Spinach & Gruyere Crustless Quiche

During my lower carb adventure last month I came across a recipe for quiche that sounded delightful, but didn’t fit with that goal. Recalling that crustless quiche is definitely a thing you can do (bonus – it’s also easier) I decided to modify this recipe to better fit my macronutrient needs.

Spinach & Gruyere Crustless Quiche {{Baking Bytes}}

I often eat eggs for breakfast, and a scramble is one of my favorite things after a hard run. With my weekday runs increasing in length and intensity, and my go-to peanut butter & banana toast being too high in carbs, it became necessary to find something easy to eat at work on those days. Throughout the winter I regularly prepped a scramble the night before but not only is this a time-consuming process, it requires me to remember and have the energy to do this on a weekly basis. As someone who prefers to meal prep all at once, it didn’t fit well into my schedule once I consistently preferred a hearty post-run meal twice per week. Since this deep-dish quiche makes 8 servings, one quiche will last me nearly a month of weekday runs.

Spinach & Gruyere Crustless Quiche {{Baking Bytes}}

Sautéed garlic, onion, and spinach are given a protein boost with shredded chicken (I occasionally purchase the packaged rotisserie chicken meat from Costco which makes this super easy) and a generous amount of Gruyère cheese. With a base of eggs and half and half, this hearty and creamy quiche is perfect for any meal. Some paprika brings a fun flavor that blends nicely with a multitude of toppings and side dishes; I like to top mine with a sprinkle of goat cheese or feta and extra freshly ground pepper. Sriracha is a welcome addition if you’re looking for extra kick.

Spinach & Gruyere Crustless Quiche {{Baking Bytes}}

Serve with dressed greens (for the keto crowd), fresh fruit (for the starch conscious), and/or roasted potatoes (for the classic American pairing.) Toast or scones would round out a brunch nicely, especially if you offer some homemade jam to accompany them. If you’re vegetarian, stir in some black beans or your favorite meat-replacement in lieu of the chicken, or just add extra veggies instead.

Spinach & Gruyere Crustless Quiche {{Baking Bytes}}

This recipe is superbly easy and will definitely become a monthly endeavor for me. It’s easily customizable (Bacon and cheddar? Turkey and gouda? Yes please!), super simple, and a healthy way to start the day. Don’t be afraid of the half and half – fats keep you fuller longer, especially with a low-carb diet, and even with all that goodness each slice is still less than 250 calories. (However, if you’re super concerned you can probably substitute whole milk instead.)

Spinach & Gruyere Crustless Quiche {{Baking Bytes}}

Leftovers keep well in the fridge for a few days or the freezer for long-term storage. Wrap slices individually in aluminum foil and then heat in the microwave when you’re ready to enjoy. I’ve found that putting the frozen slice on a folded paper towel to soak up excess water, defrosting for 2-3 minutes, then cooking for 30-45 seconds results in the most evenly heated experience.

Whether you’re low-carb or not, this easy quiche is perfect for a weekend brunch or weekday prepping; let me know what you think!

PS – Are you ready for National Ice Cream Month? My annual ice cream series starts July 6!

Spinach & Gruyère Crustless Quiche

Inspired by Positive Health Wellness
Makes one deep-dish quiche (8 servings)1

Ingredients

1 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion
1 clove elephant garlic, minced (or 3 cloves regular)
3 cups spinach, chopped
1 1/2 cups cooked, shredded chicken

4 oz Gruyère cheese, diced

8 eggs
1 cup half and half (or whole milk)
1/2 tsp paprika
salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and coat a 9″ deep-dish1 pie plate with olive oil or cooking spray.
  2. In a large frying pan heat oil over medium until hot.
  3. Add onion and garlic and sauté until onions are beginning to look translucent.
  4. Stir in a handful at a time spinach and sauté until wilted.
  5. Remove from heat and stir in chicken until mixture is well combined.
  6. Spread mixture into prepared pie plate and top evenly with cheese.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half (or milk), and paprika until frothy. Whisk in salt and pepper to taste (I did 1/4 tsp salt and plenty of freshly ground pepper).
  8. Carefully pour into pie plate – it will be full! – and sprinkle generously with additional paprika.
  9. Bake for about one hour, or until top is browned and quiche is set. If it is browning too fast you can cover it with foil for the last 20 minutes or so.
  10. Allow to cool at least 10 minutes before serving plain or with some extra goat cheese or feta sprinkled on top, plus freshly ground pepper. For some kick, Sriracha is a delicious complement. Fruit, dressed greens, toast/scones, or roasted potatoes are excellent choices for side dishes.
  11. Store leftovers in the fridge or wrap completely cooled slices individually for a pre-portioned and freezer-safe breakfast.2

