Who Invented Quiche?

The French? The English? Actually it was the Germans. Quiche originates from the German ruled, medieval kingdom of Lothringen. It comes from the German word ‘Kuchen’ which means cake and is equivalent to an open pie. Although there are now many variations to quiche, it normally has a pastry crust and is filled with a delicious egg and cream custard and meat or vegetables. It’s easy peasy and a great way to use up leftovers.  Eat it for breakfast, lunch or dinner..heck, why not all three?

My quiche recipe is a tweaked version of Karina’s recipe at Gluten-Free Goddess
Crustless Roasted Vegetable Quiche with Dill

2 cups roasted vegetables- zucchini, garlic, sweet potato, and green peppers (you can use whatever vegetable you want)
1/4 cup of shredded cheese
4 eggs, beaten
1/4 cup half and half cream + 1/4 cup of 2% or 1% milk
Salt and pepper to taste
Pinch of cayenne pepper or more to taste
3-4 Tbsp fresh dill, chopped

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly oil a 9-inch glass pie plate. If you look in my picture, I used a round 8-inch cake pan because I didn’t have a pie plate. You can also see parchment paper sticking out of the quiche- do this only if you have to! Otherwise, stick to the 9-inch glass pie plate.

Scatter fresh vegetables on a parchment paper-lined cookie sheet and roast vegetables to your liking.

Layer the roasted vegetables in the bottom of the pie plate.

Beat eggs with cream and milk and add spices. Mix in cheese and pour over roasted vegetables, making sure the liquid covers all of the vegetables.  If you find that your liquid doesn’t cover all of the vegetables, you can pour in a little milk. 

Sprinkle dill on top of milk mixture and bake for 30 minutes, or until the centre of the quiche is set, with the top and edges a light golden brown colour.

When you’re missing an ingredient

Sometimes I’m in the middle of cooking or baking and I find that I’m out of a certain ingredient. Usually there’s something in the oven, or on the stove which won’t allow me to run out and get the ingredient from the store. What to do? Well you have to substitute.  I found a link ( DianasDesserts.com-Ingredient Substitutions ) that lists a variety of substitutions for ingredients that looks to be very useful and I think will become a link on my blog and a permanent fixture on my fridge. 

If you come across any other resources for ingredient substitutions, please leave a comment!

Cashew Chip Cookies

I’ve been having chocolate cravings for a few days now and I wanted to find something to satisfy my cravings and be somewhat on the healthy side.  I came across this cashew butter chip cookies on Stephanie’s Hope for Healing food blog and thought I would give them a try.
Cashew butter isn’t readily available in your everyday grocery store. It can be found at Whole Foods, Planet Organic or other natural health and food stores.  Before I give you the recipe, here are some fancy facts about cashews:

  • Cashew nuts are actually seeds that adhere to the bottom of the cashew apple, the fruit of the cashew tree, which is native to the coastal areas of northeastern Brazil.
  • They are a very good source of monounsaturated fats and copper, and a good source of magnesium and phosphorus.
  • Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts, approximately 75% of their fat is unsaturated fatty acids, plus about 75% of this unsaturated fatty acid content is oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=98 

Variations from Stephanie’s recipe:
-I cut down the sugar from 1 1/2 cups to 1 1/4 cups
-Instead of sucanat, I used fair trade natural cane sugar
-In half of the cookie batter, I added a dash of instant espresso powder
-I used just a sprinkle of large dark chocolate chips, it turns out that every cookie has 1 or 2 chocolate chips in it.

