Sweet Potato Crust Quiche

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche on Whisk Together

Book:  Our book club book for the month is “I am Malala: The Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Changed the World” by Malala Yousafzai.  If you need a quick biography to read, then this book may interest you.  It is only 195 pages.  The person herself- Malala – is first-rate five stars wowzer person.  She is the youngest recipient of the Nobel Peace Prize.  But the way the book was written I’d give it 3-4 out of 5 stars.  If I were critiquing the book as a Language Arts teacher, I would work on the cohesiveness of the history, politics and personal narrative.  To the personal narrative, I would like to see more of the five senses used:  the smells of the food from the kitchen, the floor beneath her feet, etc.  It reads like a first draft that would be sent for peer editing.  However.  The history and education that you receive from the book about Pakistan is amazing as well as the inspiring story of the girl who fought for education.

Cover art

Recipe:  Most of the moms I know are trying to eat healthy and get a nice breakfast in to start their day.  Whether trying to lose weight or just maintain weight, I get a LOT of inquiries on eating healthy and how to eat the foods we enjoy while still eating REAL food.  So, for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) I brought in a sweet potato crust quiche.  We loved it!  I had the rest for lunch with my five year old and she ate every single crumb.  Now that it has been kid-approved, I can post about it!

Healthy Eating Swap #1:  Sweet potato slices for pie crust
Healthy Eating Swap #2:  2 Tb. grated Parmesan cheese for the 2 cups of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses in most quiche recipes

Need breakfast for the week?  Double this recipe and make it in a 9×13″ dish.  Simply cover and take out a slice from the fridge in the morning for breakfast.  Pop it into the microwave and in less than 30 seconds you have a super healthy breakfast or quick and easy after-workout snack.

Quiche and many other breakfast items have a carbohydrate-laden crust based on fat (butter, lard or shortening) and white flour (all purpose flour).  The extra 10 minutes of baking time was SO worth it.  Next time, I will make 2-3 of these and freeze the ones we won’t eat that day.
To freeze, you have two options.  One, to bake it in a disposable pie pan, cool to room temperature and seal in a freezer bag with foil all around.  Or two, lay foil down in your pie pan and then place the quiche inside to bake; once cool, cover and freeze; remove the foil frozen quiche from your pan and place in a freezer bag with foil all around.  This way, you get your pie pan back 😉  Pretty sneaky, eh?

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche on Whisk Together2

Cutting the Sweet Potato:  The first couple of times I made the crust, I used my potato peeler to thinly slice the potato for layering.  But after 10 minutes in the oven, this will produce sweet potato chips.  Which still tasted awesome.  And using the peeler was a nice shortcut to having to cut the sweet potato with a chef’s knife.  Or, you could use a mandolin to thinly and evenly cut your sweet potato (Don’t forget the finger guard!).  See the crispy orange stuff?  That’s the crust!  Nom nom nom.

 

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche on Whisk Together3

Sweet Potato Crust Quiche
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Serves: 6
Ingredients
  • 1-2 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1/8″- 1/4″ thick slices
  • 1/2T butter
  • 1 shallot or 1/4 yellow onion, finely diced
  • 1 clove of garlic, minced or pressed
  • 1 handful of baby spinach or spinach/kale mix
  • 6 eggs
  • 2 Tb. milk
  • 2 Tb. grated Parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • No-salt seasoning such as Trader Joe’s 21 Seasoning Salute, Mural of Flavor, Mrs. Dash, etc. (optional)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray.
  3. Lay out the sweet potato slices onto the pie pan. Overlap as needed.
  4. Bake for 10 minutes.
  5. While baking, melt the butter in a small skillet over medium heat. Add onion/shallot. Stir and cook until transparent – about 5 minutes.
  6. Add garlic. Cook 30 seconds.
  7. Add the spinach. Coat in the butter/onion mixture. Stir until wilted.
  8. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Parmesan cheese, salt, pepper and any optional seasonings.
  9. Add the spinach mixture to the eggs. Stir.
  10. Pour the whole egg mixture into the sweet potato crust.
  11. REDUCE temperature to 350 degrees. Bake 25-30 minutes. The quiche will be done when you jiggle the pan and there is no liquid or heavy jiggling in the center.
  12. Remove from oven and cool about 3-5 minutes. Slice into wedges and serve.

