Broccoli Quiche

 

I Love Broccoli Quiche!

Quiche is great for any meal, but it is especially nice for a brunch idea this time of year. This is a very simple but delicious meal for the whole family.

broc quiche 668 x 440 with textBroccoli Quiche

Broccoli has to be one of my favorite vegetables. My family never ate broccoli when I was growing up, so when I was introduced to it at my neighbor’s house – I fell in love -veggie love! It then became my first choice in veggies and still is. So, that’s why I like broccoli quiche so much.

Some of the great things about quiche are that you can make it ahead, it is perfect to bring to a potluck dinner because it is easy to transport and it is simple to reheat the whole quiche in the oven for about 15 – 20 minutes @ 350 degrees. Like a casserole, after the initial preparation, cooking and clean up, it is a very easy thing to serve and most of the mess is already dealt with. 🙂 And, the best thing, is that it tastes great. Hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I do!

Broccoli Quiche
Healthy and Fit Woman: 
Recipe type: Brunch
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 to 6
 
A classic favorite the whole family will enjoy
Ingredients
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 cup milk
  • 1½ cups broccoli florets, steamed
  • 1 medium onion, chopped small
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1½ cups sharp cheddar cheese (or flavorful cheese of your choice)
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 1 Tbs soy sauce
  • ½ tsp onion granules
  • ½ tsp garlic granules
  • For Crust:
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat pastry flour
  • 1 stick of butter, cold and cut into small slices
  • a pinch of salt
  • ½ cup of ice water
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. Combine all the crust ingredients with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse balls about the size of small peas. Gather up the dough and gently form into a large ball and cut in half. On a lightly floured surface, gently flatten one of the balls and start rolling it out with a rolling pin until the crust is a little larger than your 9" pie plate. Gently fold the crust in half and lay in the pie plate and unfold. Position it with your hands and cut off extra overhanging crust - leaving about an inch of overhang to turn under and flute. Flute around the entire crust. This recipe makes 2 crusts.
  3. Prebake your crust for 5 minutes @ 350 degrees (put dry beans - enough to cover the bottom of the pie shell - in your unbaked crust while you prebake to prevent the crust from bubbling - remove the beans after the crust is prebaked)
  4. Whisk together your eggs, milk and seasonings and set aside
  5. Saute your onion and steam your broccoli
  6. When crust is out of the oven, cover the bottom with ½ the cheese, the sauteed onions and the steamed broccoli.
  7. Sprinkle raw minced garlic (or saute it first, if you prefer) over the top of everything
  8. Pour your seasoned egg/milk mixture over the other ingredients
  9. Top with the remaining cheese
  10. Bake @ 350 degrees for 1 hour (Check by jiggling it. If it just slightly jiggles, take it out, it is done. But if it seems too loose and still jiggles a lot, bake it about 5 - 10 minutes longer - make sure to check it)
  11. Take out of the oven when done and let stand for about 10 minutes to set up before serving.

 

Growing Winter Greens

Kale and Swiss Chard

Greens grow year round here in the SF Bay Area. I also know that they grow well in Southern California and also the Pacific Northwest, around the Portland, Oregon area in the winter too. Having fresh greens from your garden in the winter is such a healthful addition to your meals. Even if you don’t have an actual garden space, they grow really well in planter boxes that you can have on your deck or porch. Greens like Kale and Swiss Chard are hardy and actually really like the cooler weather.

swiss chard from shed in planterALT="winter greens"

Swiss Chard

One of the great things about the planter boxes is that you can have them closer to your house for easier access. Another advantage of the planter boxes near your house is to discourage the garden pests. My husband had a patch of winter greens growing in the garden – kale, chard, lettuce and arugula. One day when he went out, a gopher had gotten to them and had eaten everything except the arugula! What a bummer! At least he found out that they don’t like arugula! The reason the gophers came around was probably because this time of year he isn’t in the garden as much and they seized their opportunity! So, this is another good reason why planter boxes are great because they can be close to home so you can keep an eye on your precious plants! If you build the boxes yourself or have them made for you, the best woods to use are redwood or cedar because they are beautiful and rot resistant.

kale from shed in planterALT="winter greens"Kale

 

A couple of my favorite ways to use the winter greens we grow are baked in quiche or casseroles and also using them raw in green smoothies. My family has a green smoothie almost every morning with fresh and frozen fruit, almonds, peanut butter, etc. along with fresh greens like kale and swiss chard that we grow here at home. The reason for the etc. in the smoothie ingredient list is that everyone in my family does their own combo but fresh greens are always an important ingredient is everyone’s smoothie. We use our Blendtec blender to make smoothies with greens because it is very powerful and will completely blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. Many household blenders will leave the greens kind of chunky and actually not very pleasant. 

