Category Archives: Dinner

Real Girls Eat Quiche

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Earlier this week I met some dear friends for breakfast at a small, tucked away French restaurant.  There were all different kinds of quiches on the menu, ALL calling out to me.  I decided on spinach and at the first bite was not disappointed.  The baked custard filling was smooth and rich and each mouthful ended with the round, full flavor of cheese.  I had the choice of potatoes or a baby green salad with a vinaigrette.  Being breakfast I naturally opted for the salad.  Mama used to serve us sirloin burgers or grilled cheese sandwiches sometimes for breakfast if she had nothing else to give us.  We often had kind of off the wall meals.  Anyway, my breakfast was splendid but it left me wanting more!  I wanted quiche for dinner.  I wanted more of that baked custard filling and if it was lower in fat, well, all the better!  Now pie crust being pie crust I just couldn’t compromise.  There’s no substitute for butter or lard.  You either eat it or you don’t.  But I could certainly improve on the fat content of the filling.  And I seriously jacked up the amount of vegetables.  Paired with a gorgeous baby green salad for dinner…I was one happy girl!  We’re not big meat eaters but we do enjoy a bit of the pig for flavor.  Often I use a  couple of turkey bacon slices crumbled up.  A little finely chopped pancetta rendered is lovely as well.  I’m really crazy about those huge boxes of organic greens for cooking and salads.  To this quiche I’ve used the entire box of baby arugula, baby spinach or a fantastic blend of baby greens called “Super Greens” by Organic Girl.  Infinite kinds of cheeses can be used, the flavors just need to complement the pie.  Just because I have Pepperjack and Gorgonzola on hand I wouldn’t necessarily throw both cheeses in.  What I did have  on hand was two small slices of Muenster, two small slices of Swiss and I cut a bit off of my beloved hunk of Gruyere.  The Muenster added to the creaminess we all love and the Swiss and Gruyere both brought strong cheese flavors so not much is needed.  Also bringing down the caloric and fat content is the number of eggs.  In the deep dish pie I used only two whole eggs.  Four fresh egg whites completed the custard.  Sharing the plate was my baby romaine salad dressed only with a high quality Greek olive oil, a scant sprinkle of Maldon sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper.  A cold, crisp glass of Pinot Grigio would have finished off my feast perfectly but being that I’m working on my girlish figure it was non laisse’!  Just not allowed!

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LEEK AND GREENS QUICHE

yield: one deep dish pie

Preheat oven to 350° if you have plenty of time or 375° if you’re in a hurry.

  • 1 deep dish pie shell in pie pan
  • 2 tablespoons good quality olive oil
  • 3-6 leeks, washed, drained and white part chopped up to light green part
  • 1-5oz. box organic greens of your choice
  • 1 small handful minced pancetta or ham or several slices of bacon or turkey bacon crumbled
  • 2 cups cheese of you choice, finely chopped or grated
  • 2 whole eggs plus the egg whites of 3 or 4 eggs, the equivalent amount may be used of cartoned egg whites
  • 1 pint half and half, I use fat-free
  1. In a large pan heat oil and saute leeks until soft and somewhat clear.
  2. If using ham or pancetta add to leeks and saute until slightly browned.
  3. While stirring add greens.  Keep tossing and stirring so they don’t clump up into one tight mess.
  4. When completely wilted and cooked, take the pan off the heat and if using bacon add it to the mixture and stir until well blended. Set aside to cool.
  5. In a medium bowl scramble the eggs to break up and add half and half. Mix well.
  6. Add egg mixture to greens, add cheeses and mix well.
  7. Pour into pie shell and bake until golden brown on top and middle is cooked through. It will take about an hour and a half at 350° and about one hour at 375°.  It IS deep dish!!
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Turkey Meatloaf

Tell my godson he’s having meatloaf for dinner and his face will fall.  His shoulders will slump and his eyes will have that “dead man walking” stare.  I understand.  We’ve all suffered from CNMD (Chronic Nasty Meatloaf Disorder) at one time or another.  But tell MY boy he’s having turkey meatloaf for dinner and all of a sudden the day’s getting much better. He always asks with anticipation “with whipped butternut squash and asparagus?  Awesome!”.  I love using turkey because it’s much lighter and no matter how hard you mix it, it will not toughen up.  What is important is to season the mixture well because you know how bland ground turkey can be.  I usually always use quick, not instant, oats instead of bread crumbs.  Might as well make it healthful when you can.  The oats just disappear into the mixture just like the bread crumbs.  Last night, however, I found myself out of oats.  Damn.  And after a full day of work, I am NOT going back out into the dark for anything.  Anyway, I knew there had to be something I could use and after rooting around…voila! Le Wheat Germ.  Works great, loses itself in the mixture and, also, packs a healthy, nutritional punch.  Last night’s meatloaf was covered tomato paste but I often make it with a peppercorn crust. Both produce a phenomenal sandwich the next day.  And the recipe doubles well.

Turkey Meatloaf

  • Servings: 4
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Preheat oven to 375°

  • 1 20 oz. package lean ground turkey (1.25 pounds)
  • 1 medium onion, grated using large holes in box grater
  • 1 carrot, grated using large holes in box grater
  • 1 or 2 garlic cloves, minced (I use a rasper)
  • 1 egg or 1/4 cup egg substitute
  • 3/4 cup quick oats or wheat germ
  • 1 medium zucchini or 1/2 cup cooked spinach, both optional
  • 2 tsp. freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1 /4 cup water
  • 1 6 oz. can tomato paste or a thin layer of black pepper. I grind it directly over loaf.
  • Non-stick cooking spray
  1. Mix all ingredients EXCEPT turkey, tomato paste and spray in a large or medium bowl.  Incorporate well.
  2. Spray loaf pan or baking dish with non-stick spray.
  3. Mix turkey well into vegetable oat mixture and put into baking dish.  Using a spatula or the back of a cooking spoon, shape mixture into a loaf.
  4. Spread tomato paste all over or grind pepper over turkey to make an even layer.
  5. Bake at 375° for 30-45 minutes.

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