 

Berry Baked Oatmeal

Berry Baked Oatmeal-1927 on Whisk Together

 

Books:  I checked out some new slow cooker books along with “Little Women” (which I just realized is almost 500 pages long!  Oops, I have a week to finish!).

Berry Baked Oatmeal-1909 on Whisk Together

The library presentation is at Corporate Parkway Library on May 5th here in Wentzville MO if anyone is interested.  It is how to “Make Your Favorite Foods Healthy” and part of the St. Charles Library Modern Parenting series.  See the website for more details – it is free as usual and we will make a recipe to take home and try!

Here is the link to sign up.  Go to Programs and Calendar of Events.  They do fill fast sometimes.

Berry Baked Oatmeal-1922 on Whisk Together

Recipe:  Berry season is here in Missouri next month!  Woo hoo!!!!   Strawberries are my favorite food EVER.   Here is another version of the Baked Oatmeal that Juliana and I eat every other week when we have extra time in the morning.  Or, prep this in the evening and just pop it in the oven in the morning!  It will bake while you get ready for work and have a hot, delicious breakfast all ready to go.

Berry Baked Oatmeal-1929 on Whisk Together

Feel free to change the berry though.  We just got a bunch of fresh raspberries at the produce stand for $1 a box and will substitute those next.  A friend posted on another blog post that she used raspberries and peaches.

**Update** I have substituted almond milk for cow’s milk in several baked oatmeal recipes and it works!  I used use unsweetened vanilla almond milk.

Berry Baked Oatmeal
Author: Mary Ellen P. Riley / Whisk Together
Ingredients
  • 3/4 cup frozen or fresh blueberries
  • 3/4 cup fresh strawberries, roughly chopped
  • 2 cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 2 cups milk or almond milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 1/4 cup honey or real maple syrup (optional)
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 1/4 cup chopped nuts (optional)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Spray a 7×11 or 9×9 or 2 qt. casserole dish with baking spray.
  3. Sprinkle half the berries on the bottom of the dish.
  4. In a great big bowl, mix the dry stuff: oats, cinnamon, baking powder, and salt.
  5. Add the wet stuff to the dry stuff: milk, eggs, honey and vanilla. Stir until mixed well.
  6. Dump the oatmeal mixture into the pan over the berries.
  7. Sprinkle the rest of the berries on top of the oatmeal. Sprinkle the nuts and brown sugar on top.
  8. Pop in the oven for about 30-35 minutes. The middle shouldn’t jiggle once removed from the oven when you shake the pan.
  9. Serve warm with more brown sugar, maple syrup, warm milk or plain.

 

Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche

Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche on Whisk Together

Book:  We finished “Walt Disney” by Bob Scollen and it was a treat.  What an amazing life the man led!  I am sure there was a lot left out since it was a juvenile book, but maybe that is for another time.

I finished reading Desires and Devices: A History of Contraceptives in America by Andrea Tone as well.  It was written by a professor and done so eloquently.  If you ever want to find a conspiracy or research in regards to contradicting our assumptions, this book would fit the bill.  One example, for all of our advances the United States is still highest in pregnancy rates in people under 20 (only Hungary beats us).   The entire last half of the book was on the pill and the Dalkon Shield failure.  The failure resulted in a halt on research everywhere in order to keep from being sued into bankruptcy basically.  (Maybe that’s why nothing really new has come out in like 30 years?)  An interesting social history on the United States with great attention to detail into the fraud and deceit behind some of the studies done to move ahead in science and technology.

Recipe:  No really good way to segue into a crustless quiche from that topic!  Well, we had a ton of leftover delicious bestest ham ever from the holidays and made this quick quiche for dinner.  YUM!  Dinner, breakfast, brunch whatever!  Use any meat you want, any veggie and any cheese.  Maybe I should call it the “Whatever Crustless Quiche.”  🙂

Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche_2 on Whisk Together

Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche

Ingredients

  • Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche
  • serves 6-8
  • 6 ounces cooked ham, diced (about 1 and 1/4 cups)
  • 3/4 cup chopped cooked broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or 1 cup uncooked baby spinach
  • 4 ounces cheddar cheese (or any mixture), about 1/2 cup
  • 8 large eggs or 7 extra large eggs
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a pie plate with cooking spray.
  2. Sprinkle the ham, vegetables and cheese into the plate.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
  4. Pour onto top of the meat. Bake about 30 minutes. Jiggle the quiche to see if it is set. If not, bake another 5 minutes.
  5. Cool for a few minutes, serve and eat!
  6. Recipe adapted from Food.com
http://www.whisktogether.com/2015/01/10/ham-and-cheese-crustless-quiche/

