{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

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

 

Chicken Satay Skewers with Peanut Sauce

If I could swan dive into a large vat of peanut sauce, I would. Every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

Except it probably would be more of a belly flop as opposed to a swan dive, but hey, who’s keeping score?

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I love love love peanut sauce. Probably because I love love love peanut butter. And when the peanut sauce is slathered all over marinated + grilled chicken, I honestly could die and go straight to heaven. Oh, and don’t forget the fresh spring rolls we had on the side (spring roll recipe coming soon). Y’all, this just made the top 5 list of favorite summer foods. It’s filling, but light enough for a hot day and healthy enough to not throw off your bikini bod plans.

Which reminds me. In my workout class yesterday, my instructor gleefully exclaimed that it was almost time for bikini season. Because who ISN’T jumping for joy over that news?

Rolls eyes dramatically.

When I informed her that some of us could use a few more weeks until we start prancing around in 8 square inches of fabric to cover our entire bodies, she looked me dead in the eyes and very solemnly informed me that “summer bodies are made in the winter”.

Oh. Well you want to know what I MADE this winter? Cookies. I made a lot of cookies.

Suffice to say, this instructor and I probably won’t be friends next winter.

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Ingredients:

for the chicken:

  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons canola oil
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 2 teaspoons fish sauce, (see Ingredient Note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 1 pound chicken tenders
  • 12 wooden or metal skewers — if you use wooden, make sure to soak them in water for as long as possible (around an hour is ideal) to help prevent them from burning

for the spicy peanut sauce:

  • 2 tablespoons smooth natural peanut butter
  • 2 tablespoons ‘lite’ coconut milk
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 teaspoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup sweet chili sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, or to taste

Instructions:

  1. Whisk lime juice, oil, soy sauce, fish sauce and red pepper in a shallow dish until combined; add chicken and turn to coat. Let marinate in the refrigerator for 15-30 minutes.
  2. To prepare peanut sauce: Whisk peanut butter, coconut milk, lime juice, soy sauce, brown sugar and red pepper until smooth.
  3. Preheat grill to high. Thread each chicken tender onto a wooden skewer. Grill until cooked through and no longer pink in the middle, about 3 minutes per side. Serve warm or chilled with peanut sauce.

Yields: 4 servings

Recipe from: Eating Well