{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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Watermelon + Berry Fruit Salad with Lemon + Mint

You know how certain things, like a particular smell or taste, are like blasts from the past?

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One of my best friends made this salad for a friend’s BBQ last weekend. One bite of the fresh mint leaves and all of the sudden, I’m five years old again and playing in my grandma’s garden with both my brothers. Hot sun, dirty hands, dirtier feet, picking all the produce we can find…her strawberries were the best…all while munching on fresh mint leaves. I still remember the first time she told me to try chewing that mint — I thought, ‘You want me to put a plant, out of the ground, IN MY MOUTH?’ and of course, the second I did, I was hooked. Every time I passed that little flower bed by the door to the laundry room, I’d reach down and pluck a few. I mean, I felt like I was truly living the Little House on the Prairie.

The lemon and mint made this average fruit salad absolutely outstanding. Refreshing, colorful, and perfectly summery. Just be sure to send your thank you notes to Camille when you’re done eating…

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Ingredients:

  • 1/2 a large watermelon, cut into 1-2 inch cubes
  • 12 oz. blackberries, rinsed
  • 6 oz. raspberries, rinsed
  • juice of one large lemon
  • handful of fresh mint leaves — approximately 12 leaves

Instructions:

Combine fruit in a large bowl. Throw in the mint leaves, and sprinkle lemon juice over the top. Toss carefully and then chill until serving time.

Recipe from: the oh-so-lovelyCamille

Vegetable Spring Rolls with Peanut Sauce

Remember last week when I gave y’all that awesome recipe for chicken satay? Well, I served that chicken with these spring rolls, and it instantly became my new favorite meal.

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Roomie #2 is the first person I ever saw make spring rolls at home, and why it never occurred to me is, well, beyond me. I love these little things, and when they’re dipped in peanut sauce, I practically inhale them; they’re the perfect side dish or appetizer during these warm summer months. Plus, all those veggies cancel out the calories in the peanut sauce. Seriously. It’s science.

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Ingredients:

  • 3 ounces rice vermicelli
  • 10-12 rice paper wrappers
  • 3 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 2 cups shredded carrots
  • 2 cucumbers, peeled and cut into spears
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • sesame seeds — optional
  • 1 batch of peanut sauce

Instructions:

  1. Bring a medium saucepan of water to boil. Boil rice vermicelli 3 to 5 minutes, or until al dente, and drain.
  2. Fill a large bowl or plate with warm water. Dip one wrapper into the hot water for 1 second to soften. Lay wrapper flat. In a row across the center, place a few leaves of spinach, handful of vermicelli, a pinch of basil, a couple spears of cucumber, and a big pinch of carrots. Squirt a little lime juice over the top and sprinkle sesame seeds, if you’re using them. Fold uncovered sides inward, then tightly roll the wrapper, beginning at the end with the lettuce. Repeat with remaining ingredients until you run out of rice paper.photo 2(27) photo 3(8) photo 4(2)
  3. Serve with peanut sauce and enjoy!

Recipe from: Roomie #2