Given the current state of today’s economy, many people are trying to cut back on their grocery bill. Unfortunately, a lot of people think “eating cheap” equates to ramen noodles and spaghettios. This couldn’t be farther from the truth. In fact, slashing spending on food opens up the possibilities to getting creative and exploring new flavors. Since meat is one of the more expensive parts of a grocery bill, throwing in a few vegetarian meals during the week can really stretch the dollar. Quiche often graces the table for fancy breakfasts or the occasional brunch, but egg-based dinners can be very tasty, filling, and cheap!
The traditional quiche is baked in a flaky, buttery crust. While it tastes fabulous, we’re dangerously close to bathing suit season. We can spare the butter (and save it for dessert), right? It also drastically reduces the time it takes to assemble this dish, making it an easy weeknight meal.
Okay, I know what all of you knowledgeable cheeseheads out there are going to say: “Umm, making anything with Gruyere is NOT cheap!”. You’re absolutely right. Gruyere is expensive. Did you catch the price in that picture below? I likely would not have used Gruyere if I hadn’t had some leftover from the Three Cheese Beer Bread that I made recently. So, please, don’t think that you need to go out and buy Gruyere just for this recipe (unless you really want to, and then by all means, have at it!); just use regular Swiss cheese or some white cheddar to keep it in the “cheap eats” category.
1 6-oz. bag of baby spinach
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 cups chopped mushrooms (1 8-oz. package of mushrooms yields about this much coarsely chopped)
1 garlic clove, minced
Salt and pepper
3 large eggs
1 cup half-and-half
1 cup shredded Gruyere cheese
1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Butter a 9-inch pie plate and set aside.
2. Place the spinach in a large skillet, cover, and cook over medium heat until wilted, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and spoon into a strainer set over the sink or a bowl. Allow to cool.
3. Using the back of a spoon, press on the spinach to remove most of the moisture, then squeeze it in your hands to remove as much liquid as possible. Move to a cutting board and coarsely chop. Place between two layers of paper towels and press to remove moisture. Set aside.
4. Using the same skillet that you used for the spinach, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and cook, stirring until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for 1 additional minute. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until any remaining moisture has evaporated, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Add a pinch of salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a medium bowl, whisk the eggs until light. Stir in the half and half. Spoon the spinach mixture evenly into buttered pie dish. Sprinkle with the cheese. Pour in the egg mixture.
6. Bake the quiche until puffed and golden brown, about 35 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.