Today’s Pieday Friday recipe is so simple that I can’t believe I’ve not baked it before. Considering that quiche is one of my most-loved dishes of all time, I am astounded that I’ve never tried to create a healthy alternative. When I’m being especially ‘good’ with my food choices, I tend to just eliminate quiche altogether, despite it containing lots of the good stuff; vegetables, eggs, dairy and ham. I realised that the only part of a quiche that I’m trying to avoid while making healthy choices is the pastry, so this week I decided to do something about that! I considered using bread as ‘cups’ to fill with my quiche filling but I don’t get on particularly well with bread either (I can eat it but the bloating is no fun afterwards!) and I considered doing away with any kind of case altogether, until I realised that this would just be a tortilla (which I love to eat cold in the summer – here’s my recipe) or an omelette. I wanted something more ‘main meal’ than that! So what else could I use instead of pastry to hold my eggy filling? I opened the fridge (as I always do when looking for inspiration) and I realised that I already had the ideal quiche ‘case’ in my salad drawer. Peppers! I couldn’t actually believe I’d never tried it before. Surely a scooped out pepper would be the ideal vessel to bake my quiche filling in? I’d never roasted peppers whole before so I didn’t know how soft they would go in the time it took for the egg to set; the whole thing could have become a big mushy mess for all I knew. But nonetheless, I wanted to try it out because if it worked I’d be able to continue eating healthily while enjoying one of my favourite treats. Here are the ingredients I used to make 6 portions (one half-pepper per person):
3 x peppers, 6 slices of ham, 6 eggs, 1 tablespoon Primula Light (available at larger Asda stores), 150ml semi-skimmed milk, 3 chopped spring onions, 6 broccoli florets, salt and pepper.
- Cut the peppers in half and scoop out the insides. Be careful not to puncture the skins of the peppers at all as any small hole will let the egg mixture run straight out (as I found out when a small cut resulted in major leakage!)
- Place the peppers in an oven-proof dish. If they won’t stand upright by themselves you could either cram in more peppers into the dish so that there’s no room for wobbling, or you could pad out around the peppers with some foil. Luckily my peppers were well behaved and sat still.
- Dice up the ham, slice the spring onions and cut the broccoli into tiny florets. Share these evenly amongst the pepper ‘cases’. If you want a vegetarian version you could leave out the ham and add in cooked mushrooms perhaps? I made myself a special extra quiche using flakes of tuna, which was amazing!
- Whisk the eggs together with the semi-skimmed milk and tablespoon of Primula Light cheese. I used a hand-blender to make sure the mixture was entirely smooth before seasoning and pouring it into each of the peppers. Leave a little space at the top to allow the egg mixture to puff up without spilling over.
- Bake in the oven at 180 degrees for around 30-40 minutes. Keep an eye on the peppers and if they start to brown too much on the top cover them with tin foil and return to the oven for the rest of the cooking time.
- Serve with a spoonful of couscous and a fresh salad for a super-healthy lunch.
Oh my goodness, you can’t imagine how delicious these quiches were. Everything seemed to go right and they turned out exactly as I had imagined. The peppers were soft and easy to cut through, but still held all the egg and filling in place. The roasting process actually made the peppers taste sweeter than ever! I didn’t add any extra cheese to the quiche but they still tasted really cheesy thanks to adding just a small amount of the Primula Light. Of course, you could add more grated cheese if you like, but I’m trying to eat more healthily this year so the lightness of the quiche was just right, while still being a really filling meal. Let me know if you try out the recipe for yourself and please add your suggestions for tasty quiche fillings in the comments below. And please tweet me photos of your finished meals to @Cassiefairy – I’d love to see and share them!
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