Grocery Day Quiche
As most of you know, I like to plan my meals out for the week -- it gives me a great sense of control, both calorically and stress-wise, and keeps me from hitting my usual take-out pitfalls when I'm hungry and short on time. Typically, I spend a good chunk of either Saturday or Sunday thinking about a what I should eat for the 15 meals and 10 snacks that occur between Monday and Friday -- and then I set out with my planning. It goes a little something like this:
Make meal list
Make grocery list based upon meal list
Clean out fridge / panty, using whatever I can or need to use before it goes bad
Freeze / store.
I know that this might seem insane for a woman with no children, but one of the keys to my weight loss over the past 6 years (gasp -- 6 years!), has been planning. She who fails to plan, plans to fail. I enjoy cooking and thinking about food, so during stressful times (read: every moment of my life), I let this ritual anchor me... it's a way I can find a bit of control in an otherwise out-of-control life. In fact, I'm usually the happiest and most at peace when I'm in the kitchen, cooking -- whether that's just for me, or I'm planning to entertain and feed others.
This means that every weekday morning, I can pull something out of the freezer to have for dinner that night. It means that my breakfasts are portioned out, so I can quickly eat while getting ready for work. It means that my lunches are all packed and ready to be tossed in my briefcase before I walk out the door. It means... sanity. It requires effort and a lot of thought, but in my mind -- well worth it. All in all, today, this exercise (planning, cleaning, shopping, prepping) will probably take a total of 5 hours -- INCLUDING the time it took me to write this post, and make the quiche. But since I got up at 7:30, so it works for me. Maybe 3 hours on a normal weekend planning day.
ANYWAY -- this is a really long intro to the following recipe, but today when I did the "clean out fridge and pantry" portion of this mission, I realized that there were a lot of things that needed to either get tossed or used in the next few days. I HATE wasting food -- for multiple reasons, but probably the main one is because I consider it a personal challenge to get a lot of utility out of the food I buy (Hmm, perhaps my next entry will be all about how I can squeak approximately 2 dinners, 5 lunches, a pot of soup, and chicken stock to freeze out of one stupid 6 dollar chicken).
Today, here's what I came up with:
1 gorgeous tomato
1/2 a vidalia onion
4 cubes of chopped and frozen fresh basil that I just sorta wanted to get rid of.
5 slices of center cut bacon
1/2 dozen eggs, with today as the "Sell by" date.
1/4 a container of ff half and half
1/3 of a bag of reduced fat shredded mozarella
Clearly, a big breakfast was in order! Also, my boyfriend is sick -- and while I brewed a pot of coffee, I wanted to make something nice for him. Also? There is SNOW on the ground in MN today... and even though that makes me want to cry, it also brings out the very best domestic goddess within me. ;-)
So, I present to you "Grocery Day Quiche"
First, the crust (Yes, I made this from scratch, and NO it wasn't diffcult -- took about 5 minutes, and you can do it too).
1 cup of flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 cup of olive oil
1/4 cup of ice water (I just used tap water and this was fine)
Mix flour and salt.
In a separate bowl, whisk water and oil until it kinda thickens (I know, that sounds weird, and I didn't get it either, but you'll know exactly what that means as it happens)
Pour wet ingredients over dry ingredients and mix until you have a ball of dough (I started doing this with a whisk, after 5 seconds said "eh, screw it" and just used my hands. Then, using a rolling pin (or a large soup can, as it were), roll out the dough. You should probably sprinkle a little flour on the counter before doing this, as it can be sticky.
Grease (Pam!) a pie plate and spread the crust on the plate.
Now for the ingredients -- again, this can kinda vary depending on what you have laying around.
I wanted to use up some bacon, so I preheated the oven to 400 and baked 5 slices for about 20 minutes.
While the bacon was baking, I chopped up the tomato and onion, and then in a bowl, I whisked together 1 cup of fat free half and half, and 5 eggs.
I added the vegetables, frozen basil, the shredded cheese, and seasoning to taste (salt, pepper, a dash of garlic salt), to the egg mixture, whisked it all together, and set aside.
The bacon was done, so I took that and chopped it up.
In the bottom of the pie plate, I sprinkled the bacon, then poured the egg/vegetable/cheese mixture on top.
Bake at 400 for about 30 minutes, but keep an eye on it so that the crust doesn't burn.
It was absolutely delicious.
Now for the nutrition information (SEE, I PROMISED you that I'd start doing this eventually!)
For the ENTIRE quiche*:
109 grams of fat
4 grams of fiber
101 grams of protein
So, you can do the math on that depending on how many servings you get out of it -- I'm assuming 6-8 servings (so let's call it 7 for the sake of estimating), and you get the following:
15 grams of fat
18 grams of carbs
0 grams of fiber
14 grams of protien
Which translates into a nice little 7 points**, if you're a Weight Watcher like me. :-)
Now, you might be saying "Jess, that is really high in fat and calories, where does the "cost savings" come in!?" I'll tell you -- it's in the fat free half and half***. Because to use an entire CUP of heavy cream??? People, that would be 820 calories and 88 grams of fat -- as compared to the pesky 142 calories and 3.5 grams of fat in the fat free variety. Also, the fat free half and half yeilds 6 grams of protein, as compared to only 4 grams in the "Real" stuff. And frankly? Can't taste the difference. The quiche is light, fluffy and flavorful. I have no idea what on earth fat free half and half is made out of****, but I've found it to be a GREAT staple in my fridge -- I use it in my coffee everyday, and frequently make "cream" based sauces out of it. I highly recommend.
And on that note -- I'm off to the grocery store to go about my planning, prepping, chopping, freezing, and packing for the week -- menu items include sesame apricot chicken, stir fry, pot roast, and a delicious butternut squash ravioli with a brown butter and sage / dried cranberry sauce (I think lunches this week will simply consist of delicious leftovers!)
Clearly, it is fall.
Off and running,
*the only caveats to these numbers are that I did not include calories for tomato, onion, or basil, and I totally "eyeballed" the cheese - so I could be slightly off but probably not more than 90 calories worth.
**6 points if you cut the pie into 8 slices; 8 points for 6 slices.
***You could also modify the crust by using some sort of whole wheat flour with a higher fiber content for added nutritional value. You could also probably eliminate the cheese -- or use much less of it -- and it would be just as good. You could also make it crustless, but then it's not quiche, and where's the fun in that?!
****I mean, half and half is half milk, half cream, right? And clearly there isn't a cream that is fat free. So what the hell is fat free half and half made of? It's dairy, but half milk and... HALF WHAT? I don't know, I just know that I love it.