Cashew Chip Cookies (makes 3 dozen)
(The cookies on the left are the variation, flatter and with instant espresso powder, the ones on the right are fatter and without any add-ins)
1 16 ounce jar of natural cashew butter with the natural oils
2 eggs
2 tsp baking powder
1 1/4 cup of fair trade natural cane sugar
Dark chocolate chips (as much as you desire)
Dash of instant espresso powder (optional)
Pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees.
Mix in all of the ingredients in the order presented above. The batter is sticky and you will need the liquid from the eggs to help you mix in the ingredients.   Using your fingers, scoop out a little bit of the dough and roll between the palms of your hand.  Make the cookie balls on the small-medium size to have cookies looking like the picture, above right.  If you want a flatter cookie, flatten the cookie ball between your palms.
Place cookie balls on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper a few inches apart.  My cookie sheet has individual cookie rounds made on it, so I use that to help gauge the distance between each cookie. When you bake the cookies, you will see cracks form, that’s normal. Bake for exactly 12 minutes (use a timer!) and remove and cool for at least 10 minutes. DO NOT TOUCH them until at least 10 minutes are up, otherwise they will fall apart. 
If you want to add a finishing touch, you could cool the cookie completely and then drizzle melted chocolate on top of them.

    Baked Yum Yum

    It all started with a click of a button. That’s how almost all of these posts came to be….. let me explain.
    Last year I started following Heidi Swanson’s recipe journal 101 Cookbooks.  Not all the recipes interested me, but her love of food, photography and travel had me hooked. Normally I would read her post and/or try out one of her recipes, without paying much attention to the comments that people were leaving for her.  It was only a few months ago that I actually started scrolling to the bottom of the screen to read them. Some people sang praises for the recipes, others vowed to try them out, all the while leaving links to their own websites.  So as I said at the beginning, it all started with a click of a button.  I clicked on a couple of links and now here I am on a food trekking adventure, destination unknown. Thus far on my journey, I have filled my Favourites with blogs I want to explore and recipes I want to try.  Three blogs that I have added to my must read list are:  Cupcake Bakeshop, Elana’s Pantry and Gina’s WW Recipes

    This Baked Yum Yum recipe hails from Gina’s blog. With a few twists of my own, I present to you a delicious way to eat zucchini. Gina’s recipe calls for 3 zucchini, an egg white, and Pecorino Romano cheese.  I used 1 zucchini (and that’s because I didn’t make enough bread crumbs), 1 egg, and shredded Tex Mex cheese.  I also ended up changing the marinara sauce because I didn’t have some of the ingredients on hand at the time.

    Breaded Zucchini Sticks
    1 medium zucchini sliced into sticks
    1 large egg
    whole wheat bread crumbs  made from the thin sliced edge of a whole wheat bread loaf
    2 tbsp grated Tex Mex cheese
    1/2 tsp olive oil for drizzling
    salt
    black pepper
    chili pepper

    Homemade WW Bread Crumbs

    1 end slice from a loaf of whole wheat bread
    salt
    black pepper
    garlic powder
    chili pepper

    Quick Marinara Sauce (1/2 cup)

    3/4 tsp olive oil
    2 cloves garlic, smashed

    1/3 cup of diced tomatoes (from a 28 oz can diced tomatoes, the amount I used is on the right)

    1 small dried bay leaf
    small splash of water
    Preheat oven to 350°.

    In a medium pot, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add small splash of water to keep the oil from burning. Add garlic and saute until golden, being careful not to burn. Add crushed tomatoes, salt, pepper and bay leaf. Stir and reduce heat to low. Cover and let simmer about 20 minutes.

    In a small bowl, beat egg and season with chili pepper, salt and pepper. In a ziplock bag, place breadcrumbs, garlic powder and cheese and shake well. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper
    Dip zucchini sticks into eggs then into bread crumb and cheese mixture, a few at a time and shake to coat. Place the breaded zucchini in a single layer and spray more cooking spray on top. Bake at 350° for about 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with marinara sauce for dipping.

    Something to whip up when you’re bored

    Not working full time has left me with a lot of free-time on my hands, free-time that I’m trying to fill with working out, knitting and experimenting in the kitchen. After spending some time browsing the net yesterday, I found a cookie recipe that I wanted to try. It came from Thinkfood, a cookbook that features 50 original, brain-healthy recipes, each created by a different food blogger.

    I had to make a few changes, or rather adaptations to the recipe. I used white whole wheat flour instead of whole wheat because that is what I had on hand and swapped the canola oil for olive oil. I also didn’t have flaxseed meal (the regular grocery store here in Pasadena doesn’t have a healthy/organic food section), so I just took it out.  One thing I noticed is that the dark chocolate chips make the cookies sweet, so the next time I make these, I’ll probably omit the agave nectar and sub in another 1/4 cup of milk.

