Did you know that aside from being good for your health and our planet, keeping one day or more a week meat free is also good for your budget? There are so many other sources of protein that give better value for money than meat and fish. Quinoa, chickpeas (garbanzo beans), lentils, kidney and black beans, tofu and microprotein (also known as Quorn) are all great frugal sources of protein. It may surprise you to learn that many ordinary green veggies like spinach, green beans, kale, broccoli and even peas also contain this vital nutrient. And did you know that a medium baked potato contains three grams of the stuff as well? I was thrilled to learn this as I used to avoid potatoes as I thought they were not that good for me! And then there is the humble egg. This everyday ingredient is a fantastic source of protein as well as Vitamins D, A, B2 and potassium. It’s important to use organic, free range or pastured eggs. They are more nutritious and the chickens who lay them have better lives.
Eggs are, of course, the main ingredient in my easy vegetarian quiche. This is a great recipe for using up the last of the veggies in the fridge as it’s really very flexible. Onions, leeks, any colour of pepper, courgettes (zucchini), leftover cooked broccoli or even roast eggplant all work well in this dish. You can use any kind of cheese you like, although I tend to avoid stringy cheese like mozzarella.
Did you know that if you are following a strictly vegetarian diet you need to be sure that your cheese is vegetarian too? Some cheeses are made using rennet, the source of which is slaughtered calves. There are many vegetarian cheeses, made using rennet from vegetarian sources, available on the market now. Just be sure to check.
I often use a vegetarian ready rolled pastry sheet to make this quiche simply because it is fast and easy. I like to use homemade pastry when time allows.
Served alongside a salad my easy vegetarian quiche recipe makes a wonderful light lunch or supper. The leftovers are great in a lunchbox next day as well.
- One ready rolled pastry sheet OR
- enough homemade pastry for a single crust pie
- 1 tablespoon mild olive oil
- 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and chopped in small pieces
- 1 courgette (zucchini), cut in thin half moons (if the courgette is large cut the half moons in half again to make quarters)
- 4 large organic or free range (pastured) eggs
- ¾ cup milk
- generous pinch of salt
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
- ½ teaspoon dried basil
- ¼ teaspoon dried oregano
- ½ cup vegetarian cheese (cheddar or Monterey Jack work well)
- You need a 12 x 8 inch (30 x 20 cm) rectangular tart pan or one that is 9 inches (23 cm) round.
- Remove the ready rolled pastry from the fridge according to package directions or make and roll out homemade shortcrust pastry for your pan.
- Place the pastry in the pie or tart pan.
- Trim the edges and prick the bottom of the pastry several times with a fork. Set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C or 170°C for a fan oven).
- Place a baking sheet in the oven to preheat too.
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan over medium heat.
- Sauté the onions for two to three minutes, until they begin to soften a little.
- Add the chopped red peppers and courgettes (zucchini) and sauté for 3 to 5 minutes, until the vegetables are beginning to pick up a bit of colour. Remove from the heat.
- In a medium bowl or pitcher, beat together the eggs and milk.
- Beat the salt, pepper, basil and oregano into the eggs.
- Stir the cheese into the egg mixture.
- Spread the vegetables evenly over the bottom of the pie crust.
- Pour the egg and cheese mixture carefully over top of the vegetables.
- Place the quiche on the baking sheet in the oven and bake for 25 to 30 minutes or until the filling is set and beginning to turn golden.
- Serve warm if possible but the quiche may be eaten cold as well.
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