Kale and Quinoa Crustless Quiche

 I spent Saturday afternoon at something called Pig Island. There was all you can drink Six Point beer. There was all you can eat pig of every shape, size and flavor. There was gluttony. It’s probably not surprising then, that Sunday, I ate this.

If I’m being honest, this isn’t my favorite meal that I’ve made of late. But despite that, the bones of this dish are too good to ignore. Hearty greens, wilted down and tossed with eggs and cheese and baked are no revelation. But the addition of quinoa was too intriguing to pass up. I love nutty, chewy quinoa. It’s delicious and versatile and totally good for your insides. Yeah, it may be birdseed, but it’s a complete protein. Add that to some eggs and some cheese and some stiff greens and you have yourself a protein-fiber bomb. You know, for those of us that haven’t behaved so well on the food front lately (we know who we are).

The flavors are good too. Sweet caramelized onions, nutty quinoa, strong cheese, raw garlic, and savory greens. I like the idea of that. In practice, I didn’t love it as much as I thought I would. But all of my issues could be solved with some tweaking. I wanted it thicker; next time I’d use a smaller pan or…just more innards. I wanted it sweeter; next time, more onions. I wanted the cheese to be more prevalent; next time, more cheddar or fontina, and maybe that cubed cream cheese that I skipped and substituted with ricotta (oopsies). I think it would have benefitted from even more crunch; next time, walnuts or pine nuts. And something for brightness; sun dried tomatoes maybe?

What I did love about this was the texture and the healthy goodness. The raw garlic, which isn’t sauteed beforehand, was a great bite. The quinoa was a tiny bit crunchy and hearty. I’ve been eating this with a green salad and greek yogurt and MAN do I feel good about myself. Before I saw this recipe, I hadn’t thought of bulking up a quiche (or a frittata, really) with grains (er…seeds?), but now, it’ll be in my trick basket. It should be in yours too. You should still make tis, just use the recipe as a suggestion and follow your gut and I’m sure you’ll be happy with the outcome. Will it blow your mind? Probably not. But will it feed you on several different levels? Absolutely.

Kale an Quinoa Crustless Quiche

Adapted from Food 52. Serves 3-4 as a light lunch.

The recipe below is as I made it. However, I would suggest more caramelized onions, more cheese, some toasted walnuts and a smaller, deeper pan. I would also suggest adding the 3 oz of cream cheese that’s in the original recipe; just break it into bits and dollop it throughout (you could do the same with the ricotta).

1/2 c Quinoa, rinsed
1 c water
2 T Olive Oil
1 bunch Kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons
1 onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated white cheddar cheese
3 T part-skim ricotta
4 eggs

  • Heat oven to 350°F. Grease a 9″ pie plate
  • Place the quinoa and water in a small saucepan with a pinch of salt. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and let cook ~20 min or until the water absorbed completely
  • In a large heavy sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and sauté for ~20 minutes, stirring often, until deeply caramelized. Remove to  bowl
  • Add the kale to the hot pan and cook ~2 min until wilted, but still bright green, remove to a colander, let cool, then squeeze out any excess liquid
  • Add the quinoa, kale, garlic, and cheeses to the onions and toss
  • Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then pour into the rest of the ingredients, stirring to mix completely. Season with salt and pepper
  • Pour mixture into the prepared pan and bake ~40 min or until set in the middle and beginning to brown
  • Serve warm or at room temperature

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