Having your own little planter garden is actually very rewarding.  It’s also a health advantage to pick your greens fresh as you need them. That way you will get the most nutrients from them. When vegetables come from a long distance away and then are stored for a time, they lose some of their valuable nutrients.

Besides kale and swiss chard, there are other green plants that grow well in boxes and do well in cooler weather over the winter – spinach, arugula and lettuce are some of the other greens you can easily grow. The easiest way to start your planter boxes is to buy six-packs of the plants that you want – this will give your little garden of greens a jump start.

You don’t need to harvest the whole plant when you want to use some greens. Just carefully pick a few or as many leaves as you need, without entirely stripping each plant. Take a few leaves from each plant and that won’t shock them and they will continue to be happy and grow so you can continue to enjoy them through the winter months.  🙂

Black Bean Casserole

…with Corn Tortillas too…

This is a tried and true recipe! I have made it many times and it has been a good one. Many of my friends have asked me for the recipe because, well…I guess you could say it is YUMMY!

black bean casserole 750 with watermark

My family loves black beans. I make them in the crockpot almost every week. I love the crockpot, it makes things like beans so simple – soak them overnight, drain them in the morning, put them into the crockpot with fresh water and salt and you’re done. I start mine on high and let it go like that for most of the day and then turn it down to low until we are ready to eat. So simple – but so good!

Anyway, this recipe can be made with either canned black beans or ones that you cook yourself either in a pot on the stove or in a crockpot.

Here is the Recipe:  

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups chopped onion (2 large)
  • 1 1/2 cups chopped green bell pepper (2 medium)
  • 1- 14 1/2-ounce can diced tomatoes
  • 3/4 cup picante sauce (or salsa)
  • 2 teaspoons – 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 – 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 – 15-ounce cans black beans, drained OR 4 cups cooked black beans
  • salt to taste
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 cups shredded reduced-fat Monterey Jack or Pepper Jack cheese (8 ounces)
  • 2 medium tomatoes, sliced (optional)
  • 2 cups shredded lettuce (optional)
  • sliced green onion (optional)
  • sliced pitted ripe black olives (optional)
  • 1/2 cup light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt (optional)

Directions:

1.  First, preheat your oven to 350 degrees

2. In a large skillet, combine onion, bell pepper, undrained tomatoes, picante sauce (or salsa), cumin, garlic and salt. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, uncovered for 10 -15 minutes ( or until your onions and peppers are how you like them) – then stir in the beans.

3. Spread one-third of the bean mixture over the bottom of a 3-quart rectangular baking dish. Top with 6 of the tortillas, overlapping as necessary, and 1 cup of the cheese. Add another one-third of the bean mixture; topping with remaining tortillas and remaining bean mixture.

4. Bake, covered, in a 350 degree oven for 35-40 minutes or till heated through. Sprinkle with remaining cheese. Put back in oven to melt the cheese. Take out of the oven and let stand for about 10 minutes before serving.

5. Optional – top with tomato slices, shredded lettuce, green onion and olives, light sour cream or plain Greek yogurt.

Serves 6 to 8

(adapted from the Better Homes and Gardens New Cookbook)

 

Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Soup with Tzatsiki

zucchini and eggplant soup 750 with watermark

Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Soup with Tzatsiki

This year we grew sooo many zucchini and cucumbers. Somehow we never learn to pick them when they are a medium size and wait until they are huge (especially the zucchini). One thing for sure, there is a lot of food in a huge zucchini! We also have lots of mint and tomatoes so this recipe was perfect to use all of these veggies in.

My photography isn’t the greatest, but I’m learning. Actually, I want to eventually get a good camera and learn how to use it. But, I’m sure you get a sense about what this recipe looks like from this picture.🙂

I know this may sound strange, but my husband and I ate this for a late breakfast after I made it. We really enjoyed it even though it was a bit of a non-traditional breakfast or I guess you could say it was brunch!

