February 20th, 2013
I recently came across the genius idea of using leftover grains, like brown rice, as a crust for quiche. I desperately want to give credit where credit is due, but I can’t figure out where I saw the idea first, and a quick Google search shows that, despite my awe, it’s not a new idea. Still, it’s a good one, so I immediately gave it a try.
Turns out, pressing leftover grains into a pie dish to create a crust for baked eggs works extremely well. This Cauliflower and Bacon Quiche with Brown Rice and Quinoa Crust is proof. There are just a few quick pointers you need to know:
1. Make sure that your grains are pretty dry. If they are soggy, it may not work or, at the very least, you’ll need to increase the amount of time needed to pre-bake the crust.
2. Once the grains are pressed into your baking dish, brush them lightly with oil. My recipe calls for coconut oil, but any will do. If you don’t have coconut oil, don’t let that stop you from making this or otherwise experimenting with grain crusts.
3. I mentioned pre-baking: do this. In the same way that you don’t want soggy grains going in, you don’t want them coming out. Pre-baking your crust ensures that it holds together and gives good, crunchy texture.
You can stick with one type of grain—most recipes that I’ve come across do that—or mix it up. I often have leftover steamed brown rice and quinoa, so that’s an easy go-to for me. Use whatever is an easy go-to for you (i.e. use whatever you need to get rid of!).
Oh, and I added bacon to this particular recipe, but you can easily skip it for an easy vegetarian meal with heft.
Cauliflower and Bacon Quiche with Brown Rice and Quinoa Crust
(can be shared with kids 6+ mos)*
Makes one 9″ quiche, serves 4-6
1 tablespoon favorite oil, plus more for greasing baking dish (I use melted coconut oil)
3 cups cooked whole grains, plus more as necessary to evenly cover a 9″ baking dish (I use 2 cups of brown rice and 1 cup of quinoa)
1/4 cup chopped bacon, about 3 thick-cut strips
2 cups chopped cauliflower that’s been washed and cut into about a 1 1/2″ dice
1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
Salt and freshly ground pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Moisten a paper towel or your fingers with a bit of oil and wipe down a 9″ baking dish to lightly grease it; set aside. If using more than one type of grain, combine them in a medium bowl to mix thoroughly. Using your fingers, press grains into the greased baking dish, making sure to cover the bottom and sides evenly. Brush the surface of the grains with a tablespoon of oil. Place in oven and pre-bake the grain crust for 20 minutes. When done, remove baking dish from oven and set aside; turn oven to 400 degrees.
2. In the meantime, cook chopped bacon in high-sided pan set over medium heat until crispy. Using a slotted spoon, remove bacon bits to a plate lined with paper towels.
3. Add the cauliflower to the pan with bacon fat and toss to coat. Cook for 3 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons of water, cover and cook for another 3 minutes. Uncover and cook for a minute or so, until the water has cooked off and the cauliflower is just tender all the way through. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, cheese, salt and pepper. Once the cauliflower is cool to the touch, add it to the eggs and mix to combine well. Pour the mixture into the pre-baked crust. Return baking dish to 400 degree oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, until eggs are cooked through. Be careful not to over bake; they are cooked through once the egg in the center of your baking dish is just set, but still a little jiggly. Serve warm.
*Note: This can be shared with eaters 6+ mos, just be sure to puree into an age-appropriate consistency or cut into age-appropriate bites. Keep in mind that egg whites are considered a high allergen food. Though some still suggest holding off on serving them until 12+ months, guidelines by the American Academy of Pediatrics state that there is no reason to hold off on any foods beyond 6 months, especially if your child has no personal or family history of food allergies. If you have any concerns about sharing this dish with your little one, read more on how to safely introduce high allergen foods.