Thursday, May 7, 2009

Gluten Free in Quicheland

After you're first diagnosed, in that moment you realize things are about to change in a very real way, the whole of your dietary life flashes before your eyes. 

All those morning of pancake breakfasts, of Norman Rockwellesque lunches of grilled cheese sandwiches and Campbell's tomato soups, of fried chicken (if you ate that sort of thing...I guess it was tofu, for me) appear to you all at once, clouding your vision in a sea of surprisingly hungry despair. 

And when you try to think of what doesn't have gluten in it, some how all your mind can conjure up is a head of lettuce or some shriveled up, forgotten carrot in the back of the fridge. Prisoners get bread and water. But us celiacs? We only get the water. 

I find it truly amazing how deeply our minds choose to deceive us at that moment. It's as if celiac disease itself takes hold of our sense memory, purposefully blotting out images of wonderful, naturally gluten free foods we've enjoyed for years, as it desperately tries to keep it's cannibalistic stranglehold of our GI tracts. 

Admit it it. Among the joy of summer's first sweet, juicy peach, the refreshing power of a cold glass of milk, and the crunch of a good ear of Ohio corn, you've enjoyed some truly great, naturally gluten-free meals in your day. And haven't you always felt the better for it? Fresh whole foods, rich in vitamins and minerals (the kind you actually get to absorb into your body now that's your system's filled with gluten-free goodness), yes, with a meal like that, you hardly miss the gluten at all. 

After my diagnosis depression - you know, those first six months when I whined a lot and nothing but rice and fruit - I started to think about meals I ate as a kid and how I could adapt them. When I remembered how often we'd made a naturally gluten-free, crustless quiche, booked it to the grocery store, rolling my eyes all the while for how long wallowing in celiac self pity had kept me from eating delicious meals like this. While the traditional version involves heavy cream, cups and cups of cheese, and a buttery, flaky crust, with me and my tender tummy in the house, we always made a significantly pared down version of this rich dish. Who knew that with weekly dinners of crustless quiche and salad, I'd been eating gluten-free for years? And why my memory chose not to offer me up a slice of THIS on diagnosis day, I'll never understand. 

For those of you who hem and haw that a quiche just isn't a quiche without a crust, worry not, Gluten-Free Pantry has you covered. Armed with perhaps my favorite of gluten-free mixes - GF Pantry's Quick Mix - and easy quiche with spongy - but not heavy - crust is just minutes away. Paired with oven roasted red potatoes, you've got a meal to chase away even the most persistent of gluten-filled memories. 

(Note: While there's been a recent slump in Gluten-Free In Cleveland activity, rest assured this site is gearing up for a full throttle comeback. In addition to misplacing my digital camera's charger, I've been suddenly afflicted with a substantial lack of appetite. So much so that eating anything, much less writing about food, has been a sincere struggle. Poor kitchen's been abandoned for weeks now, and I hardly think my muffin tins know what to do with themselves.

Thankfully, I've recently received some great tips about GF friendly people and places in Cleveland from wonderful readers and, while I'm on the road of reminding my body that food is good and dehydration is bad, I am really excited to share this information with you. As such, I want to extend a friendly invite any and all readers who think their favorite gluten-free spot, store, or recipe has been over looked to shoot me an email and be included in some pretty exciting upcoming posts!) 
Spinach-Broccoli Quiche
3 eggs
3 -4 Tablespoons of egg whites (or a 4th egg)
1 and 1/2 cups of shredded cheese (Cheddar, Monetary & Colby blend, etc.  Use 2% 
milkfat cheese if you like) 
1 cup skim milk
1 cup baby spinach
1/2 cup chopped broccoli
1 teapsoon sea salt
1/2 scant teaspoon nutmeg 
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1 cup and 1 Tablespoon GF Pantry Quick Mix, divided (optional, leave out for crustless quiches) 
GF cooking spray

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. 

Spray a quiche pan or small / medium casserole dish with GF cooking spray. (If making crust variation, sprinkle 1 Tablespoon of Quick Mix as evenly as possible over the bottom of the pan.) 

In a small bowl, mix together spinach, broccoli and, and cheeses and spread out over the bottom of the pan. In another bowl, whisk together milk, eggs, egg whites, spices (and quick mix) until well combined. Gently pour the liquids over the cheese and vegetables. You may want to sprinkle the top with an additional shake of nutmeg. 

Carefully place pan in oven and bake for 40 - 50 minutes, or until a knife comes out clean (though, careful not to let the top become too browned).  LET SIT for at least 10 minutes. I know it's beautiful, I know it's tempting, but it's so much better having had a chance to rest, trust me on this. (During this time, the neurotic quiche bakers among you will notice the quiche's puff with fall ever so slightly. Don't fret, it's fine).  

Serve with salad, fruit, or roasted red potatoes and enjoy naturally gluten-free greatness. 
Oven Roasted Red Potatoes
10- 12 small red potatoes, well washed
2 Tablespoons of olive oil 
1 teaspoon of salt
1 teaspoon of garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon of pepper
2 Tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese
freshly diced scallions 

Preheat oven to 425 degrees, placing a small casserole dish on the top rack. 

Boil the potatoes for roughly 15-20 minutes, or until they're tender. Carefully! remove hot dish from the oven and transfer potatoes into it. Gently twist a fork into the flesh of each of the potatoes - letting it open up hopefully without breaking it in half, though, if you do, that's okay, too. Drizzle the olive oil over the potatoes, sprinkle spices and top with cheese. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes and serve with sliced scallions. 


Jen Friedberg said...

Glad to see you back at it. I've been dieting, so my blog has similarly been slightly anemic. Sigh. Just like you pointed out, there's lots of healthy GF food, it's just not exciting to write about since it's pretty "normal" stuff!
No one wants to hear about my veggie burgers and brown rice, I don't think.

Grace said...

Thank you for the great, easy recipes with limited ingredients! Keep up the good work.

GFE--gluten free easily said...

What a lovely combo! I'm with you on that approach as it's mine also, but I have to agree that initially we're all shell shocked and just see the "glass half empty." Thankfully, we get past it. :-)


H.Peter said...

Quiche! Maybe very underrated in North America if you think about it.
Much more common in Europe and I love it.
I skip the potatos and and have a second piece of Quiche?

Betsy said...

Hi, I love your blog. The quiche looks amazing!

I was wondering if you could recommend some good places (other than the obvious chains) to eat in Cleveland. We are going to the Cleveland Clinic next month and will be staying in the Beachwood area.


jgoodfellow said...

Fantastic recipe :) I printed it off last week and made it over the weekend. It worked wonderfully and tasted exquisite. It was my first time making quiche. Thanks for posting this yummy recipe!

Dana aka Gluten Free In Cleveland said...

Jen - Diets are the number one most singularly frustrating way to make kitchen adventuring slow to a bitter hault. Best of luck (I know i'm pernninally frustrated with that).

Thanks for the quiches accolades grade, shirley, and peter - and jgoodfellow, I'm so glad that you tried it and it worked out well for you!! Thank you for letting me know!

Betsy, there are a few good places in the area - if you use the label tag "restaurants" you can click through the reviews of places I've been. Or copy and paste the following link into your browser:

Come to think of it, I really ought to mention that in my next post... :)

Jean said...

It can't work in fact, that is exactly what I believe.

Mobile App Developers said...

Great article, Thanks for your great information, the content is quiet interesting. I will be waiting for your next post.

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