Thursday, January 21, 2010

Broccoli, Shitake Mushroom and Red Pepper Quiche With A Brown Rice Crust -How To Make A Healthy Vegetarian Quiche

Sauté the red bell pepper, red onion and shitake mushrooms.

A brown rice crust is easy to make and is low in calories and fat.

Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons of shredded parmesan and bake.

After baking 45 minutes at 375 degrees, let sit for 10-15 minutes.

Beware Restaurant Quiche
When some people see the word "broccoli" or "vegetable" in a menu item, they often get the false impression that the dish is healthy. With vegetable quiche dishes, nothing could be further from the truth. That's because most quiche dishes made in a restaurant are prepared with butter, heavy cream, full fat cheeses and lots of eggs. And that's just the filling! The crust is generally made from refined white flour and butter or lard. It wouldn't be hard for a slice of restaurant quiche to be over 600 calories and contain 40 to 50 grams of fat.

How To Lighten Up A Veggie Quiche
First, the Crust
I was very excited to find ready made, whole wheat and spelt crusts at Whole Foods. At first glance, I thought that would be a healthy choice for my crust. After reading the label, however, I was surprised to find out that one crust contained almost 900 calories, 64 grams of fat and 32 grams of saturated fat. Even though the saturated fat was from "tropical" oils and contained zero cholesterol, I was still put off by the amount of total fat and calories. I found a few recipes that made a crust using a mixture of cooked rice and eggs and was very pleased with the results. To step it up a notch, I used brown rice and an egg white. The resulting crust had half the calories and 1/16th the fat of the ready-made whole wheat crust. It wasn't as convenient as pulling it out of the freezer but it was still pretty easy to make and certainly worth the effort.
Then, the Dairy
You can lower the calories and saturated fat and still get a very nice consistency by using reduced or low fat cheese instead of full fat cheese. In this recipe I use low fat cottage cheese and reduced fat swiss or cheddar. You can also replace cream with soy milk or fat free evaporated milk. To further reduce the calories and cholesterol, you can replace one of the eggs with 2 egg whites. The flavor created by adding a few tablespoons of high quality parmesan on top will give the impression that all of the dairy ingredients are rich and decadent and no one will realize that you've made these healthy substitutions.
Finally, the Vegetables
There is no need to fry the vegetables in loads of butter. Steam the broccoli and lightly sauté the onions, peppers and mushrooms in a few teaspoons of olive oil.
And the Result is...
The following recipe uses all of these techniques and weighs in at around 300 calories a slice with14 grams of fat and only 4 grams of saturated fat. It also provides around 20 grams of high quality protein and almost 7 grams of fiber. That's pretty healthy for a quiche.
Good Menu for a Brunch, Baby or Bridal Shower
A veggie quiche is great to serve at a brunch or shower. Serve with roasted baby potatoes, a big fruit or raw green salad and, for a special treat, Mimosas (a flute filled with half champagne and half orange juice). Enjoy!

Broccoli, Shitake Mushroom and Red Pepper Quiche in a Brown Rice Crust
[serves 8]
For the crust [you'll need a 9 inch pie pan]
2 cups cooked brown rice
1 large egg white
pinch of salt and pepper
For the filling
2 cups broccoli florets
2 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 cup red onion, thinly sliced
1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
1 cup baby shitake mushrooms
2 large organic, cage free eggs
2 large organic, cage free egg whites
1/2 cup unsweetened soymilk or fat free evaporated milk
1/2 cup low fat organic cottage cheese
1/2 cup reduced fat swiss or cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme (or 1/4 teaspoon dried)
2 tablespoons fresh parsley (or 1 tablespoon dried)
2 tablespoon parmesan, shredded

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Combine cooked brown rice, egg white, and a pinch of salt and pepper in a small bowl. Lightly grease a 9 inch pie pan. Press the rice mixture into the bottom of the pie pan and up the sides. Bake for 8 to 9 minutes until it "sets". Remove from oven. LOWER THE OVEN TO 375 degrees.
Steam the broccoli until fork tender and separate into small pieces. Remove from heat and let cool. Sauté the onion, bell pepper and shitake mushrooms until they soften, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool. Place the eggs and egg whites in a mixing bowl and lightly beat. Add the milk, cottage cheese, shredded swiss or cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, thyme and parsley and mix thoroughly. Add the cooled broccoli and sautéed vegetables and mix well. Pour mixture into the baked rice crust and top with parmesan cheese. Bake at 375 degrees for 45 minutes or until you can gently shake the quiche and it doesn't wiggle. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

Per serving: 304.1 calories, 13.9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 119 mg cholesterol, 19.8 g protein, 33.2 g carbohydrates and 6.6 g of fiber.


troy skeen said...

my gosh, that looks GREAT! Nice use of brown rice! Oh...also, on a side note even though you're likely already using it, EVOO (extra virgin olive oil) is the healthy olive oil. Don't use the lower grades labeled as lite or olive oil if it's not Extra Virgin. First cold press means the same thing;)

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Thanks, I hope you enjoy it. And yes, I always use EVOO. Sorry I didn't mention it here. Thanks for the reminder!

Focus Factor said...

WOW that looks so good. This looks simple enough to make and I am sure I could get my kids to eat it too.

Anonymous said...

Can I use unsweetened almond milk in place of soy?

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

Yes, absolutely. In fact, read my post on different non-dairy milk alternatives