Friday, January 6, 2012

recipe: ham + spinach quiche with whole wheat crust...

Today's post is going to be a sort of lighter..shall I say, healthier, recipe.

I happen to love quiches. So does my husband. The saying is true, "Real men eat quiche." They're relatively easy to make and are so incredibly versatile- I usually make a quiche whenever we have an array of weird leftovers in our fridge. Let's leftover chicken breast...about 5 stalks of cooked asparagus from last night's dinner...hmm...a container of feta cheese with maybe a handful left...LET'S MAKE A QUICHE!!! I kid not, it always happens that way. The other night we had some leftover cooked ham, a small onion, and a half eaten bag of fresh spinach sitting in an almost bare fridge. (I guess it's grocery time) Oh! And some eggs...we always have I figured- it's quiche time.

We're always trying to be on the "lighter" and "healthier" side of things...Although I just can't seem to kick this sugar addiction!!! I'll go a good 2 or 3 days without any added sugars (just sugars occurring naturally in fruits and what have you) and then WHAM! almost without notice I find myself popping in some Junior Mints or taking a bite of this chocolate-bordeaux egg thing my mom got me for Christmas. Maybe I'll never cut sugar out completely....and maybe I'm ok with that.

So since trying to eat better wherever I can, I tend to make a lot of whole wheat crusts. I also add flax seeds to as many things as I can, including this crust (you can omit). When we're supposed to have anywhere from 25-35g of fiber per day, I can't help but add things like flax (or chia seeds) to almost everything. But then again, having this crust super spiked with butter...I don't know how good for you it really is.

I'll assure you one thing though- this quiche is GOOD for your taste buds!...If you know what I mean ;)

Ham + Spinach Quiche with Whole Wheat Crust
Makes one 10" pie tin

For the crust:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground flax seed (optional)
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 stick unsalted cold butter, cubed
  • 1/4 cup ice water (may need more, may need less)

1. To a mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, or to a food processor, add your flours, flax and salt. Mix until combined. Next add cubed cold butter and mix (or pulse) until sand like texture with pea sized balls of butter.

2.With mixer on slow (or if using a food processor- pulsing) slowly add ice water and mix until JUST combined and starting to form a ball. Do NOT overmix.

3. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface and form into a disk. Wrap with plastic wrap and chill in fridge for about 15 minutes.

4. Preheat oven to 375*F. Roll out disk until you've made a circle of dough about 1/4" thick. Place gently into your pie dish and pierce holes throughout bottom and sides of dough with a fork, or knife.

5. Bake 10 minutes in 375*F oven. Remove and set aside.

For the quiche filling:

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 small onion (or half a medium onion)
  • 1/2 teaspoon herbs de provence (or substitute with dried thyme)
  • 5 whole eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 1 cup cooked diced ham 
  • 1 cup raw organic spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon grated pecorino

1. Keep oven at 375*F. Add oil to a small saute pan and heat up over medium heat. Add your small diced onion and saute for about 3-4 minutes. Next add your herbs de provence (or thyme) and continue cooking until onions are translucent- about 2-3 minutes more. Turn off heat and set aside to cool.

2. In a medium sized bowl, add your eggs.

3. Next add your milk, salt, and pepper to your eggs and whisk until thoroughly combined.

4. To your cooled par-baked crust, add your cup of cubed ham.

6. Next layer your fresh organic spinach.

7. Top spinach with your cooled cooked onion. Finally, carefully pour your custard mix over your veggies in your crust. Top with your grated Parmesan and pecorino cheeses.

8. Bake quiche at 375*F for about 35-40 minutes, turning half way through, until crust is browned and custard jiggles very slightly in center. If crust is browning too fast for your quiche, remove from oven, put tinfoil around edges (on crust) and place back into oven to continue cooking.

Let sit 5 minutes to cool, then slice and enjoy!!

I suggest serving this quiche for breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! It's totally hearty enough for dinner. I also suggest serving it cooled down a bit. Remove from oven and let it 10 minutes or so- I don't know about you...but I'm not a big fan of piping hot quiches. :)

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