Saturday, April 4, 2009

Quiche: It's What's for Dinner

I am only minorly embarrassed to admit that David and I run through almost 2 dozen eggs every week. We love eggs. We eat them for breakfast every day (and I usually bake something with them almost every night). They are a great, lean protein and -- Get ready for another life lesson -- can be really good for you...if you buy organic, cage free, and/or free range (which basically means you can be comfortable both with what the chickens eat and how they are raised).

Alright, you've seen Napoleon Dynamite. Most chickens whose meat and eggs we have been prone to consuming are raised in high-rise, immobilizing chicken barns (where their potentially "large talons" hang out in their own scat). They make cheap eggs, yes, but those eggs are created by genetically modified birds, which are fed hormones and other foods their little chicken bodies were not designed to digest well, and sequestered into tiny pens, just begging for a chicken virus to take everyone out. I'm not talking about having happy chickens, I'm talking about us humans ingesting the best quality (or even just the least bad) foods we can--for lifelong health.

You've heard of Omega-3 fatty acids? Then you probably know that they're very good for you. Did you know that Americans have a startling deficit of Omega-3s in our diet, and therefore in our bodies? Did you know that we should have a 3-to-1 ratio of Omega-6s (a different kind of fatty acid) to Omega-3s and that the average American diet has more of a 10-to-1 or 20-to-1 ratio? Did you know that hens fed a healthy diet can have 300% the Omega-3s that a standard-issue supermarket egg has?! That's THREE TIMES as much. Not to mention improved stats on cholesterol, certain vitamins, and a much better outlook on saturated fat. If you balk at the price of organic eggs, think of it as a small health insurance contribution. And if you don't believe me, talk to the researchers at Penn State.

(Sidenote: don't overcompensate by going for the Omega-3 enhanced eggs either. It certainly gets points for health, but these "enriched" foods are our food system's way of cutting corners on production, then applying a quick-fix enhancement at the last minute. Work on reaching back as close to the land or the animal as you can.)
I'm glad we've had this talk.

Now! On to quiche. The difference between quiche you have at a regular ole meal and quiche you have at a special calorie-unconscious ladies' brunch is the crust. Take out the lining, and you've got a super healthful meal (or two or three) that saves beautifully.
This is a basic, crustless quiche recipe for which I'll give you the proportions and let you go crazy. We used asparagus, leeks, and cheddar cheese, and it was great, but endless variations are possible here--based on what's in your fridge or on your mind.

Crustless Vegetable Quiche
(Fills one 9-in pie plate)
1 heaping cup chopped vegetables of your choice
5 eggs
1/2 cup cheese (I used cheddar)
1/2 cup fresh bread crumbs (meaning, tear up a slice of bread: not the stuff from the can at the store)
Plenty of S+P
  1. Preheat oven to 350ยบ. In a pan over medium-high heat, heat about 1 tsp olive oil. Add vegetables and 1 tsp salt, and saute until softened, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
  2. Whisk eggs until well beaten and uniform color. Stir in cheese and bread crumbs, and plenty of salt and pepper. Fold in vegetables and pour into greased pie plate.
  3. Bake about 30 minutes. It's ok if the center is a little wobbly. It will continue to cook as it cools.
  4. Slice into wedges and enjoy with a nice dollop of sour cream and a sprinkle of paprika.

If you have leftovers, just keep in the fridge and slice off wedges at will. It's equally satisfying cold or warm, and could serve as breakfast, lunch, and/or dinner.

1 comment:

  1. Abby Love! Hello! Carrie's old friend Mel here to say

    1) Love your blog... I am a bread-making-fiend of the Chicago order though I have yet to carry the dough around with me whilst mid-errand.

    2) YOU SHOULD GET A CHICKEN. don't know what the laws are in Boston, but in Chicago it is 100 percent legal! and apparently with a small source of heat, that little clucker will be fine in the midst of blizzards. AND THEY LAY A FREAKING EGG A DAY!!!! that is not 2 dozen, but it's a good start. happy chicken. happy body. happy life.