Here is how I made it:    (loosely adapted from The Complete Book of Greek Cooking)

Ingredients for soup:

  • 1 large zucchini, peeled, seeded and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1 medium/large eggplant, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces
  • 1/2 of a large onion, chopped small
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 3 small tomatoes, cut into small pieces
  • 2 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable broth
  • extra virgin olive oil (for drizzling on vegetables)
  • salt (about 2 tsp)
  • 1T oregano

Directions:      Preheat your oven @ 400 degrees

1. Prepare your first 5 ingedients

2. Spray or brush a roasting pan with oil

3. Add the zucchini, eggplant, onions, garlic and tomatoes to the pan

4. Drizzle the olive oil over the top of the vegetables

5. Sprinkle the salt and oregano over the top of all the vegetables in the pan

6. Put your pan of vegetables in the oven at 400 degrees and roast them for approximately 45 – 50 minutes (check them at that point, they may take a little bit longer) While they are in the oven stir them every 15 minutes

7. When they are done, take about 1/2 of the veggies and blend them with 2 1/2 cups of chicken or vegetable broth until almost smooth. You can use a blender, food processor or an immersion hand blender to do this.

8. At this point, add the rest of the roasted vegetable pieces to the blended ones,  but be sure to keep them chunky

9. Put this mixture in a pot and bring to a boil, then turn down and let simmer for about 5 minutes or so. (don’t forget to stir it while it’s cooking)

10. Viola! This part is done

Tzatsiki Ingredients:     (make this while your veggies are roasting in the oven)

  • 1 medium/large cucumber, peeled, seeded and cut into very small pieces
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic, pressed
  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tsp. of white wine vinegar (I used brown rice vinegar)

Directions:

1. Put your cut cucumber pieces in a colander with a plate under it

2. Sprinkle salt over the cucumber and let sit and drain for about 30 minutes or so

3. After that time and some water has drained from the cucumbers, take them out of the colander and pat them dry with a paper towel.

4. Take your cup of plain Greek yogurt and stir in the vinegar and the pressed garlic and mix well

5. Then take your cucumber pieces and stir them into the yogurt mixture – Done

6. Spoon a portion of the Tzatsiki on top of your Roasted Eggplant and Zucchini Soup – Garnish with fresh mint leaves and ENJOY!

Soup and Tzatsiki serves 2 large portions or 4 small portions

 

 

Mango and Cabbage Salad

Juicy, Ripe Mangoes – Oh Ya!

 

This is one of those “sleeper” salads. It is simple but soo good. At least I think so. First thing is that you have to like ripe, juicy, tasty mangoes! Secondly, you have to like thinly sliced napa cabbage. And thirdly, you have to not mind making a salad without exact measurements. The main thing is that you have to have all the ingredients.

I’m happy to still be eating salads here in California. My friend just told me that he had to start up his wood stove up north. In Northern Idaho, that is. I just love it up there, but I have to admit that I am totally addicted to California weather.

My garden is still producing and we have already planted seeds for our winter garden. Mainly leafy greens, at this point. A little Napa cabbage would grow well here in the cooler weather.

This salad has to be made with ripe, sweet, juicy mangoes not the hard, tasteless ones. Don’t bother making it if your mangoes aren’t ripe.

Mango cabbage salad (2) 750 withhfwMango and Cabbage Salad

 

For A Single Side Salad You’ll Need

Ingredients:

·        Napa Cabbage – thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

·        Cilantro – chopped fresh (about 2 Tablespoons)

·        Red Bell Pepper – thinly sliced in julienne strips about 1-2 inches long (about ¼ cup)

·        Jicama – thinly sliced in julienne strips about 1-2 inches long (about ¼ cup)

·         Mango – ripe, sweet, juicy – cut in strips or chunks (about ½ cup)

·        Jalapen͂o (optional) – finely minced (about 1 teaspoon)

·        Lemon – juice of ½ 

·        Lime – juice of ½    

Directions:

1.    Wash, drain and thinly slice your Napa cabbage and place on a plate or in bowl

2.    Sprinkle fresh chopped cilantro over the cabbage

3.    Place strips of red bell pepper over the cabbage

4.    Place strips of jicama over the cabbage also

5.    Place your strips or chunks of mango around the salad (make it look pretty and colorful!)

6.    Add the finely minced jalapen͂o (optional)

7.    Squeeze the juice of 1/2 small lemon and 1/2 lime over the top of the salad

8.    Drizzle with a little extra virgin olive oil

9.    Sprinkle with salt

 

   ENJOY!

