Thursday, May 8, 2008

Vegetable-Cheese Mini Quiches

This recipe is from my South Beach Diet cookbook and was my breakfast standby for the few months I spent on the South Beach Diet back in the fall of 2003. A few words, first, about my fling with the SBD. It was successful from a weight loss standpoint; I lost 26 pounds in about two and a half months (I went from 220 to 194. Kind of remarkable to consider that I've now lost over 40 pounds more from my lowest weight on the SBD). However, almost as soon as I faltered with the diet (wouldn't you know, right around the is impossible to avoid carbs at Christmas) the weight started creeping back on. In the end it was too restrictive. I couldn't meet its demands. Now I know that any diet that tells me I'm never allowed to eat ice cream or have pizza again for the rest of my life is a diet I want nothing to do with. I did learn some good eating habits from my stint with the SBD. I started using whole wheat pasta and brown rice. I reintroduced the vegetable side dish. But my completely sedentary lifestyle and overwhelmingly poor eating habits (brown rice notwithstanding) got me in the end.

Anyway, since I've been shaking up my routine (with startling positive results!) by switching to Core I thought I would drag this old favorite out and give it a try again. That and I ran out of fruit to mix in with my breakfast yogurt and I haven't gone to the grocery store yet this week. It has become absolutely imperative that I go tonight BECAUSE WE ARE OUT OF BOOZE. I'm talking about our normal supply of gin and vodka which are always in the freezer ready to be mixed into whatever strikes our fancy that night. This is situation critical, people. I can't even have a Cosmo after work, for crying out loud. Cranberry juice plus Cointreau and a splash of lime juice just...isn't...the...same. We drank the last two beers in the house last night while eating popcorn and watching Kill Bill: Vol. 2 which is a Netflix disc that has been sitting around for about a month. (Speedy Netflix turnaround is not our forté.) Needless to say, without the gin or vodka (my base of choice), well, our liquor cabinet doesn't really lend itself to much. We have a lot of weird stuff (Dubonnet (rouge et blanc), Pernod, Chartreuse (green and yellow), Galliano, Midori, Limoncello (and Orangecello), Amaretto, Frangelico, Chambord, Calvados, Grand Marnier, various vermouths, blue Curacao, Tuaca, Kirschwasser, a large selection of the crème de family, and some other things lurking at the very back of the cupboard which I am sure I am forgetting) which are all quite tasty...but not by themselves. Ever had green Chartreuse straight up? Yuck!

On to the quiches:

  • 1 10-oz box frozen chopped spinach
  • 1/2 red onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup reduced-fat or fat-free shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 cup egg substitute
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line muffin tin(s) with 12 foil cups (very important to use FOIL as the paper ones will turn into a big soggy mess, which I learned through highly aggravated experience).

Microwave frozen spinach (sans foil wrapper but still in box) on high for 2 1/2 minutes. Remove spinach from box into a strainer and press out excess water.

Combine spinach, onion, bell pepper, cheese, and egg substitute in a bowl. Distribute evenly among foil liners. If you want, top off each cup with a bit more egg substitute. I did it because I had half of the pint carton left and just wanted to use it up. Hey, it's egg substitute, so it's not bad for me, right? Besides, the extra layer of egg substitute on top kind of makes them look more like real quiches.

Bake for 20 minutes, cool, then remove quiches foil and all. They keep nicely in a sealed container in the fridge and are very portable. Just remember to remove the foil when microwaving! I find that 20 seconds on high makes them nice and toasty.


chia said...

Great, you reminded me I need to do grocery now as well ;-). Sapphire and tonics here I come!

Laura said...

Ha, I have a big shelf of "mixer alcohol" too, and it's frustrating when I run out of the main liquors. My roommate doesn't drink, and whenever I'm like "oh no I'm out of liquor" she looks at the shelf and then looks at me like I'm a crazy alcoholic. But you're totally right - you can't just drink a glass of Midori!

P.O.M. said...

I make similar breakfast quiches all the time. I use whatever veggies are laying around - mushrooms, peppers, etc. So yummy and easy to take to work.