If brunch is in your plans in the near future, one favorite menu item is quiche. Quiche, however, can contain lots of hidden calories and fat. One wedge can contain in the neighborhood of 600 (or more) calories. Yet we love it, so the dilemma is how to lighten it up, and still get all the creamy goodness that we love.
One way would be to eliminate the crust, but really, who likes a quiche with no flaky crust to support all that eggy, cheesy filling. This recipe uses a crust made with olive oil instead of the traditional butter or shortening. The heart healthy olive oil lends a “green”, flavor to the crust. The filling is bulked up with mushrooms and spinach, adding few calories, but great nutritional value. A nutty flavored cheese like Gruyère, or Swiss is the perfect compliment to the vegetables, and only 2 ounces go into this quiche. The egg custard is made using mostly low fat milk (I used skim milk) plus a splash of half-and-half that adds richness but fewer calories and fat than heavy cream. The quiche is finished off with a sprinkle of crisp bacon on the top, which you taste first, so you get a savory crunch in every bite. One sixth of this quiche is a 317-calorie slice of heaven. Vegetarians would find this quiche very satisfying even without the bacon, or could use a substitute.
I tested out this recipe earlier this week, served it for dinner with a side salad, and Mr. D. loved it, never suspecting it was a “lighter” version. I thought it was luscious.
(LIGHTER) SPINACH-BACON QUICHE
Yield: Serves 6
- 5.6 ounces all-purpose flour, about 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons
- 3/4 kosher salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, divided
- 1/4 teaspoon baking powder
- 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 tablespoons ice water
- cooking spray
- 3 slices bacon, lean center cut, if possible (vegetarians can omit bacon)
- 1/4 cup chopped shallots
- 1 (8-ounce) package sliced mushrooms
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme, or 1/2 teaspoon dried
- 2 cups packed baby spinach
- 1 cup 1 % low-fat milk (I used fat-free)
- 1/3 cup half and half, or light cream
- 3 large eggs
- 2 ounces Gruyère cheese, grated (swiss cheese, or any good melting cheese may be used instead)
1. Preheat oven to 425*F.
2. ** Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cup. Combine flour, 1/4 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, and baking powder in a food processor; pulse 2 times to combine. Combine oil with 3 tablespoons water. With processor running, slowly add oil mixture through food chute; process until dough comes together. Turn dough out onto slightly floured surface. Knead 1 minute. Press dough into a 5-inch disk; wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 20 minutes.
3. Roll dough into a 12-inch circle. Fit into a 9-inch deep-dish pie plate coated with cooking spray. Line dough with foil; arrange pie weights or dried beans on foil. Bake at 425*F. for 12 minutes until edges are golden. Remove weights and foil; bake an additional 2 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while you make the filling.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 350*F.
5. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving drippings; crumble and set aside. Return pan to medium-high heat. Add shallots to drippings in pan; sauté 2 minutes.
Add mushrooms and thyme; cook until tender, about 8 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes or until it wilts. Remove from heat. Drain any excess liquid.
6. Place milk, half-and-half, eggs, remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper in a blender; process until smooth.
7. Arrange half of cheese over bottom of crust; top with spinach mixture and remaining half of cheese.
Carefully pour milk mixture over cheese. Sprinkle with bacon.
Bake at 350*F for 45 minutes or until filling is set and top begins to brown. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.
**As a time saving step, and if calories in the crust are not a concern, you could use a frozen pie crust. Bake as directed in step #3, according to package directions.
SOURCE: Cooking Light Magazine