Friday, December 25, 2009

The Veggie Returns! Plus, a Christmas Quiche

So I am aware I have not posted since October.  I blame my chronic perfectionism.  See, I have had oodles of ideas for posts that I have even composed and recited in my head as I have made homemade frozen burritos (courtesy of my dear bestie Ben Herman),  baked to perfection vegan German Chocolate and Mint Chocolate cupcakes for the delight of my weekly meditation and vegetarian cooking group: 

and endured ridicule as cooed over the most adorable baby bok choy you can ever conceive

But then every time I sat down to compose an entry I found would have posts that seemed too long, some posts without adequate pictures, pictures of dishes I didn't feel were original enough for me to take credit for them or not healthy enough for my vegetarian blog.  I worried that I didn't have a strong enough concept for my blog--like perhaps it's not enough to just share recipes but I needed some sort of gimmick, like picking a different vegetable each week and writing about it.  Or only creating dishes whose titles contained the letters of my name.  I decided that because of my laziness, aversion to proofreading, and general lack of originality, I didn't deserve to have a voice in the blogosphere.  
All of this, as you can imagine, did wonders for my self-esteem.  

Still, I continued cooking. I mastered the art of the boiled egg.  I warmed my soul on rainy Jersey evenings with hearty lentil soup.


I turned chemist for a night as I manipulated agar agar flakes, corn starch, and tofu to create the vegan creme filling for Brooklyn vs. Boston Creme Pie Cupcakes. 

But then as thesis draft deadlines and internship applications began to up, I decided some silly thing like this wasn't a big priority anyway.  

But then my dad rented Julie and Julia for Christmas Eve.  I had seen the film several months earlier--it was, predictably, one of the motivating factors that led me to start my blog in the first place, Julie Powell coming up with one of the best gimmicks imaginable.    Watching it again, I was most struck with the point toward the end 


Julie learns that her idol Julia Child does not consider her a serious cook at all.  Julie falls into meltdown, feeling like a failure.  But then her husband reminds her that it shouldn't matter what Julia Child thinks, who probably had never read the blog and doesn't know anything about her really.  The only person that matters is the Julia Child in her head, the one who has brought joy and purpose to her life.  


What it taught me was, so what if some people might find some of my postings long-winded.  So if I might not have much of a gimmick or if every post does not yield Julia Child-level brilliance.  Or even Paula Dean.  Maybe no publisher will ever decide my voice is worthy enough for a book deal.  But damned if the little Jewish mother in me still didn't get a thrill as roommates, classmates, and family members "mmm"-ed as they took the first bite of the food I created.  I like to food--eating and cooking it and I like to share my love of food with those I love.  And anything beyond that is simply icing on the cupcakes.  

And now for the recipe

Vegetarian Quiche Fluffed With Mayo

While I love quiche, I had never in fact made one before.  But with my success with boiling eggs and most recently a frittata behind me, I was on an egg roll.  After surveying a number of them online, I rested one from that promised the optimum amount of fluffy goodness with the minimum amount of additional ingredients to purchase at Sparkle.  I modified the recipe slightly, taking the user comments suggestion to add an extra egg.  I decided to use fresh rather than frozen spinach as well as toss in a bit of nutmeg and salt and pepper to give it some flavor.   The only thing I wish I would have though to do was saute the onions before

So, without further ado:

1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 cup milk
5 eggs, lightly beaten
8 ounces of shredded cheesed (I used a cheddar blend)
1/2 bag of fresh spinach
1/2 cup chopped onion
dash of nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
1 9-inch pie shell (homemade or frozen, depending on ambition)
Sliced red pepper slices, mushrooms, or other veggies for decoration.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Prepare crust in pie shell.

In a large bowl, whisk together mayo and milk.  Add eggs and beat until smooth.  Add nutmeg, salt, and pepper.

Layer spinach, onion, and cheese in shell--at least two layers of each.  Pour egg mixture over vegetables and cheese.

Arrange peppers, mushrooms or other sliced veggies over top of quiche in desired pattern.  Cover with foil.

Bake for 45 minutes.  Remove cover and cook for another 10-15 minutes, or until top is browned and filling is set and it looks something like: