Puff Pastry Quiche

Puff Pastry Quiche

Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Meatless Meals

BAH Note: Feel free to use just about any vegetable.  Pam suggests sliced mushrooms, halved cherry tomatoes, thin asparagus, diced leeks, or even thawed frozen spinach.

  • 1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
  • 1 cup butter braised onions
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 2/3 cup evaporated milk
  • 3/4 cup grated cheese

Place oven racks in the top and bottom position and heat oven to 400 degrees.

Roll the puff pastry out on a lightly floured surface until it is just larger than a 1/4 sheet pan.  Transfer the puff pastry to the sheet pan, trimming off any overhang, and docking the pastry all over with a fork.

Spread the butter braised onions, or vegetable of your choice, into a single layer on the pastry.  Bake on the bottom oven rack for 10 to 20 minutes or until the puff pastry is golden brown.

While the puff pastry bakes, heat the evaporated milk until it is just warmed.  In a separate bowl, use a fork to beat together the eggs, salt, pepper, thyme, and sour cream.  Once the egg mixture is completely combined, stir in some of the warmed evaporated milk, about a tablespoon at a time, to temper the egg mixture.  Whisk the rest of the evaporated milk into the egg mixture before pouring the egg and milk mixture into the puff pastry and evenly sprinkling the cheese on top.

Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees and place the sheet pan on the top rack.  Cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until the egg filling is just set.  Then set the oven to broil and allow the top of the quiche to brown for about 2 minutes.

Allow the quiche to cool slightly before serving.

Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas

I know what you’re thinking, “Here she goes with the black beans again.  I thought she said that she DOESN’T like black beans all that much.  Make up your mind lady.”

What can I say?  This recipe meets all my bonus point criteria.  In addition to black beans it has zucchini, cheese, sour cream, and avocado.  And it’s also crowd friendly since you finish the quesadillas off in the oven, letting you make a bunch at once.

If you need any more reasons to convince you to give these a try, email me.  I’ll have you over the next time these go on the menu.

Black Bean and Zucchini Quesadillas

Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Meatless Meals

BAH Note:  I typically make four quesadillas in a batch and have a bit of filling left over, which I add to a bunch of mixed greens for an easy salad another day.  If you’ve got a few more mouths to feed, make a couple of more quesadillas to use all of the filling.

BAH Tip: I have bad luck with fresh cilantro.  Even though I store it in a glass of water in the fridge, it always goes bad before I use it all.  My solution is to buy the tube of cilantro from the grocery store.  It’s not as good as using fresh but I don’t end up wasting a bunch of fresh herbs.  If you go the tube route, just be mindful of how you’re going to use it.  I wouldn’t recommend it as a finishing herb but in applications where you cook the herb into the dish, I consider a tablespoon or so to be an acceptable alternative.

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 small zucchini, diced
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 can (15.5 ounces) black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 4 (8 inch) flour tortillas
  • 1 cup grated monterey jack cheese
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (see BAH Tip above)
  • sour cream
  • 1 avocado, diced (optional)

Set an oven rack to the lowest position and heat the oven to 400 degrees.  Set a cooling rack into a rimmed baking sheet and set aside.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan set over medium heat.  Add the zucchini and cook for approximately 5 minutes, or until softened.  Add the cumin and oregano and cook another minute.  Stir in the black beans and cilantro and cook until the filling is just dry.  Transfer the filling to a bowl and wipe the frying pan out with a paper towel.

Return the frying pan to the stove over medium high heat.  Working one at a time, add a tortailla to the pan and cook until the bottom just begins to brown.  Carefully turn the tortilla over and cook for about 30 seconds until the tortilla puffs a bit and begins to brown on the other side.  Transfer the tortilla to the prepared baking sheet and immediately fold it in half.  Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

Once all the tortillas are warmed, open each tortilla and place 1/3 cup of the filling mixture on the bottom half of each tortilla.  Top each with approximately 1/4 cup of grated cheese, fold the tortillas back in half, and press lightly.

