Quiche often graces the table of Easter brunches, but everything that's good about quiche happens to be what's not good for us.
It's rich. It's creamy. It's filled with cheese. And then there is the crust. The buttery crust that holds it all together is not so great for the body. So we decided to do a little remake.
The easy thing to reach for is the frittata. Like an oven-baked omelet, frittatas are easy and puffy and can be filled with lots of delicious ingredients. The only problem is that traditional frittatas are made without a crust. We wanted a crust. We also wanted at least some of the creaminess that makes a quiche, well, a quiche.
For the crust, we opted for a layer of shredded potatoes. They crisp nicely, adding that starchiness that the crust provides, but little of the fat.
For the creamy texture, we went with fat-free half-and-half and eggs studded with lean ham, asparagus, shallots and a touch of gruyere cheese. You can swap out whatever you like for your fillings, but be sure the ingredients are cooked before they go in.
Start to finish: 30 minutes
1 cup chopped asparagus (1-inch lengths)
4 egg whites
2 whole eggs
1/2 cup fat-free half-and-half
Salt and ground black pepper
1/4 cup shredded gruyere cheese
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 shallots, sliced
3/4 cup diced smoked ham
2 cups shredded frozen hash brown potatoes, thawed
Heat the oven to 400 F. Fill a medium bowl with ice water.
Bring a medium saucepan of water to a boil. Add the asparagus and blanch for 3 minutes, or until just tender. Use a slotted spoon to remove the asparagus from the boiling water and immediately transfer to the ice water. Once the asparagus is cool, drain and set aside.
In a blender, combine the egg whites, whole eggs, fat-free half-and-half, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Blend until smooth. Stir in the shredded gruyere.
In a nonstick, oven-safe skillet (cast iron works great) over medium, heat the oil. Add the shallots and cook for 3 to 4 minutes, or until soft. Add the ham, asparagus and the blended egg mixture. Stir for 1 minute, or until the egg just starts to set up.
Sprinkle the shredded potatoes over the top and sprinkle with salt and black pepper. Bake for 5 minutes on the oven's center rack, or until the eggs are set. Increase the oven to broil and cook for another 5 to 7 minutes, or until the potatoes are crisp and lightly browned.
Nutrition information per serving (values are rounded to the nearest whole number): 130 calories; 40 calories from fat (33 percent of total calories); 5 g fat (2 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 55 mg cholesterol; 11 g carbohydrate; 9 g protein; 1 g fiber; 330 mg sodium.