Monday, December 2, 2013

Spinach Quiche

I have a strange child.  He dislikes most normal kid foods.  He doesn't like chicken strips, he just recently decided he will tolerate pizza, and he loves vegetables.  For the last couple of years if you ask him what his favorite food is he will tell you quiche.  This of course is wonderful for me because it is pretty healthy and is really quick and easy to make.  Added to that, it is really good leftover so I can make it in advance if I need to.  It is also really easy to customize, in fact I almost titled this post Quiche, Any Way You Like It.

Start out with a pre-made pie crust.  If you prefer not to serve your family packaged foods, feel free to make your crust from scratch, but we are working on being imperfectionists in this house so pre-made it is.  Honestly, my best results are with the store brand crust from Stater Bros.  The Pillsbury one is good too, but in my house we go Stater Bros.  You will need to take the crust out of the fridge about 20 minutes in advance otherwise when you try to unroll it, it will stick together and you'll have holes to fix.  While your oven or toaster oven (I have an extra large toaster oven which I love because I can bake without heating up my house) preheats to 425, unroll your pie crust into a pyrex pie dish and prick it all over with a fork.  Bake your pie crust for about 8 minutes.  This will prevent you from having a soggy crust.

While your crust is baking it is time to make your filling.  Start out by pouring 1 cup of milk into a large measuring cup.  I use skim because that is what we drink but you can use whatever you have on hand.  You can use a bowl if you want to, but if you mix your filling in the measuring cup it is easy to pour into the crust and you have to measure the milk anyway so you are using one less dish.  Crack in 4 eggs.  Add in some garlic powder, white pepper, and onion salt.  Whisk it all together.

At this point you can add anything combination of cheeses, meats, and vegetables you would like.   Jake's favorite combination involves spinach and the Trader Joe's swiss & gruyere blend.  Josh likes it better when I add some crumbled cooked bacon or sausage but I usually keep it vegetarian because it's easier healthier.  I do not recommend using fresh spinach.  I am rarely a proponent of frozen spinach but when I use fresh it all floats to the top of the quiche and I like it mixed throughout.

If you want to be like me, pour about a 1/3 of the bag of frozen chopped spinach into a microwave safe dish and microwave on high for 2 minutes.  Then drain the spinach and add it to the egg mixture along with the cheese.  My super easy way to drain the spinach involves using my plastic kid bowls and placing an empty one on top of the one with the spinach and then pressing down on it while I dump the water out.  This is way easier to clean up than how I used to do it (pressing it in a fine strainer).

By now your crust should be ready.  Add some cheese and the drained spinach to your egg mixture.   Then pour it into your crust.

Turn the oven down to 375 and bake for 25-30 minutes or until the eggs are set.  Then take it out and cover it loosely with a paper towel.  Wait 10 minutes, then cut and serve.  You can also make this in advance, refrigerate it and then reheat each piece in the microwave.  I love to take the leftovers for lunch the next day.  You have to love a one dish meal that can be so easily customized and is just as good for breakfast, lunch, or dinner!

*If you are going low carb you can make this without the crust.  Just skip the instructions about the crust, spray the pie dish with cooking spray, and follow the rest of the instructions.  You can also pour the mixture into muffin tins to make individual quiches and then freeze those to always have a quick breakfast on hand.

Spinach & Cheese Quiche
  • 1 refrigerated pie crust
  • 1 cup skim milk 
  • 4 eggs
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. white pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. onion salt
  • 1/2 cup shredded swiss/gruyere blend
  • 1 cup frozen chopped spinach
  1. Preheat oven to 425.  Unroll pie crust into pyrex pie dish and prick all over with a fork.  Bake for 8 minutes.  Then take it out and reduce oven temperature to 375.
  2. In a large measuring cup whisk together milk, eggs, garlic powder, white pepper, and onion salt.
  3. Put frozen spinach in a microwave safe bowl and microwave for 2 minutes to defrost.  Then drain completely and add to the egg mixture along with the cheese.
  4. Pour into the prebaked crust and bake for 25-30 minutes or until eggs are set.
  5. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving. 

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