Green Apple, Caramelized Onion, and Goat Cheese Quiche with Vegetarian Sausage

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Every year finals roll around and I no longer have time to sleep, let alone eat or grocery shop.  The result is an under-nourished 21 year-old, riding on unhealthy doses of sugar and caffeine.  Not my best self.

As a college student we have finals twice and year, and twice a year this pattern and version of myself are revealed. I’m not proud of it.

It took me until my senior year (go figure), but I finally was able to think ahead and beat the self-care black hole that finals tries to suck you into! This year, the week before my finals started, I made two of these delicious quiches, and was able to pull them out and enjoy a healthy meal everyday throughout finals week.

And let me tell you what, there is definitely such a thing as comfort food. When you are running on zero sleep, a nice warm homemade slice of quiche is infinitely better for you than your fifth cup of coffee and another cliff bar. Imagine that!

Despite my brain being in finals mode, and thus usually not functioning very well at all, this quiche turned out wonderfully delicious.  The green apples bake to a soft punch of zest, the vegetarian sausage adds a nice touch of maple and smoked flavor, and who doesn’t love goat cheese?! (seriously, if you don’t love goat cheese, you should probably seek help.)

Try this delicious quiche for your holiday brunch, breakfast for dinner, or finals week. You can’t say I didn’t warn you!

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Ingredients:

  • 2 thin quiche crusts, or one deep-dish quiche crust (store bought or homemade!)
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
  • 8-10 eggs (or 2 cups)
  • 1 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon pepper
  • 1 granny smith apple, thinly sliced
  • 4 ounces crumbled goat cheese*
  • 1 ½ cups shredded cheddar cheese
  • 4 vegetarian sausage links, cut into small bite-sized pieces

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425˚F.
  2. Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a medium sauté pan over medium heat.
  3. Once hot add the yellow onion and sauté for 20 minutes on low, to caramelize. (I like to add a few Tablespoons of water to the pan to help steam the onions about halfway through). Stir frequently.
  4. Meanwhile, using an eggbeater beat the eggs in a large bowl.
  5. Add the milk, salt, and pepper to the eggs and mix well.
  6. Add the cheddar cheese and goat cheese to the egg mixture, mix well.
  7. Using a fork, poke dozens of small holes in the pie crust side and bottom to help with the cooking process.
  8. Arrange a layer of thin apple sliced along the bottom of the piecrust, and then spread a layer of sausage and caramelized onions evenly over the apples.
  9. Pour the egg mixture over the onions, apples, and sausage, until almost even with the top of the pie pan.
  10. Gently arrange a few apples slices on top and bake at 425˚ for 10 minutes, then at 350˚ for 50 minutes (or until the egg is set and the crust is lightly browned. Depending on how deep a crust you use, this time may be less!)
  11. Slice and serve!

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Notes and Tips!:

  • You can purchase pre-crumbled goat cheese in the store, or chose to crumble it yourself at home.  However if you chose to crumble it at home, the goat cheese does not crumble once in the egg mixture, so make sure you crumble it and then add it to the eggs.
  • Click here for a true tutorial on how to caramelize onions!
  • Optional: Serve with a sprinkle of chopped walnuts on top!
  • If using a homemade crust, don’t forget that you will need to cook that crust for 10 minutes before adding the egg mixture! If using a frozen crust, you can simply fill the crust and bake all in one take.
  • Source: A Rented Kitchen
  • If you like this recipe, try these other delicious dishes from ‘A Rented Kitchen!’ (recipe links below):

Feta, “Sausage,” and Tomato Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms

Sooo, I have a confession to make. This recipe was not originally vegetarian. There was bacon involved. Lots of bacon involved. After reading through the directions and ingredients however, these little Portobello mushrooms looked way too delicious to not try, so I made some alterations. I know some people do not like fake meat products, and I don’t blame them.  I like almost every food ever, but I can agree that fake meat just doesn’t taste quite like the real thing. In my opinion, bacon is the worst to try and substitute (Which is such a shame because real bacon is so good!) Therefore, in this recipe I swapped out the omnivore’s bacon with a few crumbled vegetarian sausage patties- and guess what?! It was delicious! These flavor filled little mushroom caps make the perfect appetizer, side dish, or even main course if served with a hearty salad or roasted potatoes. Give them a try! Serve it with real bacon or with veggie sausage- which ever you prefer.

