Saturday, February 16, 2013

Turning dinner into breakfast

For this morning's breakfast, I made quiche from scratch. (Full disclosure- I actually made this last night while making the Cannelloni for dinner).  Why? Because I like to be resourceful and make multiple meals out of my ingredients whenever possible!

I'll break it down and start with the crust (as you'd probably expect, I make a low-fat thin crust).  Because I'm impatient, I speed up the crust-making process.  Most recipes tell you to chill dough overnight after mixing it, chill for several more hours after spreading it in the pan, chilling it again post-baking before you add filling... this is just way too long a process for me. I whip up the dough, put it in the freezer for 5 minutes, then begin the baking process. That's all the chilling I ever need.

Pie Crust Ingredients:
-1/2 cup flour
-1 tsp granulated sugar
-1/4 tsp salt
-2 tbsp butter (I use Land O' Lakes Light Butter with canola oil because it has half the calories and half the fat of regular butter)
-2 tbsp light cream cheese
-1 tbsp iced water (you may need a tiny bit more depending on how your dough congeals)
-1 tsp apple cider vinegar

Pre-heat your oven to 350 degrees.  Next, toss the dry ingredients in your mixing bowl and stir them up a bit.  Then add the cold butter and cream cheese and stir a little more. Add the apple cider vinegar and stir a bit more.  Add the cold, iced water in little bitty doses until your mix looks like the image below.
Once you've got a nice textured mix, spray a standard 9" pie tin with cooking spray, then spread out the dough like so:
Pop it in the freezer for 5 minutes (or it can stay in there longer if you're still waiting for your oven to heat up).  Here is my crust hanging out in the freezer with my vanilla ice cream:
Next, add foil over the dough with a little something to weigh it down. Dry beans are best, but I didn't have any in my cupboards last night, so I just threw some arborio rice on top (don't worry- I'm proof that you can still use your arborio rice for a real meal after you've used it as a pie crust weight- I do this all the time).
Bake the dough with weight on top at 350 degrees for 15 minutes. Then pull the weight off (return your rice or beans to their original home), and bake your crust naked in the tin for 10 more minutes.  Pull it out of the oven and it'll look something like this.
Now it's ready for some quiche filling!  If you read my cannelloni story, you know I had basil, asparagus, onion, and turkey bacon, so here's what I used for the breakfast quiche.

Quiche Filling Ingredients:
-6 sticks asparagus (ends torn at the natural break, and chopped)
-1/4 onion, diced
-1 can italian seasoned diced tomatoes (or you can just add oregano, salt, pepper to plain diced tomatoes)
-2 strips turkey bacon (if desired)
-2 eggs
-1/2 cup ricotta cheese
-1/4 cup milk
-1/4 cup basil
-Sprinkle of salt & pepper
-1 tsp balsamic vinegar (you'll use this for a topping with a little extra basil)

First, crank up your oven to 375 degrees. Then crisp up your turkey bacon in one pan and sautee the asparagus/onion for about 5 minutes in another pan (until the onion is slightly translucent).
Break the bacon into tiny pieces.  Then, drain the can of tomatoes well, and put half the tomatoes in the bottom of your pie crust with pieces of the turkey bacon (note that you can leave the bacon out of this recipe and it's still delish; Justin prefers it without).
Add the sauteed veggies on top:
Lightly beat the eggs in a mixing bowl, then add the ricotta, milk, basil and a little salt & pepper and mix thoroughly.
Pour the eggs on top of the veggies, and the quiche is ready for the oven.  I also sprinkled a little extra basil and turkey bacon bits on top.  After it bakes in the oven at 375 degrees for 40 minutes, it should look like this:
I slice it up and add a topping.  The topping consists of the remaining italian-spiced tomatoes with a little balsamic vinegar and some sliced basil. Mixed together it looks like this:
And here's my breakfast plate with my usual cup of black coffee. Nice way to use up the rest of the dinner ingredients and have a veggie-full breakfast!

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