Notes

If you do not have a deep-dish pie plate (mine holds over 32 oz and was plumb full), use a standard 8×8 glass baking dish instead. It should bake about the same but I will try this next time I make it and update with any necessary adjustments. As a bonus, rectangles would be easy to wrap for meal-prep purposes anyway.

To reheat: unwrap and place in the microwave on a folded paper towel (to absorb excess moisture.) Defrost for 2-3 minutes then heat normally for 30-45 seconds. Enjoy!

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Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese

Omnivores can cheer, this sandwich contains meat! Mildly inspired by my favorite panini at a local Italian restaurant, this recipe is hearty and filling but still a more exciting profile than your traditional cheddar.

I feel like most places with a “gourmet” grilled cheese option just shove about eleven pounds of cheese on there, with maybe the option of bacon and tomato. Although there’s nothing wrong with this method and it can be quite delicious (other than ruining a perfectly good sandwich with mostly raw tomato), I don’t find it particularly new and interesting anymore.

However, pesto and chicken are a match made in heaven and adding cheese to the concoction can only improve it. I chose Gruyère, mainly because I love Gruyere, but any sort of cheddar or pepper jack or whatever have you around would be equally delightful. A smidge of goat cheese adds a wonderful creaminess and a slight tang, but is totally optional if it’s not your thing. For an extra veggie boost I added a layer of fresh baby spinach which complemented everything nicely.

This is a great way to use up leftover chicken (which is what I did) but is definitely worth it to make specifically as well. I picked a striped rye bread I had around which was excellent, but almost anything would be awesome.

Also, tangy cheese and herby pesto are a fantastic combination in themselves, so for a vegetarian option just leave out the chicken (or replace it with roasted bell peppers). I promise it’s excellent both ways.

Pesto Chicken Grilled Cheese
Makes 1 sandwich

Ingredients

1 Tbsp pesto
1 Tbsp goat cheese (optional)
2 oz Gruyère, thinly sliced
1/4 cup cooked chicken, shredded or in thin slices
1/4 cup fresh baby spinach (optional)

2 slices bread
butter or oil

Directions

  1. In a medium pan (big enough to fit both slices side by side) heat a little butter or oil over medium-low.
  2. Spread pesto on one slice of bread. Dollop with goat cheese (if using) and top evenly with chicken. Optionally, add a layer of fresh spinach atop the chicken.
  3. Arrange Gruyère on the other slice and transfer both to the pan.
  4. Place a lid (or a plate, or whatever you have around) over the pan and continue to cook low and slow until the cheeses are melty and warmed through. 
  5. Gently move the Gruyère slice on top of the other and cook an additional 30-60 seconds so the flavors meld.
  6. Remove from pan, slice in half, and enjoy immediately.

Notes

I like this method of grilled cheese preparation because it doesn’t require flipping the whole sandwich, and I think the cheese melts faster, but feel free to use your own preferred method!

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Happy almost New Year and hope everyone had a merry winter holiday, for those of you that celebrate it. I spent Christmas with M’s family in Oregon, which was a little weird given the lack of snow, but nice to spend the time with his family. We did not celebrate with the cinnamon rolls I posted two weeks ago, but I did make pie for Christmas Eve dinner with the grandparents. Maybe I’ll get the blueberry recipe up sometime next year.

Broccoli Cheese Soup {{Baking Bytes}}

This week I’m posting a nice cozy soup, great for the week between Christmas and New Year’s where all you want to do is hang out inside and relish those last few days off work or school. This is a simple recipe, and pretty quick to make, but it’s hearty and creamy and with all that broccoli in there it masquerades as vaguely healthy.