 

 

 

 

How To Make Sauerkraut

Making Homemade Sauerkraut

Making homemade sauerkraut is easier than you may think. I was very surprised to discover that all you need is cabbage and salt. Yes, you heard right –  JUST cabbage and salt. Sounds crazy right? My family loves sauerkraut – especially my husband and my youngest son.

Besides the cabbage and salt, you will need a crock type container with a lid. I found a ceramic crockpot crock with a glass lid at a thrift store and that’s what I use. I’m sure other things would work – possibly a pyrex or corningware casserole dish with a lid. Also, there are actual crocks that are made for making sauerkraut in.  Besides that, you will need a small plate to place over your cabbage and a fairly heavy, clean rock to place on top of the plate.

Here Are The Steps:

1. I started with 2 smallish heads of green cabbage.

2. I peeled off about 2 or 3 outer leaves from both heads and set them aside.

3. I grated my cabbage in the food processor with the thinnest slicing blade. A mandoline or other type of hand grater or  thinly slicing with a chefs knife would work too.

4. I put the thinly sliced cabbage in a large stainless steel bowl

adding salt (1) resized 250ALT=adding salt to cabbage for sauerkraut5. I then sprinkled 1 Tablespoon of salt over my thinly sliced cabbage . I used pink Himalayan salt, but any salt will do. Note: If my heads of cabbage were really large, I would add almost 1 Tablespoon of salt per head of cabbage. My 2 heads were the equivalent of 1 large.

6. At that point, I washed my hands really well and dried them. Then the fun began.workin in salt (2)resized 250ALT=squishing cabbage to make sauerkraut

7. I dug both my hands in the bowl of salted cabbage and started squishing it in each of my hands. I heard one lady refer to it as “massaging” the cabbage. I guess it’s what you could call a very deep massage!

8. Continue squishing firmly with each hand. The point is for the cabbage to start releasing its juices. It may take 5 – 10 minutes depending on how much cabbage you have and how hard you releasing juices (3) resized 250ALT=releasing cabbages for sauerkrautsquish!

9. When you notice a lot of juices being released, lift up a large clump over your bowl to see if you have dripping juices – this is a good sign that you are ready to move your cabbage to the crock.pressing down (4)resized 250ALT=pressing cabbage down to make sauerkraut

10. Spoon your dripping cabbage into  your crock and then begin pressing small batches down very firmly with your fist – keep adding and press firmly showing juices (5) resized 250ALT=pressed juices released when making sauerkrautuntil done with all your cabbage.

11. I took my open hand and pressed down really firmly to see the juices between my fingers!cabbage leaves on top (6) resized 250ALT=outer cabbage leaves covering sauerkraut

12. At that point, when I was satisfied with that, I layered the outer cabbage leaves that I had set aside at first, on top of the cabbage. Make sure plate with rock (7) resized 250ALT=plate and rock on top of sauerkrautyou totally cover it.

13. I then found a small plate that fit into my crock and covered the cabbage.

14. I then topped the plate with a fairly heavy “clean” rock. I scrubbed mine with a stiff brush and dawn dish soap and water – rinsed and patted dry.crock in cupboard (8) resized 141x250ALT=crock with sauerkraut in cupboard

15. Lastly, I put the lid on and put it up in the cupboard above my refrigerator where it was warm and wouldn’t be disturbed. I then left it undisturbed for 5 – 7 days. At that point, check it by removing the lid, rock, plate and cabbage leaves. If you like what it tastes like, it is done. I like it at that point personally but it can be left longer if you want a more sour taste. If you see a little mold around the edges on your cabbage leaves, just gently scrape it off.

16. Here is your finished product. Fresh, homemade sauerkraut! Wasn’t that easier than you expected? I thought so!finished sauerkraut (9) with watermark17. Put your fresh, homemade sauerkraut in an airtight container in the refrigerator and it should keep for several weeks.

 

Spinach Orange Salad

spinach orange salad mine 700 with watermarkSpinach Orange Salad

 

If you like salads in the warm months like I do, I think you’ll really enjoy this spinach salad. Those first tender spinach leaves of the spring are so yummy and delicious and bring about the beginning of my world of increased salads throughout the spring, summer and fall.

This salad is so refreshing and flavorful. With the addition of the unique and flavorful sesame honey dijon dressing, it becomes an interesting variation of the typical spinach salad. You can add optional ingredients to make it more colorful – like dried cranberries or strawberries. Continue reading “Spinach Orange Salad”