Entries in Eggs (5)
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!
When I'm meal planning for the week ahead I always try to incorporate as much variety as I can. Chicken is usually on the menu, vegetables are always front and centre, and sometimes we take a break from meat altogether... meatless Mondays anyone?
Food can get boring pretty easily with repetition, especially when lean chicken breast is a mainstay in our house. Unless you know how to spice things up from time to time. Know what I mean?
Enter the world of spices & herbs and a little out of the box thinking.
That's where this recipe for healthy faux-fried/ chicken comes in. If you recall that lunch salad I made a while ago topped with baked chicken; this is the recipe for the chicken.
Crisped to perfection in the oven using homemade whole grain breadcrumbs and fresh grated Parmesan cheese. A hint of fresh thyme also adds flavour that's reminiscent of Spring.
My go to lunch is almost always a leafy green salad with protein (chicken, hard-boiled egg, lean pork tenderloin, hemp seeds, pumpkin seeds, nuts etc.). When it comes to salad dressing I will either make my own or opt for lemon juice or balsamic vinegar (sometimes with a bit of olive oil). I've recently discovered how amazing fresh minced ginger root is added to my salads. It practically acts like a salad dressing. It adds a nice zing and it's super good for you too.
The leftovers are really good too. So far I've tried it in my lunch salads and in a wrap all nice and toasty with spinach, mustard, leaf lettuce, and shredded carrots.
Crispy Baked Chicken (serves 4)
- 4 chicken breast halves
- 2 eggs
- 1/4 cup skim milk
- 1 tsp Sriracha
- 1 cup whole grain bread crumbs *(I like to make my own)* See Note
- 1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- 2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
- a pinch of smoked paprika (optional)
- Preheat oven to 375*F. Place an ovenproof wire-rack on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- In a medium sized bowl, whisk the eggs, milk, and Sriracha. In a separate medium sized mixing bowl, mix together the breadcrumbs, thyme, cheese, and paprika.
- Dip each piece of chicken in egg mixture, shake off excess liquid, then roll in breadcrumb mixture to coat. Arrange on prepared pan/ wire rack.
- Bake without turning for 50 minutes to 1 hour until internal temperature registers 180*F on an instant read thermometer.
To make your own breadcrumbs, take a few slices of day old whole grain bread and chop into small (1 inch) cubes. Place them on a baking sheet in the oven on 350*F for 5-10 minutes or until they are nice and toasty. Watch they don't burn! Transfer them to your food processor and give them a quick whir until they resemble breadcrumbs. You can give them a drizzle of olive oil before toasting, but it isn't necessary.