Thursday, April 3, 2008

Spinach Cheese or Chicken Chili Quiche

Once again, this recipe is from my mother-in-law (I think via Byerly’s grocer in the Twin Cities). It sure is a winner. I’ve used this recipe so many times to serve at baby showers or as part of a meal I bring to friends after they’ve had a new baby. I have also served up a few of these at one of my bunco parties by making 2 spinach and 1 chicken chili (see variations below). It's easy for week night entertaining since preparation is so quick. This is one of my most requested recipes…either by people requesting the recipe itself or by my children wanting it for dinner! Our kids have enjoyed this quiche since they started eating solid foods!

1 – 10 oz. package frozen, chopped spinach, thawed (I use only ~8 oz. per kids' request)
5 eggs, beaten (2 regular eggs with egg beaters for the rest works well)
1 – 8 oz. carton small curd cottage cheese (1-cup)—nonfat is fine.
2 cups grated combination cheddar & Monterey jack cheese
1/8 cup dried onion or ¼ cup fresh chopped
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
1 – 9 “ deep dish pie shell, unbaked (optional--see gluten free below)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Squeeze spinach in small palmfuls to remove all liquid. In large bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, spinach, 2 cups grated cheese, onion, salt and pepper. Beat to blend with electric mixed (I just use a fork) and pour into unbaked pie shell. Bake 50-60 minutes. Let sit 5-10 minutes before cutting.

GLUTEN FREE: Make a crustless quiche by melting 1-1/2 TBSP butter in a pie plate (spread around to coat), pour mixture into dish, and bake as directed! We always prepare it this way now that Joe is gluten intolerant, and we sure don't miss the crust! (It's the one in the above picture.)

Ham: leave out a few ounces of the spinach and add ~1 cup diced ham
Chicken Chili variation (another one of our favorites!): omit spinach; substitute small can drained chopped green chilis (4 oz.) and ~ 1 cup cooked, chopped chicken

TIP: A good option for busy families is…
Make two recipes at the same time, and freeze one unbaked batch in a gallon ziplock freezer bag. When you want to bake and eat it, just take the bag out of the freezer the night before to thaw. Before baking, just squeeze and squish the bag around to mix the ingredients well, then unzip and dump it into an unbaked pie shell.