Monday, March 19, 2012

Quittata!

Years ago when I first subscribed to CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) I used to make quiche like it was going out of style!  I just couldn't keep up with the abundance of greens, and other veggies, in my weekly CSA box, and quiche is an excellent way of combining all kinds of veggies into one meal.  Quiche also fit into other criteria I have for convenience with the ability to do it ahead of time.  It keeps in the fridge for days and it can also be doubled, storing on in the freezer for another time (like that would ever happen around here, lol!).

I didn't make it for myself though, I made it for Mark because I learned to make quiche years ago from my best friend at the time Linda G.  Linda was an "old school" cook who grew up in a Greek kitchen with her grandmother.... a "full" cream, tons of butter and cheese, kind of cook!  Nothing wrong with that...in moderation!  But all at once?  Well, at the time the only one in my house that could afford all those calories was Mark, lol!  Quiche is one of the best ways to use a ton of veggies...a ton!  How did I miss altering this dish as a main meal for myself?

Originally the quiche recipe I learned from Linda starts with sauteeing vegetables in 1 stick of butter...yep, a whole stick!  Add about 1/2-3/4 c full cream, along with a couple of eggs, and top it off with at least 1-2 c. shredded cheese (swiss usually for Mark).  I long ago abandoned the crust since we don't eat alot of flour or flour based foods.  With all that other stuff who needs a crust anyway (saves a ton of time too!)

A couple of weeks ago I found myself, again, in the situation of having a ton of veggies in the fridge...hmmnn.....   I started to wonder if I could make a version of quiche that was more "egg heavy" with less cream and cheese.  Viola...a cross between a quiche and a fritatta!  Qui-tatta!  A fritatta doesn't actually have any cream, it's basically an omelet that's not flipped over, instead it's finished by cooking in the oven....so the similarity of the two is vegies, eggs, and oven cooking.

Well, I've been making Quitatta like a crazy woman!  Everything from sausage, mushroom, and Brussels, to bacon, butternut, and radicchio, to onion spinach, and goat cheese....goat cheese is my latest!  Last night I made one with leeks, green garlic, scallions, mushrooms, asparagus, spinach and goat cheese....you get the idea!

Basically you need a base of veggies.  To that you add some sort of cream, or creamy cheese.  At first I used 1/2 c.  full cream, I then experimented with 1 c cottage cheese instead, then I went on to try goat cheese.  I started out with about 3 oz. of goat cheese, but after doing a calorie count I realized I could get away with at least 5 oz...yummy!

To the cooked veggies and cream (or cheese) you add your eggs.  Your veg/cheese mixture must be somewhat cool before you add the eggs.  I've gotten into the habit of whipping my eggs first (thanks to Julie), but it's not necessary.....you have plenty of time to get "fancy smancy", for now make it easy!  I started out using 4 eggs, but now I use 5 or 6.

Here is another thing I love about this meal...if I wanted to eat the whole thing throughout the day I could!  I could eat an entire Quitatta!

2 tbl olive oil (200 cal)
2-6 cups veg (about 200 cal)

options, choose one, or two, adjust the serving size to fit into a 300-350 calorie range)

bacon (70 calories per 1/2 oz.  5 oz = 350 cal)
Italian sausage (1 link = 250-300 cal)
cream (50 calories per tbl.  8 tbl = 1/2 c = 400 cal)
1/2 and 1/2 (35 calories per 2 tbl.  1/2 c = 280 cal)
cottage cheese (100 cal per 1/2 c. 1 c = 200 cal)
goat cheese (70 calories per 1 ounce.  5 oz = 350 cal)

eggs = 70 calories per (4 eggs = 280, 5 eggs = 350, 6 eggs = 420 cal)

bake in 350 degree oven until center is "set", about 30-35 minutes.

The quitatta I made last night had 2 tbl oil (200), tons of veg (200), 5 oz goat cheese (350), 5 eggs (350) for a grand total of 1100 calories....like I said, I could eat the whole thing over the course of a day, if I wanted to, AND get all the nutrition, protein, fat, veg that I needed!  The only drawback for me...well a couple of them...the first is that I like it heated so it's not ideal for travel.  The second?  I've got to beat my family to it!

There really are no limits to what you can put in a quiche or "qui-tatta".  If you know the basics of cooking veggies you should know that hardier veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, may need to be blanched first (although if you cut them smaller I've never had to), other wise they may not cook all the way through in the oven.  I found cutting the butternut squash into small dice worked well, so I would suspect potatoes sliced thinly or diced small would be fine.  I don't eat potatoes, but I will definitely try making one with my favorite sweet potato!

Of course fresh herbs are a bonus, parsley, cilantro, thyme, sage, and/or fresh diced chilis or the green parts of scallions should be added after the saute, before the cream/cheese and eggs for a fresher and lighter taste. Also if you use bacon (measure it!), you can use the bacon grease left in the pan to saute veggies, no need for extra oil.