Ham and Cheese Crustless Quiche
serves 6-8

6 ounces cooked ham, diced (about 1 and 1/4 cups)
3/4 cup chopped cooked broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus or 1 cup uncooked baby spinach
4 ounces cheddar cheese (or any mixture), about 1/2 cup
8 large eggs or 7 extra large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Spray a pie plate with cooking spray.
Sprinkle the ham, vegetables and cheese into the plate.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, salt and pepper.
Pour onto top of the meat.  Bake about 30 minutes.  Jiggle the quiche to see if it is set.  If not, bake another 5 minutes.
Cool for a few minutes, serve and eat!

Recipe adapted from Food.com

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing on Whisk Together

Book Update:  This week in Positive Psychology is about religion and spirituality.  If you go to church, you increase your life expectancy by 7 years.  There are 6 types of prayers that were identified:  adoration, thanksgiving, petitionary/supplication, confession, reception and obligatory.  Interestingly, college students today that were studied have 40% less empathy than college students from 20-30 years ago.  I found this alarming… but they never went into further detail.   Further in the chapter, Lawrence Kohlberg is noted in reference to morality developing in stages.  This makes sense.  Compassion and admiration are towards the top, however, these take time to process and in a rapid-fire instant-everything society some may be worried that society is losing this moral and inspirational information.  You know the saying, “cleanliness is next to godliness”?  Well, one study found that people were more charitable and fair when they were in a cleaner environment.  We also watched a TED talk by Rick Warren (that guy who wrote “The Purpose Driven Life”.  It was 20 minutes long, but worth listening.

Recipe Update:  Costco sells a huge bag of fresh spinach for $5, so I have been trying new spinach recipes.  This one was a total hit.  I have tried and made the reduced calorie version of course and it was awesome.  This is definitely a worthy of people coming over recipe.  I have included the full-fat version as well.

I tried a recipe from Bobby Deen’s recipe book I mentioned before.  Just a simple BBQ pork chop recipe, but I didn’t like it a whole lot.  William thought it was okay, so I won’t put it on here because I wasn’t dying for it again.

Calories of lighter version: 150, 9 grams of fat and 3 grams of saturated fat
Full fat version:  260 calories, 20 grams of fat and 7 grams of saturated fat

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing (Light version)
serves 4

8 oz. (8 cups) baby spinach
3 Tb cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
salt and pepper
4 slices of bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces (easy to do with kitchen scissors)
1/2 red onion, diced
1/4 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 garlic clove, minced
2 hard-cooked eggs, peeled and sliced

1.  First put your spinach in a large salad bowl.
2.  In a small bowl:  mix your cider vinegar, sugar, salt and pepper to taste.
3.  In a skillet, cook your bacon until done and crispy.  Now, put the bacon on some paper towels and drain your pan BUT keep 1 Tb. of bacon fat in there!!!
4.  Keep the skillet over medium heat and add your onion and broth.  Stir that around until soft – a minute or two.  The mixture should get a little bit thicker.  Add your garlic and stir a few seconds.
5.  Take the vinegar mixture you made in the small bowl and throw that on top of the onion and garlic.  (It might get stinky for a few seconds and that is okay!)  Warm this mixture up and toss into the spinach.  Top your salad with bacon and eggs.

Recipe from “Comfort Food Makeovers” by America’s Test Kitchen

Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing (not light version)
serves 4

6 oz. (6 cups) baby spinach
3 Tb. cider vinegar
1/2 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. pepper
pinch salt
8 slices of thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 red onion, chopped medium
1 garlic clove, minced
3 Hardcooked eggs

Follow directions as above.

Recipe from “Cook’s Illustrated”  by America’s Test Kitchen

Eggs in 60 Seconds

Egg SandwichCR

My husband got these egg rings for making egg sandwiches years ago.  Nobody uses them because they take a long time to cook and stick terribly to the ring.  But…. here is the 1 minute sandwich.  No rings, no special equipment.  I have used this for the past 6 months and here is my method.  With the paleo diet and such, more people are eating eggs in the morning and this will help get over that quick cereal fix and move to a egg for your egg sandwich or just eat it plain! If I make a sandwich, I use these Trader Joe’s 100% whole wheat English muffins.  You can use whatever you like.  There is a little space on the sides in the photo and once you squish the sandwich together it looks perfect.  PLUS, when you are done you only need to put the mug in the dishwasher.  No pans, rings, flippers, etc. to clean.

