How's your September going? Are you back into your normal routine? Things haven't slowed down for me as much as I thought they would, weekends are still really busy. The only difference is that now I am doing autumn events instead of summertime events and outings. I haven't go apple picking yet unfortunately, that is still on my list of things to do. Last year my September was so so busy I missed apple season completely and ended up pumpkin picking at the end of October instead. Oh well, at least I had amazing roasted pumpkin in my freezer for the winter.
With the hustle and bustle of everything it is hard to make time for meal planning and packing healthy lunches, but I am determined. This past week things didn't go as planned in terms of how much we ate, so there was a ton of unused food in the fridge. When this happens I like to think of it as a challenge instead of a problem, so I set some time aside to deal with the issue. With an abundance of spinach, tomatoes, eggs and cheese in my fridge I had lots of options. I thought about being adventurous, but I ended up making an old faithful that I knew would freeze well, quiche.
Quiche is so much more than a breakfast food! With a side salad it makes for a wonderful packed lunch, it can be made into a prefect party food by making mini versions, it can even be made healthier to fit into reduced calorie diets. The version below is my clean out the fridge quiche. Pretty much everything in this aside from the eggs can be swapped for something else. I have used canned coconut milk, but if you have almond, soy or cow's milk in your fridge you can use that (just make sure that it's not flavored). I have used cheddar cheese, but use any kind you have around. You can even use a bunch of different kinds if you have odds and ends to finish up. Not eating carbs right now, or maybe you have an issue with gluten? Just make the quiche without the crust. The veggies are totally interchangeable. If you want you could even add some salmon or chicken instead of some of the cheese or vegetables. Quiche is really one of the best "clean out your fridge" foods out there because it is just so flexible! It also freezes really well so making a double batch makes a lot of sense. Just wait until the quiche is totally cool, leave it in the pie plate, wrap in plastic wrap and put in a (labeled) freezer bag. It will do well in the freezer for about 3 months. When you are ready to eat, just thaw and pop it in the oven until it is warmed through.
The one unforgiving thing about quiche is the pie shell. Working with pastry can be tricky and takes time. If you do decide to make your own, please don't do it in a rush and skip steps. Making pastry is a step by step process and nothing can be missed. This basic recipe from Martha Stewart is a really great place to start. She has outlined everything very well. If you don't have the time, or are just not in the mood to deal with pastry you can buy pre-made frozen dough or shells. Some bulk stores will sell a dry mix that only needs water. There are lots of choices out there, so pick the one that fits your budget and the amount of time that you have.
If your September is anything like mine a freezer friendly recipe can come in handy. If you live on your own and don't want to eat the same thing for days, or are looking for a convenient breakfast on the run make mini quiche. Instead of using a normal sized pie plate use a muffin tin! Make sure to cut your pastry rounds bigger then the width of the muffin cup, how much extra you need will depend on the depth of your muffin tin. Alternatively you can buy pre-made tart shells. Once you have baked your quiche wrap them up individually and put them into freezer bags; this way you can take them out of the freezer one at a time. Technically you can microwave these, but they are really much better in the oven. When I have been crunched for time, or without a way to heat up my lunch I have even eaten my quiche at room temperature. Talk about a convenient and versatile food!
Spinach, Tomato and Cheddar Quiche
Makes one regular sized pie
6 Large Eggs
0.5 Cup Coconut Milk
0.25 TSP Salt
1 Cup Grated Cheddar Cheese
1 Cup Spinach
2 Plum Tomatoes, Seeded and Chopped
0.5 TSP Chopped Garlic
Basic Pie Crust Recipe (or enough dough for one shell)
Preheat over to 350 degrees
Add eggs, milk, salt, garlic and pepper to you food processor and pulse using the standard blade
Add in spinach and pulse until it is in small pieces
Prepare your pie plate by greasing it with butter
Line with your pie dough
Add cheese to pie dough and top with the chopped tomato
Fill your quiche with the egg mixture
Bake for about 40 minutes. You can tell if you quiche is cooked if it doesn't jiggle when you gently shake it.