Friday, December 31, 2010

"Too Much Indulging is Making Me Green" Crustless Spinach Quiche Inspired by Food 'N Flix: Waitress (+ Quick Review of "The Good Neighbor Cookbook")

In the movie Waitress, the Food 'N Flix pick for December, Jenna (Keri Russell), is a waitress at The Pie Shack, married to her brutish husband Earl, reluctantly pregnant with his baby, and longing to win a pie championship and change her life. As a child, Jenna baked pies with her mother and now "escapes" by creating her own pie concoctions based on the emotions she is feeling and titled with fanciful names like Marshmallow Mermaid Pie (made when she was nine and in her "mermaid phase"), Fallin' in Love Chocolate Mousse Pie, Kick in the Pants Pie, and I Hate My Husband Pie, to name just a few. Waitress is a bittersweet comedy-drama, and a great little movie that will have you longing for a piece of homemade pie.

Since I indulged a little too much for my liking over the holiday season, the thought of one more sweet baked good just didn't work for me and in fact made me feel a tad queasy and green around the gills. I wanted something a little lighter, a bit healthier, something to help me get back on track. It's either that or I am going to have to change the tag line of my blog from ", eating and living (mostly) healthy in Paradise" to ", eating and living (occasionally) healthy in Paradise!" ;-) So I set out to find a simple quiche recipe.

Enter the Crustless Spinach Quiche from one of the cookbooks sitting on my review stack, "The Good Neighbor Cookbook: 125 Easy and Delicious Recipes to Surprise and Satisfy the New Moms, New Neighbors, Recuperating Friends, Community-Meeting Members, Book Club Cohorts, and Block Party Pals in Your Life!" by Sara Quessenberry and Suzanne Schlosberg. (Yep, it's a movie review, a dish inspired by the movie, and a cook book review all in one post!) This compact paperback book has 125 recipes for any occasion when you want to be a good friend or neighbor. The recipes are organized into 7 sections with dishes appropriate for Bringing Home Baby, Get Well Soon, Welcome to the Neighborhood, Block Parties and Barbecues, Meet and Eat: Community, Religious, and Business Gatherings, Novel Ideas for Book Clubs and Condolences. The book contains recipes that are easy to make and transport well, and each section also contains tips and ideas for further neighborly actions like organizing a "meal train" for a new mom, putting together a "welcome to the neighborhood" list for your new neighbors, and "the art" of assembling a cheese platter.

The authors have experience in creating easy and delicious recipes, Sara Quessenberry was formerly the recipe developer and food stylist for Real Simple magazine, and Suzanne Schlosberg is a health, nutrition, and parenting writer, a former senior editor for Shape magazine and the author of several health and lifestyle books. There are no pictures, just illustrations, but the recipes are laid out well and most contain helpful tips and suggestions for the cook. Some of the recipes I tagged to make included Sweet Potato and Rice Soup, Cranberry Granola Bars, Roasted Cauliflower Macaroni and Cheese, Cucumber, Feta and Dill Salsa, Tomato and Oregano Flatbread, Chocolate Chip and Candied Ginger Brownies, and Italian Sausage and White Bean Bake. This is a good book when you are looking for crowd-pleasing recipes that show you care but that are easy enough to work into a busy schedule.

The Crustless Spinach Quiche from the "Meet and Eat" section of the book sounded simple, tasty, and like a good way to get some more healthy greens into my diet. For fun and portion control, I decided to use my small tart pans and make individual quiches. In honor of Jenna, I am enhancing the recipe title a bit and calling it "Too Much Indulging is Making Me Green" Crustless Spinach Quiche. Served with some sunny orange slices and topped with a little extra grated Gruyere, it makes a great way to start the morning or a light lunch.

"The Good Neighbor Cookbook" says, "Packed with spinach and bolstered by eggs, this savory quiche is nutritious and satisfying, an ideal choice for a long meeting that overlaps with mealtime. Because it's crustless, the quiche is super-quick to make and easy to serve as a finger food. No crumbs!"