I like to use sharp cheddar in soups, but some pepperjack or gouda or any combination that strikes your fancy is sure to be delightful. A creamy base with generous amounts of cheese is intertwined with a hefty amount of broccoli, sure to please your cozy palate without feeling too much guilt about it.

Broccoli Cheese Soup {{Baking Bytes}}

I added a little celery as filler, but it’s just fine without it if you don’t have it on hand. Likewise you could throw a little zucchini in there. Since it’s puréed anyway, it’s a great soup for sneaking a couple extra neutral veggies into a meal.

When I was making it, M frowned at the idea of a meatless soup, so I added some diced turkey at the end to satiate him. It certainly is not necessary and the soup is great in its original vegetarian state, but if, like me, you have some carnivores to appease, some chicken or turkey is a great addition.

Broccoli Cheese Soup {{Baking Bytes}}

It goes great with a side of whole grain bread for either lunch or dinner, and reheats nicely if you have leftovers. If you’re looking for a simple and classic meal that’s maybe a little less extravagant than typical holiday fair, make a batch of this soup.

Broccoli Cheese Soup

Adapted from Smitten Kitchen
Makes about 2 quarts (a little more if you add meat)

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 small onion, finely diced
2 small stalks celery, finely diced (optional)

1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1 cup half-and-half

4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1/2 tsp garlic powder
freshly ground pepper, to taste

1.5 pounds broccoli, chopped small (about 8 cups)
1 large carrot, grated (about 1 cup)

1-2 cups cooked, diced chicken or turkey breast (optional)
8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, grated

Directions

  1. In a heavy pot over medium heat, melt the butter.
  2. Add onion and celery and sauté until softened and onions are translucent.
  3. Stir in flour until no lumps remain, then stir in half and half until smooth.
  4. Add broth, garlic powder, and pepper, and bring to a simmer.
  5. Simmer over medium-low about 10 minutes, until mixture thickens slightly.
  6. Add broccoli and carrot, and simmer until softened, about 20 minutes.
  7. Use an immersion blender (or any blender) to puree the soup to your preferred texture. I like it mostly smooth with a few chunks of broccoli, but you can blend as little or as much as you like.
  8. If using poultry, add it now and simmer an additional 5 minutes or until meat is warmed through.
  9. Remove soup from the heat and stir in the cheese until completely incorporated.
  10. Serve hot with an extra pinch of cheese, a sprinkle of freshly ground pepper, and a side of savory bread.

[Slow Cooker] Enchilada Soup

Bozeman has been slow to head towards winter which makes it difficult to dive into fall cooking. The weather is a little bipolar, often jumping between 20’s one week and high 50’s the next. As someone who loves cold weather, the latter of the two makes me very upset inside. Recently, however, we had a short bout of 30’s, which led me to making this wonderful slow cooker soup.

[Slow Cooker] Enchilada Soup >> Baking Bytes

In addition to being incredibly fast to assemble (not including cooking time, of course) this soup is delicious and perfect for a chilly fall day. A little spicy, this soup version of a Mexican dinner is warm and hearty and goes great with a side of cornbread. (Or if you’re me, cornbread goes great with a side of this soup.) M is a hunter so I used deer steak we had in the freezer, but use whatever meat or poultry you prefer. Corn, black beans, and green beans come together for a healthy and filling meal with the spiciness of chili peppers and enchilada sauce.

As with most slow cooker recipes, this one is very easy to modify to fit your personal preferences. Add and subtract canned/frozen veggies as you like, but be mindful of the overall volume as my small crock pot barely fit this recipe. It’s also easy to tailor towards your own spice tolerance; choose mild or hot enchilada sauce and peppers as you prefer. I’m fairly wussy so I tend towards medium and mild, respectively.

[Slow Cooker] Enchilada Soup >> Baking Bytes

This recipe makes enough to feed a decent crowd, or an average family with leftovers for later. If your weather is guiding you to soup cravings, this one is sure to satiate you.

