Swiss Chard & Gruyere Quiche with Quinoa Crust
It is my general belief that more people would eat their vegetables if they came in colors as beautiful as those found in swiss chard. The stems are practically hot pink! Why wouldn’t you want to eat that? Don’t even get me started on the fact that swiss chard as a great source of Magnesium as well as Vitamins K and C.
Be that as it may, to some, the idea of eating a plateful of chard is less than appealing (Yes, Ray, I mean you). Here, we pair some sauteed chard with caramelized onions and Gruyere in a quinoa crust. The onions are sweet, the Gruyere is nutty, and you don’t even realize you’re eating something that’s actually really good for you, which is exactly how I prefer my food to be. You could definitely substitute any old swiss cheese here, but one reason you can use so little is because Gruyere has a more intense flavor than your average swiss. If you splurge for it, wrap up the rest and throw it in your freezer, because we’ll use it again in the future!
Do me a favor, and don’t wig out about the prospect of a quinoa crust. It’s actually a fantastic idea. I thought for about five minutes that I was the brainchild behind this whole concept, until I Googled “quinoa crust” out of curiosity and discovered that not only did I not create it, but I’m actually late to the quinoa crust party. I wish I could adequately describe it with a word other than “chewy” or “crispy,” both of which seem entirely too prosaic for an idea that is so innovative. Unfortunately for you, I’m getting nowhere on that front, so I suppose you’ll just have to give it a try and find out for yourself.
If you have never cooked quinoa, don’t be afraid. It is cooked much like couscous or rice. Do make sure to rinse your quinoa before putting it in the pot, otherwise it can have a bitter flavor. Once cooked and cooled somewhat, combine it with a beaten egg and press the mixture into a pie pan to form your crust. I found that getting the mixture evenly distributed was most easily done by using a large dry measuring cup to press the mixture down and around the sides of the pan.
I first made this quiche two weekends ago and took a wedge to work every day for my morning snack. A 1/8 piece had about 9 grams of protein thanks to the eggs and quinoa, and because we didn’t use a pastry crust, it contained only about 150 calories. I liked it so much, I made another one this past weekend for breakfast with friends before we ventured out to the annual egg hunt! Quiche, incidentally, is the perfect entertaining food because you can make it ahead and serve it chilled, you can eat it warm and fresh from the oven, or let it sit out on the buffet and eat it at room temperature.
Give it a try, I hope you like it too! Recipe card is below!
- 1/2 cup dry quinoa
- 1 cup water
- 6 large eggs
- 2 tsp. olive oil
- 2 cups chopped onion, about 1/2 of a medium onion
- 2 oz. shredded Gruyere cheese, about 1/2 cup
- 3 cups chopped swiss chard
- 1/4 cup nonfat milk
- 1/8 tsp. nutmeg
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground pepper
- pinch of dried thyme
- 1. Combine water and quinoa in a small pot. Bring water to a boil and reduce heat. Simmer for 15-20 minutes or until quinoa gets all puffy and water is absorbed. You should end up with approximately 2 cups of cooked quinoa. Allow quinoa to cool.
- 2. Lightly beat one of the eggs and mix in cooled quinoa. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a pie pan coated with cooking spray. It may help to use a large measuring cup to press the quinoa around the bottom and sides of the pan, making sure the quinoa mixture is evenly distributed.
- 3. Bake crust at 375 degrees for 15 minutes or until the quinoa starts to brown slightly. Remove from oven and let crust cool.
- 4. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet on medium heat. Add chopped onion and dried thyme.
- 5. Reduce heat to low and gradually cook onions, stirring every few minutes, until they are slightly browned and light caramel in color, for approximately 15-20 minutes.
- 6. Remove onions from the pan and add the chopped chard. Cook on medium heat for a few minutes until greens are wilted.
- 7. Place greens in cooled crust. Top with cooked onions and then shredded cheese.
- 8. Combine remaining 5 eggs, milk, nutmeg, salt, and pepper and mix well. Slowly pour over chard mixture in the crust.
- 9. Bake quiche at 375 degrees for 30-35 minutes.
- 10. Allow to rest for 15 minutes before cutting into slices.