Felicia’s Award Winning Dish: Sweet Potato Crusted Asparagus & Leek Quiche
BRUNCH. That is one of our most favorite words and the inspiration behind this Award Winning Quiche! On our journeys toward becoming Registered Dietitians, Alexandra and I both completed dietetic internships at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH). As part of the program, we each completed a four-week rotation in the production kitchen with the goal of creating a new and delicious recipe that could be sold in the hospital’s cafeterias. Because brunch is my favorite meal, I chose to makeover the classic Sunday morning dish; quiche!
When I think of a feel-good and nutritious meal, a hearty slice of quiche with a mixed green side salad is always the first dish that comes to mind! Being so versatile, quiche can be served for any meal, and the combinations of ingredients that can compose it are endless! When I was creating the recipe for the internship, I chose to use in-season vegetables with a combination of cheddar and parmesan cheeses. We encourage everyone to get creative though! What are the leftovers in your fridge? Throw them into the quiche mixture!
What makes this quiche especially unique is the crust. Instead of utilizing the typical flour crust, this quiche is made with a sweet potato crust that packs quite the nutrient punch (think fiber and beta-carotene!). By slicing the sweet potato thinly (a mandoline can be extremely helpful for this), lining the pie dish with the coins, and baking for 10 to 15 minutes, a beautiful crust is formed that is crunchy on the outside but smooth on the inside!
Whole eggs and low-fat cow’s milk are used to create an airy texture (though nut milk may also be used). To aid in this process, we made sure our eggs were at room temperature before whipping with the milk! Asparagus and leek not only add delicious, subtle flavor, they also provide an extra texture component! By sauteing both in a little EVOO, the resulting caramelization adds a sweetness and nuttiness to the dish. Summing up this flavor profile is my favorite part, the cheese!!! Cheddar and Parmesan cheeses not only help with structure, they provide a scrumptious sharpness to the quiche and produce that beautiful browning on the top.
Don’t knock it ’til you try it! This quiche has a secret ingredient that truly melds all the flavors together…. NUTMEG! Nutmeg can be used in sweet or savory dishes, and especially goes well with egg and cheese compositions. A little goes a long ways! You do not need much of this spice to reap the benefits of the sweet and slightly bitter flavor.
We hope you enjoy this quiche as much as we do! I mean, it is an award-winning recipe! This creation was awarded the Iron Chef Award (MGH Dietetic Internship specific) for top recipe in flavor, presentation, difficulty, and nutritional content.
NUTRITION SIMPLIFIED: EGG, EGGS, EGGS
- Eggs have been a hot topic in heart health! Originally concerned with the cholesterol in eggs and heart disease, studies have now shown that there is not a significant relationship between consumption of dietary cholesterol and blood cholesterol levels.
- One large egg provides 6 grams of protein. The protein in eggs is readily digestible, easily absorbed, and contains all the essential amino acids.
- Eggs provide the most choline in the US diet. An egg yolk has roughly 147 mg of choline which is about one-fourth of the daily recommendation for adults. Choline has been found crucial during pregnancy for proper brain development, and it may play an active role in metabolic processes like muscle function, cell communication, and cognition. So, super important!
- The yolk of eggs is rich in the carotenoid lutein. Lutein has been shown to play a significant role in eye health. It may aid in the protection of the macula from degeneration and cataracts, and increase visual acuity.
MAKE IT A FULLY NOURISHED MEAL
- Brekkie. Do you enjoy toast and eggs in the morning? As a spin-off, try a slice of this quiche with a piece of our spiced walnut bread. Now that’s a protein packed breakfast!
- Classic Brunch. Pair this quiche with a mixed green salad made with toasted almonds, dried cranberries, and your favorite vinaigrette.
- Suppah. Leftover asparagus? Sauté the leftover stocks in balsamic vinegar and serve on the side.
- 1 large sweet potato
- 1 1/4 cup asparagus, finely sliced
- 1 1/4 cup leek, finely sliced
- 1.5 tsp extra virgin olive oil
- 6 large eggs
- ⅓ cup milk, low fat
- ¼ cup cheddar cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup parmesan cheese, shredded
- ⅛ tsp ground nutmeg
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
- Preheat oven to 375 °F, then peel and slice the sweet potatoes into thin slices (roughly 1/8” coins).
- Coat a 10-inch pie dish with cooking spray and line the bottom with two layers of sweet potato slices.
- Cut the remaining sweet potato slices in half and line the edges of the pie plate with the round side up. Coat the sweet potato crust with cooking spray and bake for 15 minutes.
- In a frying pan, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add the asparagus and leeks and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.
- Remove sweet potato crust from oven and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, nutmeg, and pepper until thoroughly combined.
- Add the asparagus and leek mixture atop the sweet potato crust. Pour in the egg mixture and top with the parmesan and cheddar cheeses.
- Bake quiche for 40 minutes, or until a toothpick to the center comes out clean.
- Remove quiche and let stand for 5 minutes. Cut into 6 pieces and serve.
- Store quiche in an air-tight glass container in the refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.
WHAT’S YOUR POINT OF VIEW?
Do you love brunch as much as we do? What are your favorite ingredients to make quiche with? We would love to hear about your unique ingredient combinations! When you make this recipe at home, share it to Instagram with #fullynourished so we can see it!
In health and happiness,
Alexandra Rae & Felicia Stewart
(1): Egg Nutrition Center