Enchilada Soup

Adapted from SnarkRecipes
Makes 3 quarts

Ingredients

1 lb meat/poultry of choice1

1 (15 oz) can diced tomatoes, drained
1 (10 oz) can enchilada sauce
1 (4 oz) can diced green chili peppers
1 (10 oz) package frozen corn2
1 can green beans (optional)
1 can black beans, rinsed

1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp cumin
1/4 tsp black pepper

2 cans chicken broth3

cheddar cheese, grated (optional garnish)

Directions

  1. Dice meat into bite-sized cubes and brown in a skillet over medium heat. Drain and add to slow cooker.
  2. Stir in onions and garlic to distribute evenly.
  3. Layer remaining ingredients except chicken broth.
  4. Gently pour in the chicken broth, being careful not to overflow, and stir gently.
  5. Cover and cook on low for about 6 hours, or on high for about 3 hours.
  6. Serve garnished with shredded cheese.

[Slow Cooker] Enchilada Soup >> Baking Bytes

Notes

Again, I used deer steak but use whatever you prefer. Chicken or beef would both be great.
If you buy frozen corn in bulk like I do, 10 oz is about two cups.
If you have a larger slow cooker and would prefer a more brothy soup, you may want to add an additional can of chicken broth.
If you want to come home to a lovely dinner already made, cooking this a few extra hours won’t hurt it. Throw it together the night before, store it in the fridge overnight, turn it on “low” in the morning, and have dinner ready to go when you walk in the door.

Sweet & Spicy Honey Baked Chicken

M and I don’t normally eat a lot of chicken, mainly because our freezers (yes, plural) are always full of elk and venison. While I love having lean, wild meat at my disposal, every once in a while chicken just sounds perfect. To satiate my most recent craving, I pulled out a recipe I hadn’t made since 2009, during my exchange in Scotland. I figured if 2009-Lindsey could handle it, 2013-Lindsey definitely could. (The 2009 version was substantially less domestically inclined.)

Sweet & Spicy Honey Baked Chicken

2009-Lindsey had mad skills. And ugly plates.

I love this recipe because in addition to being ridiculously easy and super delicious, I always have everything on hand (except maybe chicken.) Honey, mustard, and curry powder come together in a delightful sauce in which chicken breasts are baked to perfection. It goes perfectly with rice and a side of vegetables. Whether there is any chicken leftover or not, extra sauce and rice heat up well for a quick and tasty lunch the next day.Sweet & Spicy Honey Baked Chicken - Baking Bytes

Boneless, skinless chicken breasts from the boneless, skinless chicken breast farm (joking) are my preferred cut of choice, but it should work with thighs or whatever is more your style; you might just have to adjust the cooking time a little bit.

Although the baking duration doesn’t make this a quick dinner, there’s not a lot of active cooking time. It also works really well to prepare everything in the morning (or the night before), stick it in the fridge, and throw the dish in the oven whenever you get home. This doesn’t save a ton of time, but if, like me, you don’t like to do a lot of dinner preparation after you get home from work, it gives you more time to relax without resorting to cold cereal for dinner. (This is something I may or may not do on a semi-regular basis…)

If you’re feeling the sweet & spicy flavor, throw this recipe together and let me know how it goes. Be sure to taste the sauce and adjust it to your preferences. I have a super low spice tolerance so maybe you want to up the curry powder. Maybe you don’t love sugar as much as I do and you want to decrease the honey. Or maybe you’re in a sugary mood and you want to up the honey. Play with it: I don’t think you can mess it up. (That is not a challenge.)

Sweet & Spicy Honey Baked Chicken - Baking Bytes

Sweet & Spicy Honey Baked Chicken

Adapted from Gretchen
Makes 4 chicken breasts and lots of sauce

Ingredients

4 boneless, skinless chicken breasts

8 Tbsp (1 stick) butter, melted1
3/4 cup honey
1/2 cup mustard (I like Dijon)
1 tsp salt
1 – 1.5 tsp curry powder

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk remaining ingredients until thoroughly combined.
  3. Pour a small amount of the sauce in an 8″x8″ or 9″x9″ baking dish and squeeze in your chicken on top; cover with remaining sauce.
  4. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until chicken reaches 165 degrees internally.
  5. Let cool for a few minutes, then serve with rice and a green vegetable.2

Notes

1 You could easily cut back the butter on this recipe, probably to 1/2 a stick (1/4 cup). I plan to do so next time I make it.
I think this recipe would also be great with noodles. I’d probably cut up the chicken into bite-sized pieces and mix everything together before serving.