Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Crustless Spinach Quiche

This is one of my best kept diet secrets. This is a big-bold-flavor quiche and I promise that you won't miss the crust. The Gruyere cheese lends a slightly sweet, but not over-the-top cheese flavor. The spinach and onions are perfection. It's also a pretty meal. Just right for those mornings when you can enjoy a cup of coffee and the morning news.

Never having been a fan of pie crust, this really works for me. Pie crust is fattening! Why miss out on the things you love because they contain elements you don't? I understand I'm in the minority here. I get that some of you LOVE, LOVE, LOVE pie crust and might feel jilted, but I promise this is a good quiche. Also, there is no reason you couldn't use pie crust if you aren't on a diet. In that case, I'd add four slices of crisp cooked and crumbled bacon to the mix before baking.

Just a couple of notes.  My complaint with most quiches, other than the crust, is that they usually overdo the cheese.  One ounce of cheese is a slice about as thick as your thumb.  That's why I use a high-flavor cheese.  A little stretches a long way and does so without all those extra (and IMHO unnecessary) calories.  Also, you can use frozen spinach, just thaw and squeeze out as much water as possible.  However, I don't think the taste is the same with frozen spinach and use fresh whenever it is available at a reasonable price.  This is why we grow spinach in our own gardens, folks!  I make one of these a month--at least!

KCalories per slice: 94
Total fat: 5g; Saturated fat: 2g
Total carbs: 5g; Dietary fiber: 1g
Protein: 8g
Weight Watchers PointsPlus per serving: 2
One serving = 1/8 of pie; serves 8

3 whole eggs, beaten
1/2 cup egg white only, egg substitute (like Egg Beaters)
10 oz. package of fresh baby spinach
1 whole onion, diced or sliced in thin strips
1 oz. of Gruyere or other strong cheese, shredded
1/2 cup fat-free milk
Pam spray
1/4 teaspoon of vegetable shortening (just enough to prevent sticking)

Coat the bottom of a non-stick pan with cooking spray. Caramelize onions over very low heat. Babysit the pan. You don't want french fried onions. You want tender onions with a good bit of caramel color. Remove onions from pan and set aside to cool. Spray the pan with non-stick spray and add the spinach in two batches. Turning constantly, cook only until wilted and remove promptly. Set aside to cool.

Preheat the oven to 350. Grease the baking dish with the smallest amount of vegetable shorting possible. In a medium bowl, crack and beat the eggs. Add the egg whites and milk and stir well. When the onions and spinach have cooled (and not before unless you want scrambled eggs), add them to the eggs, then add the cheese. Stir well, and put the mixture in the greased baking dish. Bake at 350F for about 30 minutes. The quiche is done when it is slightly brown toward the edges and just set in the middle. Do not overcook.

Allow to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. Can be served warm or cold.

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