The first time I ever heard of kale was when I fed the eighteen-month-old toddler I nannied on weekdays a green puffed snack called “Veggie Booty”. Then my first introduction to quinoa was when I ordered it at a Wild Oats deli, pronouncing it “key-no-ah”. Fortunately for me, I took my first bite of the booty, nor did I let the deli worker’s snooty scoff faze me. I soon realized why all the toddlers in my care were crunching on “healthy snack” – the it was downright addictive! The bubbly texture of the quinoa grain that popped in my mouth moved me to explore what other grains I had been missing all my life. Now, here we are nine years later, and when I saw these two ingredients together in one of Food52’s daily newsletters, I did a double-take, and then a double-click. A week later when I was preparing this dish in my Mamela’s kitchen for our weekly dinner, my two favorite things about each of these ingredients came together in one baking dish at 350F. The absence of a traditional buttery quiche crust was not noticed with the substantial structure that the protein-rich quinoa provided. Further, the caramelized sweet onions gave an addictive richness comparable to any Quiche Lorraine that I’d ever had. It also helped knowing that each slice was packed with vitamin K, vitamin C, calcium, and anti-cancer warriors like sulforaphane. The fact that really sweetened the deal for me and my family…148 calories a serving.
For the readers who have never heard of Food52, I stumbled upon Amanda and Merrill just a month ago and must say that while they have countless qualities and attributes that make them worth following on a daily basis, the below quote is what relit my inner gastronomy fire –
We think cooking is really important — especially now. Over the past decade, many studies and books have shown that children from families who eat together do better in school, that eating “whole” foods is healthier, that eating sustainably will save the environment. But no one has pointed out that the only way to achieve all this in a comprehensive, lasting way is for people to cook.
- If you cook, your family will eat dinner together.
- If you cook, you will naturally have a more sustainable household.
- If you cook, you’ll set a lifelong example for your children.
- If you cook, you’ll understand what goes into food and will eat more healthily.
- If you cook, you’ll make your home an important place in your life.
- If you cook, you’ll make others happy.
- If you cook, people will remember you.
We look forward to cooking with you!
So go ahead, grab a head of kale and a box of quinoa and cook with me, Amanda, and Merrill!
Quinoa and Kale Crustless Quiche
a la Rachel (I added a clove of garlic and exchanged the eggs for egg whites)
- 1/2 cup quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 2 TB olive oil
- 1 bunch kale, stems removed and cut into ribbons
- 1 Vidalia onion, thinly sliced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 c white cheddar cheese
- 3 ounces cream cheese, cubed
- 1 cup liquid egg whites
- salt and pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350 and prepare a 9″ pie dish (either butter the dish thoroughly or spray with baking spray). Rinse the quinoa. Combine the quinoa and water in a pan. Bring to a boil on medium-high heat and then reduce to a simmer. This will take about twenty minutes. Set aside.
2. Meanwhile, start to caramelize the onions. Heat the olive oil in a large saute on medium heat. When the oil is shimmering, add the onions. Slowly cook until the onions are soft and browned.
3. Remove the onions from the pan, and place them in a large mixing bowl. Add the kale into the hot onion pan. On medium heat, cook until the kale is wilted and bright green, about two minutes.
4. Allow the greens to cool. Squeeze out any extra liquid using a sieve or a clean dish towel.
5. Add the kale, quinoa, garlic, cream cheese and cheddar to the mixing bowl. Stir the ingredients so that they are evenly distributed.
6. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs so that they are well combined. Pour over the quinoa/kale mixture. Stir until the egg clings to the greens. Add salt and pepper.
7. Pour the mixture in the prepared pie dish. Bake for about 45 minutes, until the top is golden and the pie has started to pull away from the edge of the baking dish. This dish is delightful hot, but even better at room temperature.
Yield: 8 servings
Nutritional Information: (per serving/slice)
148 calories, 9.4g fat, 11.4mg cholesterol, 134.7mg sodium, 10.7g carbohydrates, 3.7g fiber, 9.5g protein.
*Find the original recipe at http://www.food52.com/recipes/14244_quinoa_and_kale_crustless_quiche . Thanks Amanda and Merrill!