{Healthier} Ham and Cheese Quiche

I know, I know. I said I was back, and then I disappeared again. The thing about starting your life over (ok fine, that was dramatic. starting your CAREER over) is that sometimes it involves going back to school. Grad school. To become employable In the medical field. And it turns out careers in the medical field require chemistry classes. It also turns out that chemistry WILL TAKE OVER YOUR LIFE.

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So it’s the first day of spring quarter, there are no more chemistry classes in my immediate future, and here I am! With a recipe for you! AND said recipe involves a way to get rid of that leftover ham from Easter!

Now, I love me a good quiche, but the first time I made my own quiche, I was oh-so-sad when I realized how unhealthy it can be with all that cream. So instead, I subbed whole milk for the cream, cut down on cheese (just a tiny bit, don’t worry), and also used freshly shredded, sharp cheddar. I’ve found that shredding my own cheese AND using sharp cheddar add so much more flavor that I often don’t need to use as much.

I also made this recipe at 11 o’clock at night after a few too many beers at my neighborhood bar. Lemme tell you, ain’t nothin ever tasted as good as cheesy quiche after an evening of drinking. But don’t worry, I’ve had it again (TWICE) today, and I can promise that it’s just as delicious sober.

Side note: the fact that I made it after overindulging should be a clear indication of how easy this recipe is to throw together.

Ingredients:

  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 3⁄4 c. whole milk
  • dash of salt (roughly 1/4 to 1/2 tsp.)
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp. minced onion
  • 2 slices whole wheat bread
  • 1 cup chopped cooked ham (I used leftover spiral cut honey ham from Easter and it was to-die-for)
  • 1 cup freshly shredded, sharp cheddar (plus a little extra to sprinkle on top before baking)
  • 1 9″ unbaked pie shell, room temperature

Instructions:

  1. Roll pie shell out a little (if needed) and place inside pie plate. Fold edges down. Make pretty if you have the patience for that sort of thing.
  2. Tear slices of bread up into smallish chunks and toss into pie shell (this helps keep all the ham from sinking to the bottom)
  3. Beat eggs with milk, salt and pepper in bowl.
  4. Add ham and cheese.
  5. Pour into pie shell.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes. *IMPORTANT! Check the crust after about 15 minutes. If it’s browning too quickly, briefly remove from oven and cover JUST the edges by making a little ring of tin foil (if you don’t know what I mean by this, just Google it – it’s not hard, I promise)
  7. Let stand for several minutes before serving.

Yields about 6-8 servings

Recipe adapted from: Food.com

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Hashbrown Quiche Casserole

Welp, it was my turn at work again for Breakfast Tuesday, and after the casserole I made last time, I knew the stakes were high.

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You see, the casserole from last time…my oh my, was it good. I mean, I seriously struck gold when I found that little recipe on AllRecipes. And this one? Honestly, it was pretty darn good itself. It’s also wayyy healthier. Because there’s veggies in there. And eggs (protein). Oh, and copious amounts of pancetta and cheese. But that’s protein too, so that doesn’t even count. And these things together surely cancel out the full stick of butter I threw in.

Hey, you gottta add the love. “Love” being the butter. Obviously.

So I doubled the original recipe in order to fill and 9″ x 13″ pan, but you can totally halve the ingredients below in order to serve it as a true quiche in a pie plate. However you serve it, I guarantee people will love it.

You can thank me later.

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Ingredients:

  • 6 cups, shredded frozen hash browns, thawed and drained (to save time, buy fresh hash browns)
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) butter, melted
  • 8 large eggs, beaten
  • 2 cups half-and-half
  • 1 1/2 cup diced cooked ham, bacon, or pancetta
  • 1/2 cup diced green onions
  • 1 cup raw spinach
  • 1/2 cup chopped mushrooms
  • 1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar, 1 cup Pepper Jack (or any other type of cheese you may prefer)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions:

  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F.
  2. Gently press the drained hash browns between paper towels to dry them as best as possible. In a 9 x 13 inch pan, toss the hash browns with the melted butter. Press them into the bottom and up the sides to form a crust. Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, until golden brown and starting to crisp.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large mixing bowl, combine the remaining ingredients. When the hash brown crust is ready, pour the egg mixture over it and return to the oven.
  4. Lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees F and bake for about 35-40 minutes, or until the quiche is light golden brown on top and puffed.

Recipe from: Paula Deen

{Healthy + Moist} Whole Wheat Banana Muffins

REJOICE, people of the world wide web! We have made it to Thursday! Which means tomorrow is…FRIDAY!

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Fridays in my world typically go like this: workout, eat a healthy breakfast, promise myself to be healthy all weekend, go to work, struggle to focus, struggle even more to focus, start drinking wine at 3 PM (fine, 2 PM) with coworkers, get hungry, and finally, forget all about my 8 AM promise to be healthy.

Which is what led me to these muffins one Sunday evening. After a weekend of happy hours, nights out, and $14 worth of pizza at 2 AM that may or may not have been dropped cheese-side down ON THE SIDEWALK by a certain roommate of mine (yup, we still ate it…but at least I blew on mine a little. #YOLO. But seriously, yolo. I probably got Hepatitis-C from that poorly-made decision), I knew I was in need of a healthier snack for the week.

These muffins are just the trick. They’re a little more dense due to the whole wheat flour, but stayed perfectly moist and fulfilling. Done and done.

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup applesauce
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, light or dark, firmly packed
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 4 medium to large bananas, cut into chunks
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 cups whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts

Instructions:

  1. Preheat your oven to 350°F. Line a muffin tin with foil liners and lightly grease the insides using cooking spray (I didn’t have any so just rubbed the insides with a little bit of olive oil)
  2. In a large bowl, beat together the apple sauce and sugar until smooth. Add the vanilla, baking soda, salt, and bananas, beating until well combined. The mixture will be fairly smooth, with some scattered small chunks of banana. Leave the chunks alone! They help keep the muffins moist
  3. Beat in the honey and eggs.
  4. Add the flour, then the walnuts, stirring until smooth.
  5. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tins, filling each about halfway to three quarters full. Let them rest at room temperature for 10 minutes.
  6. Bake the muffins for approximately 20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean. Remember, better to cook a minute too short than a minute too long!
  7. Allow the muffins to cool for 10 minutes; then remove from the pan, and set on a rack to cool completely.

Yields: Roughly 18 muffins

Recipe slightly adapted from: King Arthur Flour