We first started making this quiche when PS and I were doing a month of the 4-hour-body meal plan. I found the starting recipes on a website called 4hour recipes, which no longer seems to exist. It is basically a low carb high protein diet. Plus, as a person who can get stuck in a cereal or toasted pb&j breakfast loop I was always looking for healthier, interesting, and easy alternatives. And Not oatmeal. I hate oatmeal (as a cereal…not in baked goods FYI). Yes, I have tried steel cut oats. Yes, I have tried baked oats, actually I can like those, but….
Where was I? Right, quiche, back to the quiche. This is a fairly easy recipe. We make it on Sunday evenings and keep it in the fridge for 3-4 days worth of breakfasts. And, as the title of the post suggests, it has endless variations. I like recipes that allow me to add what I have on hand and are easy to change up. It means you have an easy fallback recipe, but you are not stuck eating the exact same thing.
It starts simply enough. The base is eggs, spinach, beans, and cottage cheese (or I use quark. I will explain below). Each of those provide protein to the dish. Typically around 20g per serving (closer to 30 for 6 servings) depending on egg combination and add ins.
Start with the base and then from there the choice is really all yours my friends:
Currently I am making this with 10-12 eggs. It makes 9 servings for us (3) so we have 3 breakfasts all set for the week ahead. When I was going for more protein and fewer calories (and lived in the states where I could purchase only egg whites) I made the quiche with 6 whole eggs and 1 cup (= 6 whites) egg whites. I have also made it with just 8 eggs and cut into 6 or 8 servings.
I usually just eyeball this from a large box of frozen spinach. The small frozen brick packages are usually 10 oz, but I prefer the bagged frozen spinach because it is easier to thaw and drain. The main concern with the spinach is that you really need to squeeze off the excess moisture. Really, get as much of that water out as you can, it improves cooking time and final consistency. Soggy quiche is not cool.
The original recipe calls for 16 oz cottage cheese. Which I love, but is not as prevalent here. It is also sold only in smaller containers at least as far as I have seen. But that has been an easy ingredient to substitute. I use quark.
Quark is a fermented fresh cheese like a cottage cheese that is used in everything here in Germany. It can be found in all types of dishes from sweet puddings, to savory herb spreads,to baked goods, to soups. There is magerquark, lean version (typically <1% fat) which we use in this recipe, regular quark (20% fat), and Sahnequark (40% fat) often used in desserts. We often have it at breakfast as a creamy spread with bread and sliced meats. I would describe it like a strained yogurt, but not sour. It sort of falls in between yogurt, sour cream, cream cheese and cottage cheese….I am sure that clears it up for you, right?
Anything. Drain and rinse. White, Garbanzo, pinto, black, red, I have used them all.
This week I didn’t add any meat, but I often do. I tend to alternate vegetarian and meat weeks. I have used ham, pancetta, bacon, sausage (pork, chicken, and turkey) and even leftover chicken. You might find it a bit more balanced if you use half the mushrooms if you add a lot of meat.
I almost always use mushrooms, and then add one or two other vegetables. Typically, I sauté the vegetables to brown and remove some moisture. But, in full disclosure there has been more than one occasion, on a busy weekend, where ham, mushrooms and peppers were just dumped directly into the egg/bean/cheese mix and baked. The cooking time becomes much more variable and you can end up with a of excess moisture this way, but I thought I’d let you know you can be lazy with it if you want.
Combination ideas to add to spinach/egg/quark base:
- Sundried tomatoes, kalamata olives, feta, chick peas and oregano
- Ham, mushroom, white bean and rosemary
- Red pepper, mushroom, onion, chick peas, and italian seasoning
- Bell peppers, black beans, onion, cumin, and oregano
- Turkey sausage, mushrooms, zucchini, onions and sage
- Zucchini, roasted peppers, sun dried tomatoes, white beans and fresh basil
you get the idea.
Infinitely Adaptable Breakfast Quiche
(also see update below)
prep time: 15-20 min
cook time: 60 min
500 grams magerquark (or 16 oz cottage cheese)
400 g (10-16 oz) frozen baby spinach, thawed and squeezed of excess moisture
400g (15oz) can chick peas (or any bean), drained and rinsed
250 g (8 oz) mushrooms, sliced
½ yellow onion, diced
4 green onions sliced
½ tsp dried basil
¼ tsp dried dill
¼ ground pepper
1 tsp salt (decrease to ½ if using regular cottage cheese)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Grease a deep 10-inch, baking dish or 9 x 13 pan.
Saute yellow onion, mushrooms, and green onion in oil until tender. Remove from heat to cool.
Place spinach in a microwave safe bowl and defrost. Squeeze excess water from spinach.
In a large mixing bowl combine, eggs, cottage cheese/quark and mix until well combined. Stir in spinach, cooked vegetables, seasonings, and drained beans.
Pour mixture into prepared (greased or parchment lined) pan. Bake uncovered in oven for ~1 hour, or until eggs are set and edges pull away from the pan.
Here is one of our favorites! My no precooking version Greek Quiche
50g (~16 olives) kalmata olives
50g (4-5 tbs) sundried tomatoes (I prefer the dry to oil packed. If you use dry soak them in boiling water for 10 min or so to soften them a bit)
100g (2/3c) feta crumbled
10oz frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed
1 can chick peas, drained
16 oz container 1% cottage cheese
1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp dill
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp salt (start light then add more, this will depend on how salty your feta and olives are!)
8 servings: Cals 286/Fat 15g/Carbs 17g/Protein 22g