I believe that no foods are off limits, only the amounts!  Good,freah, real, ingredients are one of the keys to staying happy and satisfied with all of the food choices this life has to offer.  When you eat good foods within your body's "needs" and likes, I think that, ironically, those foods will become your "wants"!  When you make your own meals you control the calories, the nutrition, the quality, and the flavor!  Why would you ever want to eat out?  (you save a ton of $$ too!)


11 comments:

Hanneke said...

That is my frittata!!!!!
So funny that you do exactly what I do. I guess that's what happens when you love to cook and experiment with it.
I love to use sweet potato among of course other veggies. I usually shred the sweet potato coarsely and then saute it with the other veggies. It's delicious. I also love to use Parmesan cheese. The only thing I do different is that I usually put it in the oven shorter and finish it under the broiler. I think it tastes better that way, less likely to get "dry".

I also love to eat it hot, throughout the day. My frittata never makes it until the evening.

guy said...

Hello my name is Guy and I am a Quicheaholic. I love this one, thaks so much. I am on pg 107 of "The Swing" and I have to say that I would love to have had this book in 2003 when I was learning to swing from "The Russian Kettlebell Challenge". Nothing wrong with that book at all, just not for an absolute begginer in my opinion.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Hanneke,

Really when you think about it there are only so many foods and only so many ways to cook food! Cooking becomes it's own natural progression , especially if you design your meals according to nutrients.

The sweet potato is on the list but I usually save the starches for the weekend. I'm really lovin' the goat cheese though....it's all good!

I could see finishing it under the broiler is a good idea, although I'm not a fan of "soft" eggs, I really not a fan of dried out rubber eggs either! So far so good!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Guy,

I'm pretty proud of the detail I was able to get across about learning the swing for beginners...hopefully!

As far as the quiche goes....I have to admit that the first one I made right after Fawn was here last month included a whole pound of veal chorizo! A little much, lol! But there were so other highly (less salty) nutritious things about it. I made some simple alterations and when someone asked me how many calories I thought was in a serving and I did the math, that's when I realized...hey! I could eat the whole thing if I wanted to...that's what happened this past weekend!

Marsha said...

No kidding, perfect timing on this blog.
We had a special on eggs and I have a ton of roasted veggies and I was all set to make a fritatta.

I was wondering if it was really that healthy to eat will all the eggs and well, here I see that you are doing it so it must be.
I also make egg salad with Hummus instead of mayo . I use all types of hummus. This batch is roasted red pepper . It is really delish.

Once again Tracy , thank you.
I know you are gonna get sick of my comments but, I can't help it , You have the greatest ideas.

Tracy Reifkind said...

Marsha,

I never get sick of comments, yours or anyone elses!

One of the things I haven't written about is how I always use whites and yolks. 1 egg is only 70 calories and the yolk adds so much that I'm totally over using just whites!

You can't get a better protein than eggs. Mark says it's the quintessential protein! He eats them everyday.

Really the only reason why I haven't put them at the top of my list is because normally I don't find them satisfying, and I don't digest them well. But prepared this way, with all of the veggies, and hey, a bit of bacon doesn't hyrt either....it's killer!

guy said...

I have one more fact to add...Real Men Eat Quiche! lol

Stevie said...

I have been following your plan as you write about in your book. Well I haven't been losing five pounds a week (I have seventy pounds to lose), so what am i doing wrong. Cardio incline training five days a week, kettle three to four times a week, abs and yoga (I am an instructor) everyday. I do not cheat with crappy food I count every healthy calorie with my fitness pal ap and stay between 1100 and 1200. Adding more calories doesn't work. I am not new to exercise, I am fifty one. I have only lost 1.8 lbs in the last four weeks. I am extremely frustrated. Thank you if you have an idea. Well now I am off to teach Piyo (a very sweaty yoga class)!

Tracy Reifkind said...

Stevie,

You've lost almost 2 pounds, that's great! You are doing something right for sure...it's all about trendline and if you are moving in the right direction that's super!

It's my belief that if you know what making you or keeping you fat in the first place then it's, obviously, easier to make fast changes. What made you 70lbs heavier?

I'd be happy to look over your diet if you email me. tracyrif@yahoo.com

Alison and Larry said...

For years, I had been making a version of your quittata with Egg Beaters and spinach. Kinda "meh", but serviceable. I just made your version with different vegies - brocoli rabe, 5 or 6 brussels and spinach - and real eggs. What a difference! Even my non-veg eating husband scarfed it down, thus demolishing my next morning breakfast, but well worth it!

kettlebellqueen said...

I came across a version of this recently too. I made a goats cheese and leek tart using almond pastry, but had some mixture left over. So I baked it in a ramekin and ate it with salad the next day-yum! My recipe replaces cream with half fat creme fraiche which works just as well. I think I'll leave out the pastry next time.