One Minute Egg
1 serving

cooking spray
1 egg
1 Tb. milk
salt and pepper
1 coffee mug*

*If you have one available, try a mug that is coated glossy on the inside.  Those seem to work well.  But regular mugs work, too!

1.  Spray the inside of the coffee mug with cooking spray.
2.  Crack egg into the mug.  Add milk.  Add salt and pepper to taste.
3.  Whisk with a fork.
4.  Microwave for 30 seconds.  Stir with the fork.  Microwave for another 30 seconds and invert the mug.  You’ll have a cooked egg in no time.

If you use the same mug for more eggs, you may need to reduce the cooking time.  After doing this a LONG time, I noticed that if I made my daughter another egg the mug would still be hot and cook the egg much faster as a result.  Therefore, cut the cooking time to 45 seconds or so, instead of one full minute.

Sausage Egg Casserole

This recipe is from the Trader Joe’s website.  It could be made with anything from a typical grocery store though.  Quick and ready to go in half an hour.  All of the ingredients are freezable, so it is possible to freeze these ahead of time.  Most of the time the bread is soaked in the egg overnight, but I liked the soggy egg and crispy bread contrast.    It would be great with some maple syrup on top too I bet.

Sausage Egg Bake
yield 4-6 servings

1 demi-loaf of french bread (this is half the size of a normal loaf)
6 large eggs or 5 XL eggs
1/4 cup milk
salt and pepper
2-3 sausage links, precooked  (I used sweet apple chicken sausage)

Optional Toppings:  shredded cheddar or monterey jack cheese, garlic powder (but don’t use that on sweet apple sausage – put on something more savory)

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 8×8 or 9×9 pan with non-stick foil or parchment.  You could grease it well, but you may end up scrubbing some egg off of the pan.
2.  Tear the bread into about 1″ pieces and scatter on the bottom of the pan and cover.
3.  In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs and milk together.  Add salt and pepper to taste.  Pour on top of bread.
4.  Cut the sausage into 1/2″ pieces and then scatter on top of the egg/bread mixture.
5.  Bake for 25 minutes.  If using cheese, put it on about 15 minutes before the time is up or when you first put the pan in the oven.

1 Minute Eggs and Berry Berry Parfait

I went to see the Hunger Games last night.  It was really good!  Of course, not as good as the book because they left out some major plot points I loved.

Usually I don’t like making eggs in the morning just because I don’t like cleaning the pan.  Plus, sometimes only the baby wants eggs and the rest of us want something else.  So, here is how to make fast and easy scrambled eggs in the morning and you can put the cooking vessel into the dishwasher.

One Minute Eggs
yield 1 serving

1 or 2 large eggs
1 or 2 Tbs. milk

1.  Take coffee mug and spritz the inside with cooking spray.  Crack the egg into the mug and add 1 Tb. of milk for 1 egg or 2 Tb. milk for 2 eggs.
2.   Stir together with a fork.  Place in your microwave on high for 30 seconds.  Stir with a fork.  Place back in your microwave on high for 20-30 seconds.
3.  Add salt and pepper if you like and you have instant scrambled eggs.

****

This is my new favorite breakfast and lunch.  I got tired of boring granola and purchased Berry Berry Kix out of childhood nostalgia only to find out it is not the same Berry Berry Kix.  They took out all the bad stuff like artificial colors and flavors and replaced them with natural ingredients.  So, the good news is that the cereal is healthier, and the bad new is I can’t even have a bowl of the cereal I once liked as a kid.  Oh well.  If that’s my biggest worry in life, I’m doing purty good I think.

Berry Berry Yogurt Parfait
yield 1 serving

1/4 cup Berry Berry Kix
1 cup plain or vanilla low fat yogurt (I use organic Stoneyfield Farm)
1 cup frozen or fresh mixed berries

1.  Thaw out the frozen berries if you are using them.  (Costco sells a 4 lb. bag for $10.99).
2.  Layer half of the berries into a glass or bowl.  Layer 1/2 cup yogurt.  Layer half of the Kix.  Repeat and eat!

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