Bake in the oven for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the tortillas are crisp and the filling is warm.  Serve with sour cream and diced avocado.

{printable recipe}

Tortellini Soup

So it’s January.  The holidays are officially over.  You may have overindulged in things like cookies, cocktails, and buttery treats.  Which may mean that you’re feeling a little cruddy right about now.  While I don’t have the cure for any additional pounds that may have stuck around as a reminder of cookies past, I have a lovely soup to warm you on a cold winter day.

I’m not naive, I know cookies are more fun than soup.  But a hearty bowl of tortellini soup comforts me on a cold, dark winter day.  I’ve yet to the meet the cookie that can do that.

Tortellini Soup

Adapted from Pan Anderson’s Meatless Meals

  • 1 quart vegetable broth (I used chicken broth)
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can diced tomatoes
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 zucchini, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 8 ounces fresh baby spinach
  • 9 ounces fresh or frozen tortellini

Combine the broth, tomatoes and any tomato juices, and water in a medium pot and set over low medium low heat.

Meanwhile, heat the oil in a dutch oven over medium high heat.  Add the onion and carrots to the dutch oven and cook about 10 minutes or until softened.  Add the zucchini, red pepper, and Italian seasoning and cook for 5 more minutes.

Add the warmed broth mixture to the dutch oven and simmer, partially covered for about 10 minutes.  Stir in the spinach and tortellini and cook partially covered for another 10 minutes.

{printable recipe}

Sweet Potato Hash

No, no, you’re not caught in a time loop.  You did just see that chicken two days ago.  But this is the only photo that shows the sweet potato and Brussells sprout hash that went with the chicken.  So the photo gets to make an encore appearance.

Hash.  What exactly is it?  According to the all knowing google, it is a dish of cooked meat cut into small pieces and recooked, usually with potatoes.  The only problem is that the amount of meat vs. the amount of vegetables I consume is pretty frightening.  Ideally, the ratio should be reversed which shouldn’t be hard because I actually LIKE vegetables.  I just run out of ideas of how to fix them.  So as a result, they waste away in the fridge, or on the counter, until they are beyond possible consumption.  Yes, I am guilty of wasting food.  There, I’ve said it.

So how does hash address my status as a repeat offender when it comes to wasting food and get me to up my servings of veggies?  Simply by being.  Hash is a godsend when it comes to using up vegetables that have been neglected.  Don’t know what to do with that sad sweet potato that you didn’t use the other week?  Got a carrot or two left in the crisper?  What about an onion?  Did your plan of pan roasted Brussells sprouts not materialize?  You’ve got everything you need for hash.  What other vegetables are hash friendly?

According to Pam Anderson, in her book Meatless Meals, mushrooms, corn (fresh or frozen), eggplant, turnips, and butternut squash are all prime candidates.  She’s the one who introduced me to the concept of meatless hash.  So whether I want a side dish to go with one of my meaty meals, or I want a satisfying meat free option, all I have to do is open the fridge and see what vegetables need some love.

Sweet Potato Hash

Adapted from Pam Anderson’s Meatless Meals

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 to 1 1/2 pound (one medium or large) sweet potato, peeled and diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts thinly sliced  (stems trimmed, outer layer of leaves removed)

Heat the vegetable oil in a large frying pan over medium high heat.  Add the sweet potato, onion, and Brussels sprouts and stir to coat with the oil.

Place a lid on the frying pan and reduce the heat to medium.  Cook for approximately 10 to 15 minutes or until the vegetables have softened but your thickest vegetables are still just a bit firm.  Remove the lid, stir the vegetables in the pan, increase the heat back to medium high and cook until the liquid evaporates and the vegetables begin to caramelize.

Once the vegetables have browned on the bottom, stir them gently to try and get the browned sides up.  Continue cooking, without stirring, until the vegetables are as browned as you want them.  Taste for seasoning and add kosher salt and black pepper to taste.

{printable recipe}