Crustless Spinach Quiche
from: "The Good Neighbor Cookbook"
(Serves 6-8)
Prep Time: 10 minutes / Total Time: 55 minutes

8 large eggs
1 1/2 cups whole milk (I used skim milk)
1 cup (4 oz) grated Gruyere or Swiss cheese
1 (1-pound) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Butter a 9-or 10-inch pie plate.

In a large bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and cheese. Squeeze the spinach of any excess water and stir into the eggs along with the nutmeg, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared pie plate and bake until puffed and the center is just set, about 45 minutes. Slice the quiche into wedges or squares and serve warm, at room temperature, or chilled.

Cook's Tip: A quick way to thaw frozen spinach is too place it in a colander and run it under hot water. Be sure to squeeze out all of the excess water.

Notes/Results: Tasty and satisfying. Chock full of nutrient-packed spinach and nutty Gruyere cheese, this is a hearty but not heavy quiche. I did use skim milk instead of whole as it was I had on hand, but I don't think it was noticeable. Also, I reduced the recipe by half which made 3 small tart pans of quiche and I cooked them about 32 minutes to accommodate the smaller size. This is a simple quiche but the Gruyere adds good flavor and creaminess. If you wanted, a little turkey or bacon would also be nice chopped and mixed in. It does hold together well, so if I were making for a meeting or larger group, I would use a pie pan or a square pan and cut into slices or squares. Quick and simple, I would make this again.

Food 'N Flix is having a November-December double feature of The Ramen Girl and Waitress and will be rounding up all the dishes inspired by both movies at the beginning of January, so stop by and check it out.

*Cheese Lover's Choice Contest Voting: If you have voted already just bypass this little reminder but if you have not yet voted for my Ile de France Camembert Sliders, I would love it if you would. My cheesy mini burgers are in the Top 10 Finalists in the Cheese Lover's Choice Fan Voting Category of the Camembert Contest and I would love your vote as I seem to be between 2nd and 3rd right now. ;-) If you click here, it leads to the site where you can give me (Deb C. on the poll) the number of "stars" you think appropriate for my dish. (Of course 5 star votes are more than welcome! ;-) lol) Voting is open until January 5th. Mahalo for your time!

Have a happy, healthy New Year's Eve!


  1. I am all cake-d out too so I totally understand! What a cute concept for a cookbook. This crustless spinach quiche sounds like the perfect indulgence right that you won't even feel guilty for! Happy New Year, Deb!

  2. Yum, this sounds really really good! I love the name and inspiration from Waitress :D And I'm glad to read your review on this book...the cover has been attracting my eye when I catch a glimpse and now I want to find it! Lovely. Happy New Year, Deb :)

  3. This crustless spinach pie sounds really good especially after over indulging during the holidays. Wishing you and yours a very happy New Year!

  4. Oh Deb, these look delicious and the perfect way to put right some of the seasonal excesses :-) Hope you had a lovely Christmas and a wonderful year ahead. I'm just off to give you my vote now.
    Sue xo

  5. After weeks of indulging, this crustless spinach quiche looks amazing to me. Plus, you know that I love those cute little individual tart pans;-)

    Happy New Year Deb!! I'm off to catch up on all your posts.

  6. I really like that the quiche is crustless... while I adore crust, it always makes me feel guilty. My neighbor is pregnant and "due" yesterday! I think I just might bring this to her! Good timing.

    Happy New Year, Deb!

  7. Oh, you just gave me a great idea for my next movie to request on Netflix. I indulged too much this holiday season as well. Usually I'm much better at monitoring things, but I really threw caution to the wind and now I'm ready for something like this quiche!

  8. Very creative! Lovely quiche, just perfect!

  9. This is exactly what is needed in my house too! I love a crustless quiche - so much easier to make and much healthier. The book sounds interesting too - it's one I've never heard of.

  10. Ooh.. great selection. Crustless quiches are so easy to whip up with whatever veggies you have on hand.. my recipe has a bit of flour in it, though, which helps with the lack of crust. Otherwise, it seems kind of like a frittata, no?


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