste. Pour egg mixture over top.
- Bake at 350*F, uncovered until set and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean, about 40 minutes. Let quiche rest at room temperature for 10 minutes to settle and serve.
Healthy, simple, and low in fat.
We enjoyed this for dinner with steamed broccoli on the side. It reheats really well for leftovers too!
Back in the day when we used to eat without a second thought, spaghetti and meat sauce was a big hit at my house. My mom would make her famous tomato meat sauce with ground beef and we would cook up some white pasta and sit down to a family dinner. I still love my mom's old recipe as a treat -minus the white pasta. But one day it dawned on us, "hey, why can't we just clean it up and make it more nutritious?" Of course!
Well that's exactly what we did. Served with some good wine of course:
Ever since I picked up Tosca Reno's first eat clean diet cook book, I've been inspired to take recipes and turn them into healthy every day meals. It's become something of a hobby that I get to enjoy with my family when we come together to make dinner. We really like cooking together. And after all, real food should taste good and have the best of both worlds (nutrition & flavour).
This is now a recipe that we like to make over and over again. It's comforting, it's healthy, it's whole grain and most importantly it tastes really good! If you're looking for something to go with a good bottle of red wine, then this is a recipe for you. We made this last weekend and enjoyed it with a glass of Ravine's VQA Red Coat from St. Davids Ontario. 2010 was a great year for wine in Niagara.
I like to call this a rustic tomato sauce because the tomatoes are roasted down in the oven along with other veggies and herbs, making it less of a traditional pasta sauce. It uses plump fresh Ontario grown tomatoes, asparagus, and roasted sweet red bell peppers all roughly chopped. Instead of the ground beef we picked up some organic locally prepared low sodium extra lean turkey sausage from Nicholyn farm in Horseshoe Valley. Another great place that I like to frequent. And ancient grain kamut spaghetti to replace the white pasta. I would strongly suggest topping it with a little bit of soft goat cheese like I served it here, no measurements needed:
The fresh basil came from my herb garden.
Rustic Kamut Spaghetti with Turkey Sausage (serves 4)
- 1 bunch of asparagus, chopped into 1 inch pieces
- 2 cups of mixed tomatoes, chopped (plum, yellow, cherry)
- 1 tbsp each of olive oil and red wine vinegar
- 1/2 tsp dried basil
- 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 2 cloves of garlic, minced (optional)
- 1 large red bell pepper, roasted and chopped
- 1 1/2 cups of sliced mushrooms
- 3-4 turkey sausages, grilled and sliced
- 2-3 tbsp fresh basil, torn
- 4 large knobs of goat cheese
- Preheat oven to 425* F. In a large baking dish, combine chopped tomatoes, asparagus, olive oil, red wine vinegar, dried basil, oregano, red pepper flakes, sea salt and garlic. Place in oven to roast for 10 minutes.
- Saute the mushrooms in a medium sauce pan then add them, roasted red pepper, and grilled turkey sausage to the tomato mix. Continue to cook for another 10 minutes in the oven.
- Meanwhile, start cooking the pasta for 8-10 minutes.
- Once the pasta is cooked, drain and toss with the tomato mixture and half of the basil.
- Serve among 4 plates and top with fresh torn basil and goat cheese.
Cheers to another home cooked meal!
If you like flavourful food you do not want to miss this one.