Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Broccoli and Ham Quiche

I just got back from a month long trip from Europe and I'm very jetlagged! It's the only time that it is hard for me to cook. I also usually feel rather ungrounded and need to cook to find my roots again. This is the time when I go for easy and light and I have no problem with using some premade ingredients like pie crust or puff pastry - two of my favorite freezer items to always have on hand. As usual, the refrigerator was pretty empty, but I also always have lots of breakfast foods on hands for my sons to make as eggs are their go to fast food. So, perusing the contents of the fridge, I found eggs, ham and some fairly wilted broccoli. In the cupboard, there was a red onion languishing. Luckily, the milk was still good so I made a quiche. It's one of those dishes that makes me happy. Of course, you can vary the ingredients within in any way you like and I have made all kinds of quiches. I don't like using cheese although you can, just cut back on the ham and broccoli and add one cup of cheese of your choice - the most classic is Gruyere. I used a Whole Foods Gluten Free Pie Crust that I prebaked but you can use any frozen piecrust - just make sure it is deep dish. Of course, you can always make your own and I do when I am not tired. I used whole Lactaid milk, but cream or half and half makes it much richer. It's not as good with low fat milk, but it's still good. I made a cabbage salad with red peppers and green onions to go with it and my son's brought home an Emerald City Salad with Kale and Sugar Snap Pea Salad from our local PCC health food store and it turned out to be a fabulous meal. Here's my favorite quiche recipe:

Ham and Broccoli Quiche
1 prebaked pie shell (only lightly browned)
3 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk (or cream, or half and half or lowfat or combination)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
1 cup chopped ham
1/2 red onion, sauteed in 1 Tablespoon butter until lightly carmelized
1 cup broccoli florets, cut up and lightly steamed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Whisk together the eggs and milk along with the salt and pepper until mixed thoroughly. Put aside. Put pie shell on baking sheet. In the bottom of the pie shell, sprinkle red onion, ham and then broccoli. Pour egg mixture over. Carefully place in the oven and bake for at least 30 minutes, but possibly up to 45 minutes or until top is lightly browned and filling is barely set in the center and set on the sides.
Cool for 10 - 15 minutes before cutting into wedges.

Five Element Analysis

Eggs belong to the Water Element as they hold the potential for new life and are very nutritious. Ham adds even more of the Water Element. Milk or cream belongs to the Metal Element. Broccoli is from the Wood Element, as the florets are like little trees and a wheat pie crust adds even more Wood. I used a gluten free crust that was made from rice, tapioca and cornstarch so this added more of the Metal Element and a little of the Earth Element too. The carmelized onions contributed some additional Earth. The only thing missing is some Fire and that can be added with a sparkling beverage or coffee or tea. I added some red peppers in the accompanying salads and served strawberries for desert to create a Five Element balance.

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