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Vegetable Mini Quiches with Quinoa Crust

Date: July 14, 2016      Publication: Health Insider      Source:  Debby Maugans      Print:

Our popular healthy-meal-in-a-muffin-tin recipe series already features Sweet Potato Breakfast Cups, Broccoli-Walnut Farro Cakes and Mini Veggie Lasagna.

That’s breakfast, lunch and dinner.

Now here’s brunch—Vegetable Mini Quiches with Quinoa Crust…a scrumptious but lighter and healthier version of a traditional but highly caloric brunch buffet staple.

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Full of healthy grains, vegetables and flavor, these quiches are made with light coconut milk instead of the milk or cream used for traditional quiche, so they’re dairy-free. Instead of refined wheat pastry, the crust is super-nutritious whole-grain quinoa (so, yes, it’s also gluten free). Eggs, rescued from their nutritional banishment in the anticholesterol days, are now a go-to source of protein and nutrition, and kale is about as nutritious as a green gets.

Note: You can partially prepare these quiches a day ahead. Just prepare and bake the quinoa crusts, then cover and refrigerate them. Just before serving, add the filling and finish baking.

Ready for brunch? Here’s the recipe…

Vegetable Mini Quiches with Quinoa Crust

For crust:

2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled

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¼ teaspoon sea salt

1 large egg white, beaten

For filling:

1 (8-ounce) package frozen, chopped kale, thawed

⅓ cup grated carrot

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¼ cup minced green onion

3 Tablespoons thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

¼ teaspoon sea salt

¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper

2 large eggs

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½ cup “lite” coconut milk, such as So Delicious Lite Culinary Coconut Milk

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray an eight-cup muffin pan with cooking spray, and line the bottoms of the cups with circles of parchment paper.

Prepare crust: Combine quinoa, salt and egg white in a medium bowl, and mix well. Spoon mixture into muffin cups, dividing evenly. Use the back of a spoon to press quinoa onto sides and bottoms of the muffin cups. Bake 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack.

Prepare the filling: While the crusts are baking, place the kale in a wire-mesh sieve and press to remove any liquid. Combine the drained kale, carrot, green onion, basil, salt and pepper in a bowl, and toss to mix well. Spoon into the baked crusts, dividing evenly. Press down lightly with the back of a spoon.

Whisk eggs until just frothy, then whisk in coconut milk. Spoon 1 tablespoon of the egg mixture over the vegetables in each muffin cup, allowing the liquid to sink in. Spoon another tablespoon of the egg mixture into the cups, and allow that to sink in. Top off with remaining egg mixture, dividing evenly.

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Bake 20 minutes or until the egg mixture is set. Let muffins cool in the pan on a wire rack 10 minutes. Then loosen edges with the tip of a small, sharp knife or spatula, lift out of muffin cups and transfer to plates. Makes 8 mini quiches.

General tips for muffin-tin meals…

Chop vegetables, fruits and other chunky ingredients very small.

To freeze: Cool “muffins” in the pan on a wire rack for five minutes, then loosen the edges with the tip of a knife or spatula and let them cool completely. Wrap the entire pan with foil and freeze until solid (about six hours). When frozen, use a knife to ease the muffins from the pan, then place them in heavy-duty zip-top freezer bags and return to freezer. Store up to one month.

To reheat: Place frozen “muffins” back into a muffin pan or on a baking sheet, cover with foil, and warm in 350°F oven until hot (about 20 minutes). Or microwave a few minutes until warmed through.

Want to see all the muffin-tin recipes? See our Healthy Meals in a Muffin Tin.

Got a comment or a recipe variation? Share it in the comments section below!

Source: Debby Maugans, food writer based in Asheville, North Carolina, and author of Small Batch Baking, Small Batch Baking for Chocolate Lovers and Farmer and Chef Asheville.

Photo credit: Debby Maugans.