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Wednesday 27 August 2014

Fast and easy crustless mini or full sized spinach, ham, bacon, vegetarian quiche! Perfect for breakfast, brunch, entertaining or snacks! (Low fat too!)

I'll tell you a little secret - I have a soft spot for quiches.  I know its just a simple mixture of eggs, choice of vegetables or breakfast meats/seafood a splash of milk and baked into morsels of perfection... and I love eating them for snacks, noshing on them for breakfast or brunch... or sneaking a few here and there at functions off the appetizer table. Mmmm!  While quiche is normally made with the eggy goodness poured into a pastry shell, this recipe makes a much more waist-line forgiving version as it doesn't call for the fat laden pastry shell.. its crustless or crust free quiche!  I like making mini quiches in a good quality non-stick muffin pan, but you can easily make it a full sized meal quiche by making it in a 9x13 well greased pan.

And yes, please use a good quality non-stick muffin tin or 9x13 pan or you can spend the next week leaving it in the sink to soak and the crusted baked on egg stuck on not-well greased pan will just laugh at you.  I was quite happy with my new Wilton muffin tin as the quiches practically slid right out... not so much with my 10+ year old ancient muffin tin.  I used a drop of oil into each muffin tin cup and used a clean finger to grease up the bottom and sides evenly, or you can lightly spray with oil - sometimes I use my Misto oil sprayer to reduce the calories :P.  The longest part of making this quiche recipe is deciding what you'd like to put into it and chopping up all the vegetables... I was originally planning to make a few with different flavors and then I ended up dumping everything in lol.. it still ended up tasting great :D

The beauty of baking the quiche mixture in muffin tins or mini muffin tins is you get more of the lovely crispy browned caramelized edges.  Plus, they're pre-portioned and easy to toss into lunches, breakfasts or for snacks the next day... and bonus - they look great as an appetizer for entertaining or pot lucks.  I used a Wilton non-stick muffin tin.. love how it never sticks!

And the best part (other than these delicious babies will disappear like magic) - they're healthy and you can customize to whatever filling you feel like having.. or whatever ingredients you happen to have kicking around.  The more veges you cram into it, the less eggier it will taste, but look at these beautiful babies!

Crustless Quiche or mini quiche recipe
This recipe makes one large 9x13 quiche, 12-18 muffin sized quiches or 24-36 mini muffin sized quiches
Quiche base ingredients
-6 eggs
-1/2 cup milk (can omit if you prefer)
-1/8 teaspoon pepper
-2 cups shredded cheese: sharp old cheddar, swiss, Tex Mex, gouda, guyere, brie, mozzerella.. whatever you have on hand (you can add up to 1/2 cup parmesan as part of the 2 cups, more and it'll be too salty)

Quiche fillings - add as many or little as you like!
-1 cup frozen spinach thawed and excess liquid squished out, or 6 cups of fresh spinach washed and trimmed
-1 medium onion diced
-6-8 medium mushrooms sliced, or a can of mushrooms drained
-1/2 cup diced sweet bell peppers, fresh or marinated
-1/2 cup diced marinated artichokes
-1/2 cup corn niblets, fresh or frozen
-1 cup diced cooked ham, cooked bacon or cooked sausage crumbles
-1 can drained crab meat
-1 cup diced imitation crab meat and/or shrimp cooked, cooled and diced
-1 teaspoon oil or butter to cook the fillngs in

Quiche herbs and seasonings - add as many or little as you like!
-1/2 teaspoon basil, fresh finely minced or dried
-1/2 teaspoon oregano, fresh finely minced or dried
-1/2 teaspoon tarragon, fresh finely minced or dried
-2 cloves fresh garlic, finely minced
-1-2 slices fresh ginger, finely minced
-1 teaspoon granulated garlic
-2 stalks green onions, cleaned, diced - white and green parts
-2 teaspoons chives or parsley, fresh finely minced or dried
-1/2 teaspoon chili flakes
-1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (I like sriracha, Frank's Hot or Tabascco)

How to
1) Preheat oven to 250F with oven rack in middle. Prep, chop all the quiche fillings you plan to put into your quiche (or mini quiches)
2) In a medium pan, melt butter or add oil over medium-high heat.  Dump in all your vegetables (and garlic and ginger if using) and cook for 5-6 minutes until vegetables have softened, onions are starting to caramelize.
3) In a large bowl, whisk together the quiche base ingredients: milk, eggs, pepper and cheese. Dump in the prepped quiche fillings, herbs and seasonings of your choice.  Mix well
4) Grease well your baking containers with oil
If baking in 9x13 pan - Dump the quiche mixture into the pan and bake in oven for 22-25minutes.  Its done when until it no longer jiggles when you nudge the pan and the quiche has started to brown nicely on the sides and the center is puffs up.
If baking in a muffin pan - Using a 1/4 cup scoop or carefully spooning - fill well greased muffin tin almost up to the brim.  Depending on how much quiche fillings you added in determines how many quiches you'll end up with. Bake for 18-20 min. Its done when until it no longer jiggles when you nudge the pan and the quiche has started to brown nicely on the sides and the center is puffs up.
If baking in mini muffin pans - Using a teaspoon, carefully fill the greased mini muffin tins almost to the brim. Its done when until it no longer jiggles when you nudge the pan, the quiche has started to brown nicely on the sides, and the center is puffs up.
5) Let the quiches sit and set inside their pans for about 10min on a cooling rack.  For muffin tins - gently pop out and serve, for 9x13 pan, slice up and serve. Enjoy!

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