My spring flower garden inspires me to appreciate the beauty all around me. It won’t be long before it is in full bloom. After drab winter months it will be reinvigorating to view bursts of yellow daffodils, basket-of-gold and forsythia, brilliant pink mounds of ground flox, purple hyacinth and bright red tulips right from my own backyard view. I love to garden, especially flower/perennial gardening; it’s the perfect metaphor for life’s accomplishments. If you don’t plant it, it won’t grow. In our lives, if we don’t invest the time into worthy endeavors, we’ll never enjoy the benefits from a job well done or an adventure completed or a life touched. My garden teaches me many things.
The presence of spring vegetables in the grocery stores heralds the arrival of spring (or at least close to it). This crustless quiche features the best vegetables of spring: asparagus, green onions, mushrooms, baby spinach and artichoke hearts. These days we can get these vegetables year-round, but nonetheless, they are lower priced in the spring and combine to make this dish memorable. I like to make crustless quiches to reduce fat calories and ofttimes “useless” calories from typical white flour crusts. At another time, I’ll show how to create healthier crusts from brown rice or even sliced potatoes. I like to use a variety of cheeses for a flavor hit, so feel free to experiment with whatever cheeses you have on hand.
- Spring Vegetable Crustless Quiche
- Cooking Spray
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 2 cups fresh spinach leaves, packed
- 3/4 cup sliced asparagus spears
- 4 ounces sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 red or green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup chopped artichoke hearts, packed in water
- 2 Tbsp sliced green onion
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 tsp ground thyme
- 1/4 cup crumbled cooked bacon,about 5-6 slices (optional for meat lovers)
- 3 large eggs
- 3 large egg whites
- 3/4 cup fat-free half and half or low-fat milk
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 1/4 cup shredded cheese (like cheddar, mozzarella, swiss, feta)
- 1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Coat a 9-inch pie pan or square pan with cooking spray. Set aside.
- Heat olive oil in a large skillet placed over medium-high heat. Add spinach, asparagus, mushrooms, bell pepper, artichoke hearts, green onion, garlic and thyme; cook and stir for 4-5 minutes or until vegetables are soft. Add bacon, if desired and a pinch each of sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Allow to cool as you prepare the egg mixture.
- Whisk the eggs, egg whites, milk, salt and pepper together in a small bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Arrange veggies in the prepared pan. Top with shredded cheeses, then pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle with shredded Parmesan cheese.
- Bake at 350 degrees F for 45 minutes or until filling is set and no longer jiggles. Cool for 10 minutes on a wire rack before slicing and serving.
This quiche makes great leftovers! Store tightly covered in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. Baked quiche freezes well, up to 2 months. Thaw overnight and bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes or until heated through.