Certainly, no real man eats quiche. Popular culture established that one a quarter of a century ago, and then the quiche became nearly universal in our culture (almost approximating the widespread popularity of salsa as Americaʼs favorite condiment). However, quiche has long been appreciated in our home. Our current favorite, frequently on Fridays, is asparagus, chicken and mushroom.
But we also eat a kind of tiny crustless spinach quiche for breakfast, and since I am spending yesterday and today, while not working, in the creation of another six months stockpile of those little breakfast quiches, I thought I would make them the topic of todayʼs blog post.
Janet first discovered these babies during one of our many dietary-restriction phases. She had been reading about the importance of a daily breakfast and by coincidence, more or less, also chanced upon the recipe for tiny little breakfast quiches: low on fat, low on carbohydrates, low on calories, but high on nutritional value — thanks to that spinach content. They sounded perfect for her plans to shape us both up.
This all happened a while back (it seems like a decade now, before the fizzling Y2K, but itʼs probably more recent, actually 21st Century, unless the too-many years of teaching have blended together even more than I thought). And we have been eating little quiches for breakfast for years now (as I noted already, the actual number of years is somewhat unclear to me at present).
More than a couple years ago, I took over the job of making these little eye-openers, as Janetʼs employment required her commuting an hour a day, and she enjoys (word choice?) working out at the Dubuque Y, adding another sixty to ninety minutes of absence from the homefront. And about the time I took over, we had also begun increasing the quantity we produced at a time. Nowadays, I only need to cook these babies about three times a year (and we eat two apiece for breakfast the five working days each week).
So on Monday I got started chopping and dicing, having purchased the necessary ingredients late last week (say, Wednesday or Thursday) and then not having found the time to get to work any sooner. We actually ran out of the last batch this morning, so today (this afternoon and evening), around work, I will be plopping the mixture into muffin tins and baking up twenty-four at a time (which is every twenty-two minutes). The process will probably continue tomorrow.
—Exciting little blog post, isnʼt this?
The recipe is quite simple (even as we have expanded upon the original). You need:
- bell pepper(s) chopped up small (preferably red, orange or yellow — not green, at least in our household),
- an onion diced small as well,
- shredded cheese (either fat-free, which doesnʼt really melt, or the half-and-half stuff we used to be able to buy in Maquoketa but not for years — so I mix fat-free and regular shredded cheddar); the quantity is up to your tastes,
- several boxes (supposedly four to each pepper/onion) of chopped spinach, squeezed and dry as more-than-humanly possible and then separated once again into tiny strands, and
- eggoid (which is our name for the egg substitute which comes in little cartons), one container for each box of spinach (thus four for the basic recipe).
To that (the basic recipe) we have added:
- shredded carrot (part of a bag, and you really need to chop at those giant shreds the carrot companies shred carrots into) and
- chopped up button mushrooms (fresh would be nice, but we usually chop at the sliced and diced ones from the can.
- Whatever else you think would go well into this quiche-let (we havenʼt added to the basics further than the above items). That broccoli in the picture above looks tasty…
Mix it all up in a huge bowl or two (or three). Depending on how vast a quantity you are attempting to create.
Put aluminum muffin cups in your muffin pan and spray each lightly with nonstick cooking spray (lightly!).
Carefully place about a quarter of a cup of the eggoid/spinach/et cetera mixture into each cup and cook in a preheated oven at 350˚ for about twenty-two minutes.
Remove, replace the aluminum muffin tins with new ones, spray, load with mixture, and repeat. As the finished batch has cooled (usually about seven minutes later) remove the quiche-let from each cup to store in a plastic container for freezing.
I generally end up using three peppers, two to three onions (this is breakfast, after all), eight boxes of spinach, one or two bags of shredded carrots, and (since we are still experimenting with the addition of mushrooms) a can or two of mushrooms — all mixed with anywhere from eight to a dozen boxes of eggoid (depending on how eggy-ish you want your quiche-lets). I need at least two big bowls (and one of ours is literally huge [and I am using the word literally correctly, unfiguratively] to mix the egg mixture in, and I make up to sixteen containers of twenty-four quiche-lets each. (You do the math to figure out how long the process takes, if each batch cooks for twenty-two minutes — I donʼt want to know…)
I cook two pans at a time, thus creating batches of twenty-four, which fit perfectly into those square plastic storage containers with blue lids that became popular a while back — making a six-day supply in each container (two apiece being four per day).
And this has to be the most throughly boring (although, for me, appetizing) post yet.
Thank you for your attention.