Quiche is such a versatile dish. It may or may not have pastry crust, and it can be made with vegetables, cheese or seafood. It is usually filled with eggs and milk and/or cream.
Quiche is perfect any time of the day. I especially like quiche for brunch paired with a Bloody Mary or with a green salad for lunch. Adding grilled salmon and a glass of chardonnay makes for a delicious and romantic dinner.
There are infinite combinations of ingredients that can make a good quiche. To create a healthy version, I omit the crust and use vegetables and low-fat cheese fillings.
Ricotta cheese makes a creamy custard, and that’s what I use in this recipe rather than milk or cream. My favorite vegetable combo is mushrooms and asparagus with Gruyere, but you can pair any two or three vegetables. For example, spinach and mushroom also pair well with Gruyere, and broccoli and cheddar is a popular option.
To reduce water retention and inflammation, I have cut down on salt in my cooking. In this recipe, I use Parmesan cheese for its salty flavor.
I learned from one of the caterers while volunteering in the Beth El Congregation kitchen that eggs must be either raw or fully cooked, not par-cooked. This means you can make this recipe ahead and chill it in the fridge for an hour or overnight, then bake it before serving. You can also freeze it raw (careful not to spill it when putting it in the freezer), defrost it overnight in the fridge and then bake.
I am all about cooking once and eating twice, so you can double or triple this recipe.
Serves 2 as a meal or 4 as a side dish
2 cups cooked vegetables. I use one cup each of mushrooms and asparagus (if using zucchini or spinach, squeeze the water out before mixing)
1/2 cup low-fat ricotta
1/2 cup shredded Gruyere, Swiss cheese or mozzarella, divided in half
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
1 clove garlic, finely minced, or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 tablespoons onion, finely minced, or 1 1/2 teaspoons onion powder
A few sprays of cooking oil
Sauté mushrooms and asparagus and allow to cool.
Sauté onion and garlic and allow to cool.
Mix all ingredients together, reserving half the shredded cheese for the top.
Put in a Pyrex dish sprayed with cooking oil to prevent sticking.
Top with shredded cheese.
Bake at 350 F for about 45 minutes, until golden brown on top.
In case you wonder where the phrase “real men don’t eat quiche” comes from, I Googled it. According to Wikipedia, “‘Real Men Don’t Eat Quiche’ is a best-selling tongue-in-cheek book satirizing stereotypes of masculinity by the American screenwriter and humorist Bruce Feirstein, published in 1982.” And, for the record, my husband loves my crustless quiche! PJC
Carole Lampel Mantel is an independent health coach and home chef. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.