Monday, July 23, 2012

Quiche of my Dreams (Almost)

Oh hi there!  I hope you're having a fabulous day.  I took a paid time off day today - it's gone by quickly and I can't believe my work week already starts again tomorrow.  I had a great weekend though so there aren't any complaints here :)

This post is going to be about brunch.  Obviously, brunch is my favorite meal.  When I was a little girl, going to brunch was always a Sunday after church event.  Now that I'm an adult, I'm lucky if I can drag any of my friends out of bed early enough to go with me - the exception is my friend Leah who is always willing to go.

When I started cooking, I couldn't make any "brunch" type foods except for scrambled eggs.  Gradually, I tackled pancakes, waffles, over easy eggs, omelets and finally... quiche.  If you've never had quiche, think of an egg custard type dish with cheese, vegetables and/or meat that is served in a pie crust.

Now, let me  just say that quiche is one of my all time favorite foods... but being gluten-free makes it awfully hard to have a quiche with a crust.  I've tried potato crusts (obsessed) and recently I've seen a couple of different recipes that use cornbread as a crust.  The issue?  They all use pre-made cornbread mixes... which don't exist for those of us who are gluten-free, at least not at my grocery store.  So, I combined my cornbread recipe with components of my favorite quiche recipe and this little beauty was born.  Be warned, it makes 2 quiches!  I did slice and freeze my quiche - it heated up easily in the microwave with no problems weeks later.

The final verdict on this recipe?  It's awesome, serve it for brunch and your guests with rave over it.  It makes a lot, so if you are going to be eating it for weeks that can be rough. I do have to say though that my potato crust quiche is still hands down my favorite...but, if you've read this blog for awhile you know that probably has to do with my mad love affair with potatoes.  So have your cornbread crust and maybe a mimosa and celebrate the best meal of the day... brunch!  

Spinach Goat Cheese Quiche w/Cornbread Crust


For crust:
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 1/4 cups brown rice flour
1 tbsp sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1.5 cups milk
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp butter or trans-fat free margarine melted.
2 eggs

For filling:
1-16 oz package frozen spinach
4 oz goat cheese
1 cup fat-free sour cream
8 eggs
2 egg whites

1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Combine cornmeal, brown rice and baking powder in a small bowl stirring until combined.
2. Next, add 2 eggs, milk and butter/margarine to dry ingredients stirring just until combined.
3. Lightly grease two 7-inch springform pans (if you have different sizes it's okay) - divide batter equally between pans.
4. Bake cornbread crust for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and set aside.
5. Thaw spinach in microwave, drain.  Add goat cheese to spinach mixture stirring until combined. 

6. Next, add sour cream, eggs and egg whites to spinach mixture. Whisk to combine.
7. Pour egg mixture evenly between the 2 springform pans.
8. Bake for 25 minutes or until the filling jiggles slightly in the middle but not on the sides.  Set to cool 10 minutes. 

What's your favorite quiche filling?

Saturday, July 14, 2012

A Summer Kind of Bruschetta

Hi there!  How are you today?  An extra hi to any new readers out there :)  I hope everyone is having a great start to their weekend so far.  This week just flew by and after an especially busy day at work today, I'm happy it's finally here. 

Today's post is about one of my favorite quick summer meals.  As much as I love summer, I don't love the 100 degree heat... which there has been a surplus of lately.  When it's sweltering outside, the last thing I want to do is turn on my oven - so I tend to stick to simpler meals that require minimal effort.  Smoothies, hummus veggie sandwiches, salads, veggie burgers are all obvious choices.  I was a little bored in the kitchen the other day and I started thinking about bruschetta....then I started thinking about a balsamic reduction I had made recently for a risotto recipe.... plus I had goat cheese in the refrigerator that was about to expire.  Combine them together and this recipe was born!

Bruschetta is a simple classic that always wows everyone away.  Bread, olive oil, basil, tomatoes, what's not to love?  If you're vegan, leave out the goat cheese.  Not gluten free?  Substitute whole wheat bread for extra fiber.  Feel free to tweak and adapt this recipe... if you have any suggestions for me, as always, leave them in the comments :)    

Summer Bruschetta with Balsamic Reduction


1 large tomato
1/4 cup basil, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
2 slices gluten-free bread
1 oz goat cheese
1/4 cup balsamic vinaigrette

1. Finely dice tomato into coarse pieces, use a paper towel to blot/remove some of the seeds.
2. Next, using a kitchen scissors, chop basil finely into pieces.
3. Combine chopped tomato, basil and 1/2 tbsp of olive oil in a small bowl.  Set aside to let the flavors combine, about 30 minutes.
4. Drizzle remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil over bread slices.  Place in toaster oven set at 350 degrees until golden brown.
5. While bread is toasting, heat balsamic vinaigrette over medium high heat until boiling.  Stir with a spatula, about 3 minutes, until reduced by half and a syrup begins to form - this is your balsamic reduction! 
6. Remove bread from toaster oven, spread each slice with 1/2 ounce goat cheese, cut each slice diagonally.  Top with tomato mixture.
7. Lightly drizzle balsamic reduction over your bruschetta.  Devour :)

What's your favorite summer meal?