Posted by: Hil | September 1, 2008

Spinach and Ricotta Quiche with Whole Wheat Crust

SV402522

This dinner was an exercise in teamwork and creative use of leftovers.  We had tons of leftover ravioli filling after yesterday and I got the bright idea to use it as filling for a quiche.  The husband made the whole wheat crust, I mixed up some custard, and a delicious dinner was born. 

I absolutely love quiche and I chose to live in blissful denial with regard to the amount of cream and butter in restaurant versions.  While quiche will never be a health food, it is perfectly possible to create a delicious quiche that can be enjoyed more than once or twice a year.  My strategies:

1.  Rethink the crust.  The crust is one of the most delicious parts of the quiche, but it is also a great source of saturated fat and refined flour.  Consider making or buying a whole wheat crust, finding a recipe with slightly less butter, or even using phyllo dough and oil, which saves you from all of the saturated fat in a typical crust.  Here is the crust recipe we used:

  • Ingredients: 1 cup whole wheat flour (pastry flour is best, but we used AP), 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch of paprika, 1 oz grated parmesan cheese, 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, some water
  • Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, paprika and parmesan. Cut butter into small cutes and work it through dry ingredients using your fingers, a pastry cutter or a fork. The dough should hold together when you grab a handful. If it doesn’t, add a bit more liquid.
  • Roll out the dough on a floured work surface, then transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you’re making your filling.

2.  Lots of filling, mostly vegetables.  Quiche works brilliantly when you fill your crust well with lots and lots of vegetables–lots of flavor and nutrients.  And if you are cutting back on the cream in the filling, using plenty of low fat cheese helps to maintain a great, creamy texture.

3.  Choose dairy wisely.  Ricotta, cottage cheese and mozzarella are among the few cheeses that taste great in low and nonfat varieties, and they are all great in quiche filling.  If you want a slightly richer quiche, soft cheese like chevre is lower in fat than hard cheese and, in my opinion, provides even better taste.  As for the custard, feel free to swap out the cream for milk.  (Note: especially if you are using skim milk, you may need to add more eggs and less milk to get the custard to the right consistency.)

A well-designed quiche packs a lot of nutrients and calories into a small package, so a relatively small slice is all you need for a complete dinner.  However, it can seem a bit psychologically unsatisfying to have dinner end so quickly.  Thus, I supplemented with one of my standbys:  a bowl of Imagine vegetable broth.  Any low-calorie vegetable soup will do, but when I don’t have any vegetable soup on hand, I love the ease of just heating up a bowl of broth.  A generous portion of hot, flavorful liquid does wonders for completing a meal.

SV402528

UPDATED with crust recipe:

Advertisements

Responses

  1. Your quiche looks fantastic!

    I know you are a food network fan, so I thought of you on my walk home from work today. A coworker and I were trying a new route from our new job back to the subway station, and we discovered that we work a mere 2 city blocks from Rachel Ray’s studio. Sometimes living in New York can be interesting. Unfortunately, no samples 😦

  2. Jersey Girl–you’re right next to Rachel Ray? That’s awesome. Next time I’m in your neck of the woods, we should try to get tickets to a taping!

  3. You know you are welcome to visit ANYTIME!!!!!

  4. do you have a recipe for that crust? i’d love to make that.

  5. Sure thing…here’s the recipe

    Ingredients: 1 cup whole wheat flour (pastry flour is best, but we used AP), 1 tsp sugar, 1/4 tsp baking powder, 1/4 tsp salt, pinch of paprika, 1 oz grated parmesan cheese, 4 tbsp cold unsalted butter, some water

    Whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, paprika and parmesan. Cut butter into small cutes and work it through dry ingredients using your fingers, a pastry cutter or a fork. The dough should hold together when you grab a handful. If it doesn’t, add a bit more liquid.

    Roll out the dough on a floured work surface, then transfer to a 9-inch pie pan. Trim and crimp the edges. Place the crust in the refrigerator while you’re making your filling.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Categories

%d bloggers like this: