Vegetable Crust for Quiche

Happy Thursday!  I hope you all are having a good week. My week has been busy.  (Of course, busy is relative, right?) I had orientation for the nurse refresher program. I feel good about taking the steps to be a hands-on nurse again. I have my NC license as I have been employed in positions that require a nurse for the last 29 years (!) but I have not been the actual care provider in quite some years.  Whatever turn my life takes, I do want to work in direct patient care in some capacity. If only some weekend work, or part time, or full time if it really stikes a chord with me.  It will probably take me about 2 months to finish the self study modules and then a couple months or so to do the clinical.  I attended a skills lab yesterday.  I loved being back in a group of nurses and made a nice connection to the oncology program at Wake Forest Baptist.  I also am still networking to find personal chef clients and made good progress there.  I am certain it will all fall into place as it should.  

The recipe I have for today is something I made over the summer with my Mom. It is from Molly Katzen's The Enchanted Broccoli Forest. 

She has a number of cookbooks, all of which have delicious vegetarian recipes. This is a really old cookbook (I think I got my first copy in the 80's).  The original version was quite heavy with butter, eggs and cheese.  An easy trap of eating vegetarian is to fall back on cheese and crackers, cheese quesadillas, vegetable lasagne.  Although tasty, grains with cheese provides few nutrients and is not the goal of a plant-based diet.  Where's the plant in cheese and crackers?  She revised her book in 2000 to reduce the oil and dairy.  It is one of my favorites now.  My dear friend Joy gave me a copy of the new edition when I was in Austin and reminded me why I love it so.  She has a variety of "crust" recipes.  This one is made with yellow squash.  You grate and drain the squash, add some grated carrot and parsnip, and a little flour as a binder. I think you could use almond meal if you wanted to avoid a grain.  The keys to success here are to be sure the squash is really dry, and to use a pan large enough to get a thin layer.  Mine was a little thick and thus a little soft.  You can fill it with just about anything.  We filled it with broccoli and then a quiche filling. In her book she gives you general suggestions for the filling and a standard quiche ratio.  Ours turned out great.  Another good recipe to learn the technique and then use it with whatever ingredients are in season and you have on hand. I think it would be delcious made with zucchini and filled with Autumn vegetables like cubes of roasted butternut squash, mushrooms, flavored with rosemary.  I hope you'll try it….and check out the book! 

Vegetable Crust (Quiche)

by Catherine Craig

Prep Time: 20 minutes

Cook Time: 40 minutes

Keywords: bake entree breakfast gluten-free vegetarian yellow squash

Ingredients (1-10 inch crust)

  • olive oil for the pan
  • 2 cups packed grated yellow squash
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 cup grated carrot
  • 1/2 cup peeled, grated parsnip
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil plus a little extra
  • 1/3 cup white whole wheat flour, spelt flour, or gluten free baking mix

Instructions

Preheat oven to 375. Lightly grease a 10 inch pie pan. (you can use 9 inch but the crust will be thicker and be a bit softer and won't hold as much filling.)

Place the grated squash in a colander and sprinkle with the salt. Place over a bowl or the sink and let the water drain out for 10 minutes. Press as much water out as you can. You may even wrap it in a towel and press the water out. Put into a medium bowl.

Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Scrape into the pie plate and press it into a thin layer including up the sides. Bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven and brush the surface of the crust with a little olive oil. Return to the oven and bake another 20 to 25 minutes until it is cooked through and golden brown.

To make quiche: sprinkle crust with about 1/2 cup grated cheese. Top with cooked vegetables of your choice (cooked chopped broccoli or spinach, caramelized onions, 8 or so cooked asparagus) to fill the crust. Mix 3 eggs and 1 cup of milk and pour over the vegetables. Bake at 375 for 35 to 40 minutes or until firm. Let rest 10 minutes before cutting.

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