One thing I really enjoy is breakfast. In trying to eat better, I am trying to have more veggies throughout the day, but it’s hard to incorporate them at breakfast sometimes. I also have a hard time with having enough time in the morning for a veggie filled breakfast. That’s why I love breakfasts that can be prepared ahead, like quiche or frittatas.
If I’m feeling like treating myself to a little gluten (I can handle it just fine in small infrequent doses, but not every day or all the time), I’ll make a regular pie crust. You can also swap it out for thin sliced sweet potatoes, mashed sweet potatoes, or another gluten free crust. You can also forgo the crust all together and just make a frittata with the same filling.
Don’t limit yourself to what I list out here for ingredients. Think of your favorite omelette and how that might translate over. Or ingredients that you have in your refrigerator you need to use up. Or whatever you like that goes with eggs. This recipe is also a bit loose as I make this by feel a lot of the time. I don’t always buy produce just for making a quiche, as I sometimes use this as an opportunity to clean out the older stuff that needs to get eaten up.
For pie crust:
1.5 cups all purpose flour
1 stick unsalted butter, but into small pieces
1/4 tsp salt
4-10 Tbsp ice water
For filling (3-4 cups before eggs):
Vegetables you like (My go-to right now is spinach or broccoli with onions and bell peppers)
Protein of choice (I usually use about a pound of bacon or a chopped ham steak) (optional)
Cheese (I like gruyere or cheddar) (optional)
Preheat your oven to 375 deg F.
If you’re using a regular pie crust, combine the flour, butter, and salt in a food processor. If you don’t have a food processor, you can do this by hand in a mixing bowl and a pastry blender or fork. You want your flour and butter to look like sand when you’re done. Add the ice water a tablespoon at a time until the dough just comes together. Dump everything out onto a clean counter and knead lightly and quickly to bring all the ingredients together. Too much heat from your hands might work the butter too much, so be sure to work quick. Wrap tightly and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. [For future reference, this is a standard single pie dough recipe you can use for any sort of pie thing. If you’re making a fruit pie and need a top, double the recipe. If you like your dough slightly sweet, add a little bit of granulated sugar (or sugar substitute) of your choice. I prefer it without sugar though, even when I make a dessert.]
While you wait for your dough to rest, prepare your filling. Cut your veggies into smaller bite sized pieces and cook slightly to soften or wilt them. I like to roast small broccoli florets and then toss them into a pan with sauteed onions and wilted spinach. You don’t want to overcook your vegetables, as they’ll continue cooking in the oven later, but you don’t want a bunch of raw produce in your filling either.
If you’re using meat, cook it completely and separately from your veggies. Crisp up some bacon and break it into smaller pieces or chop a ham steak into bite sized pieces and warm it in a pan. You could also use bulk sausage, tofu, or vegetarian “meat” substitutes. Whatever you like. Combine your all filling ingredients together and set aside. You should have about 3-4 cups when everything is combined.
Once your dough is rested, flour your counter lightly and roll your dough out to fit your pie plate. Transfer your dough to your pie plate and trim or decorate the edges as you like. My pie plate has straight up and down sides, so I fold the excess back into the plate to thicken up the sides for extra stability. Add your filling (veggies and protein only at this point).
In a separate bowl, scramble a few eggs. Start with fewer than you think you will need as you can always add more before you bake it. Pour the eggs into the pie plate, making sure the eggs get around everything. Scramble more eggs if you need. Sometimes I only need 6 eggs, but I have used a full dozen when I had less veggies. Don’t fill your pie plate to the point of overflowing though – remember the eggs will puff up a bit. Top with your cheese of choice (if using) and place onto a foil lined baking sheet.
Bake for 30-45 minutes, or until eggs are set and no longer runny. Allow to cool to room temperature before slicing and eating (or storing for later).
This is really good on its own, or with a simple green salad for even more vegetables if serving for dinner.
Suggestions for vegetable filling: broccoli, zucchini, spinach, potatoes, onions, kale, bell peppers, green or kalamata olives, green onions, arugula, artichoke hearts
Suggestions for meat fillings: ham, bacon, sausage, chicken breast, ground meat (beef, pork, turkey, or chicken), cubed tofu, vegetarian crumbled substitutes, or omit completely.
To change out your pie dough with sweet potatoes (I use garnets), decide on if you want to use thinly sliced sweet potatoes or mashed. If using thinly sliced (a mandoline is excellent for this!) line a greased pie dish with thin rounds. If using mashed, boil or roast your sweet potatoes. Mash and season with salt and pepper. Press into your pie plate, taking it up the sides. Continue with filling.
To omit a crust all together and make a frittata, grease your baking dish of choice (sometimes I’ll use a 9×13 glass baking dish for this), add your fillings, and then your eggs. Bake until set and cut into big squares (I get shoot for 6-8 servings out of a 9×13 dish).