    Banana Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

    1/2 cup white whole wheat flour
    1 cup rolled oats (not instant)
    1/2 tsp baking powder
    1/2 tsp baking soda
    1/4 tsp cinnamon
    1/4 cup agave nectar
    1/4 cup regular milk
    1/2 tsp vanilla extract
    1 Tbsp olive oil
    1 ripe banana
    1/2 cup dark chocolate chips
    1/4 cup walnuts, chopped

    Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.  Combine all ingredients in a large bowl. Mix well until batter is blended evenly. Use a tablespoon to portion cookies on a cookie sheet covered with parchment paper, approximately 1-2 inches apart.  Bake cookies for 12-15 minutes.  Remove cookies from baking sheet and allow to cool on wire rack.

    Achari Chicken

    This achari (sorry…I don’t know what to call this in English…maybe pickled?) chicken recipe is different than the typical achari chicken that many people make. One, some of the achar spices aren’t used and two, it’s cooked in tomato juice. 
    Although I grew up eating this kind of achari chicken, I’m not sure who came up with the recipe as so many of the aunties in my family friend’s circuit make it this way. 

    Achari Chicken 

    5 chicken legs (leg and thigh), each cut into 3 pieces boneless chicken. **You may also use boneless chicken, 2-3lbs
    1 Tbsp oil
    1 Tbsp minced garlic
    1 tsp salt ** the tomato juice also has salt in it, so you need to watch how much salt you add. I started off with 1/2 tsp and gradually added more as necessary
    ½ tsp ghara mirch (red chili) powder
    ¼ tsp hyde (turmeric) powder
    ½ tsp garam masala powder

    1 tsp dahraa (coriander seed) powder
    1 Tbsp plain sauwf (fennel seed)
    ¼ tsp kalonji (onion seed)
    1 banana pepper (cut up)
    1 jalepeno pepper (cut up)
    ½ can of tomato juice  *for this recipe, I ended up using two of the small Campbell’s tomato juice cans

    Brown oil and minced garlic over medium-high heat.

    Add chicken pieces and begin to brown lightly. Add in salt.
    Let the chicken cook and stir frequently. Stir in hyde (turmeric) powder and ghara mirch (red chili powder)
    (later on, judge colour and taste, adjust if necessary)
    Add garam masala and dahraa (coriander seed powder). Taste and if necessary, add more later on.
    Continue to cook and stir gently.
    Add in sauwf (fennel seed) and kalonji seeds (onion seed). Continue to cook and stir. Add cut up peppers and pour in tomato juice. Let cook, stirring occasionally for 3-5 minutes. Turn heat down to low and add a bit more tomato juice. Cover and simmer until the flavours blend and the chicken is cooked.

    Light Chicken Salad

     I recently discovered a few places in Mississauga that sell halal rotisserie chicken. I am in heaven! I cannot tell you how many times I have walked by the prepared food section at Metro or Loblaws and have my stomach grumble as I took in the whiffs of rotisserie chicken.

    Rotisserie chicken is pretty versatile. You can cut it up and eat it as is ( I like to use the legs, thighs and wings for this- skin off of course!), or you can take the chicken off the bones and create something new, like this chicken salad.  I’ve made this chicken salad twice to rave reviews..okay okay my reviewer was my husband and of course he wasn’t biased at all!  Enjoy!

    Light Chicken Salad
    2 cooked chicken breasts ( I used the ones off a rotisserie chicken, however you can also roast two chicken breasts if you wish)
    2 tbsp of light mayo (if you find it a bit dry, you may want to add in another tbsp or try some yogurt)
    3 green onions, diced
    3 celery sticks, diced
    1/3 cup of shredded or julienned carrots
    1/3 seedless cucumber, diced with peel
    salt to taste
    pepper to taste
    chili flakes to taste
    Shred the cooked chicken breasts into small pieces. Add diced onions, carrots, onions and cucumber.  Mix lightly.  Add in mayo and mix well. Mix in salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.
    *You can eat this on its own, or put it on a bun.