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I love quiche. I order it when I go out and it usually delivers my requirements: buttery crust, eggy goodness, cheesy decadence. But when I’m honest, I know that most of those buttery crusts that I’m paying other people to fill came straight out of a package. Meanwhile, I have a perfectly fine, infinitely healthier alternative on hand. That big old package of quinoa I bought from Costco calls my name. And one of the best ways to use it up is with a quinoa crusted quiche.
Why, you may ask, do I happen to have said gigantic quinoa package still mostly full of unused quinoa? Well, I’m not trying to be mean, but quinoa tastes weird. I always detect this odd, sort of dusty undertaste. I know it’s not this package either, or that the quinoa’s old, or any other explanation. Nonetheless, its nutritional perks are impressive. Protein-rich, fiber-rich, chockful of vitamins and minerals—read all about quinoa’s specific health benefits here. Also in its favor, quinoa morphs easily as a substitute for all kinds of grains, particularly those that are already fragmented into small pieces like cracked wheat and couscous.
It’s the kind of treat I associate with going to a hippie cafe somewhere out west, or in Ann Arbor, and a great addition to a leisurely brunch—particularly if you’re planning a virtual weekend in some sunny haven in, say, California or Oregon or….wherever. Hippies lived everywhere, didn’t they?
As a pie crust substitute, it’s super easy and SO much healthier that it’s worth a try. Just be forewarned: You are not making something that will taste like a pie crust. A quinoa-crust quiche does not flake with buttery goodness. Rather, it sits on the plate as a hearty earthy base for all the eggy-cheesy-veggie goodness you want to throw in it. These items I had on hand just begged to be added to a tasty quinoa crusted quiche.
To make the quinoa crust, remember that that weird quinoa flavor needs a little camo. At the very least, cook the quinoa with salt (or the no-salt sub of your choice), preferably in broth rather than water. Once all the liquid’s cooked in—and do make sure the quinoa’s not wet at all—and the quinoa’s cooled, add an egg. Add even more flavor with a big handful of your favorite grated cheese.
Now, simply place the mixture into a pie pan that you’ve sprayed with no-stick, or oiled, or buttered; up to you. I like to take a piece of wax paper and use that to press the quinoa into shape, keeping it even on the bottom of the pan and nicely rising on the sides.
Then bake, and voila. Your quinoa crust is about to become a quinoa crust quiche.
Really, whatever you have on hand will work great for the filling. For the finished version in the top picture, it was leeks, dandelion greens, kale, and asparagus. With asparagus, by the way, I follow the advice of old school cookbooks and peel the stems; you don’t have to, of course, but I just like them better that way. For the one below, it was mushrooms and broccoli. Sauté your veggies, and put them in the crust. Then mix the eggs and ricotta (or whatever) and pour it over the top. The speckled in the egg mixture are from my high end mustard. So swanky!
Bake it in the oven, and….voila! A gorgeous, healthy, yummy Quinoa Crusted Quiche is ready to head to your table. Enjoy.
Quinoa Crusted Quiche: The RecipePrint
Quinoa Crusted Quiche
A great use for quinoa, this savory quinoa crust quiche incorporates the nutty grain to hold a delicious, veggie filling that’s as cheesy as you like.
- Prep Time: 20-25 minutes
- Cook Time: 55 minutes, divided
- Total Time: 55 minutes
- Yield: 8 slices 1x
- Category: Recipes
- Method: Brunch
- Cuisine: International
- Diet: Vegetarian
1 1/4 cup broth
2/3 cup quinoa
salt (to taste, depending on broth)
1 egg (beaten)
1 cup grated or crumbled cheese (divided; use cheddar, feta, Parmesan, mozzarella, or whatever mix complements your filling)
1 Tablespoon oil or butter (or combination)
1 c sliced leek or onion
4 oz. mushrooms, sliced and/or chopped as desired, or equivalent amount of other vegetable (zuchini, asparagus, etc)
1 Tablespoon sherry or sake
About 2 cups of mixed chopped green veggies: asparagus, broccoli, kale, etc.
Herbs to taste (fresh or dried; I used fresh basil and oregano and ground thyme, but anything works)
3 eggs, beaten
4 oz. (1/2 cup) ricotta or heavy cream or half and half (or mix them so that you have about a half cup)
1 Tablespoon Dijon mustard
Crust: To make the crust, place the broth and quinoa in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat. Add the salt, reduce heat to a simmer, and cover without disturbing for 12 minutes. Turn off heat, lift the lid, and let the quinoa sit for a few minutes to ensure all liquid is absorbed or evaporated. If any liquid remains, drain the quinoa in a fine mesh sieve and gently pat it dry.
Preheat the oven to 375º. Beat the egg and 1/2 cup of cheese together in a bowl. (Save the other half!) Make sure the quinoa is warm, not hot, then add it to the mixture, stirring until well blended. Spray an 8-9 inch pie plate with non-stick spray, or oil or butter the pan. Pour the quinoa mixture into the pan. Using a piece of wax paper, baking parchment, or plastic, gently press the quinoa into place, so that it’s flat on the bottom of the pan and ascends up the sides of the pan.; Bake 15 minutes, then remove.
Filling: While crust bakes, chop vegetables. Heat oil or butter in a large saucepan. Add sliced leeks or chopped onions and salt to taste. Saute approximately 5 minutes, then add mushrooms if using and a little more salt. Cook 3-4 minutes, until most mushroom liquid has cooked off, then add sherry. Add other veggies, and cook 5-10 minutes, until green vegetables are tender.
As vegetables cook, whisk eggs with ricotta/cream/half and half mixture and mustard. Add half of the remaining grated or crumbled cheese (1/4 cup). Pour the egg mixture on top and sprinkle on the remaining quarter cup of cheese.
Bake 35 minutes. Allow quiche to stand approximately 10 minutes before cutting. Enjoy.
Keywords: quiche, quinoa, healthy food, brunch, breakfast, road food