Ingredients:

  • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 3 large Portobello mushrooms caps, with stems removed, or six mini portobello mushrooms (either works just fine!)
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 red onion, chopped
  • 1/3 cup of crumbled feta cheese (replace with a vegan cheese or omit the cheese all together to make this dish vegan!)
  • 1 whole tomato, diced
  • 2 crumbled “sausage” patties (I use the Morningstar variety)
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly chopped basil

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees and place a layer of aluminum foil in the bottom of a baking dish.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk the olive oil and balsamic vinegar until well combined.
  3. Brush a thin layer of the balsamic vinegar and oil mixture onto both the aluminum foil covered pan, as well as the tops and bottoms of the mushroom caps.
  4. Lightly sprinkle the mushroom caps with salt and pepper and arrange them on the baking dish gill side down.*
  5. While the oven preheats: chop the red onion into small, thin strips, wash and dice the tomato, and microwave the sausage for one minute.
  6. Crumble the “sausage” and combine in a small bowl with tomato. Set aside.
  7. Sauté the onion in a medium sized saucepan in 1 tablespoon of the oil and vinegar mixture, until the onion is translucent.
  8. While the onion is sautéing, place the baking dish in the oven and bake the mushroom caps for five minutes. After five minutes flip the mushroom caps over and bake for an additional five minutes.
  9. Remove the mushroom caps from the oven and fill each cap with a combination of onion, tomato, crumbled feta, and crumbled “sausage.”
  10. Sprinkle each mushroom cap with salt and pepper (if desired, feta can be pretty salty on it’s own!) and basil.
  11. Bake for an additional five minutes to warm the tomato and melt the cheese.
  12. Serve and enjoy!

Notes and Tips!:

  • The gill side is the open side, where the stem would be if it had not been removed. So when the recipe says place the mushrooms “gill side down” you should see the smooth tops of the mushrooms, not the stem side.
  • If you prefer to use bacon as opposed to vegetarian sausage, use 3 slices of fully cooked bacon, and crumble.
  • This recipe was adapted from food blog, “How To: Simplify.”

Red Pepper Quiche Cups

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My mom makes a mean quiche recipe. It was one of those meals that my brother and I would always get excited about when we found out one was in the oven. This recipe is not exactly the same as her quiche recipe in ingredients, however the taste is similarly delicious. This wonderful gluten free recipe mimics the classic spinach, sausage, and cheese quiche.  I imagine it would be easy to replace this classic ingredient combo with another quiche variation, such as crabmeat and shrimp, if you prefer. However any way you do it, I don’t think you can go wrong here. It’s quick, nutritious, easy to warm up later, and did I meantion Delicious?!

All in all, I hope this recipe finds you sharing a meal with someone you care about. Happy cooking!

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Ingredients:

  • 3 large red bell peppers (try to find ones with flat bottoms, that will firmly stand up straight when set on a plate)
  • 3 eggs
  • 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 2 veggie “sausage” patties, cut or crumbled into pieces (I used 2 Morningstar sausage patties)
  • 1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or Mozzarella, (plus 2 tbs for garnish if desires)
  • Dash of salt and pepper for each paper as desired
  • 1/2 cup fresh spinach, chopped
  • 1 tbs scallions, chopped

Directions:

  1. Place oven rack on the lowest position and preheat oven to 350.
  2. Cut the bell peppers in half, across the middle. (Save the top halves for a later meal by removing the stems, seeds, and freezing!)
  3. Place the bottom half of the bell peppers in a glass baking dish, cut side up. Try to arrange the peppers in a way that allows them to stand up on their own, or else baking will be difficult.
  4. In bowl, beat the eggs until well combined. Add the remaining ingredients (milk, “sausage,” cheese, salt and pepper, spinach, and scallions) and completely mix together.
  5. Pour the egg mixture into the red pepper cups until almost full (leave about 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch space at the tops) and sprinkle with cheese, if desired.
  6. Bake for 45-55 minutes or until the center of the quiche no longer wobbles when you gently shake the rack.

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Notes and Tips!:

  • This recipe was slightly adapted from it’s original, posted on Domestic Fits
  • If you use, chopped frozen spinach, make sure to thaw, rinse and remove as much water as you can, too much moisture won’t allow this to set up.
  • The size of your peppers and how much egg filling you put in each one can affect whether this recipe makes 2 or 4 quiche cups. I originally intended to make 2 cups, but had enough filling for 3.
  • The original recipe calls for a combination of ½ milk and ½ heavy cream. I left out the heavy cream to lighten up the recipe and thought it tasted just fine. However if you want a creamier consistency, add the cream again