My mother-in-law, Loveta, often passes along WeightWatchers materials for me to look through and enjoy. On a recent visit, she gave me her copy of the May/June 2013 edition of WeightWatchers Magazine. The Spinach, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato Quiche recipe from the magazine immediately caught my eye. With its long-ish list of ingredients and preparation steps, however, I initially decided to wait until school was out for summer break before attempting to make it. Yet with a dozen farm-fresh eggs in my fridge (also thanks to Loveta), the quiche recipe kept coming to mind, and I decided to attempt it last night.
The recipe states that 20 minutes of preparation time is needed, which turned out to be a laughable underestimation. It took me that long just to grate the cheese, chop the onions and garlic and set them to going on the stove, get the spinach (which I had forgotten to pre-thaw) out of the freezer and dealt with, and wash and slice the tomatoes. Already I was getting tired of the prep.
Yet the biggest headache (and time-taker) of the preparation experience was yet to come: the pizza dough. Here’s what the recipe says: “Place dough on lightly floured surface and shape into 4-inch circle. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes. Roll dough into 11-inch circle; fit dough into pie plate and flute edges.” Sounds simple enough, right? If only… I will say that it all began according to plan, yet around the time that I began rolling out the dough, I started to suspect trouble ahead. The dough kept contracting back upon itself. I would roll out an edge and lift up the rolling-pin, only for the dough to pull back in towards the center. This happened repeatedly before I gave up and decided to get the dough in the pan and then try to stretch it out. This plan, too, was but a pipe dream. As soon as I would get one side stretched out enough to cover the side of the pan, the other side (which I had just gotten into place) would have sunk back into the bottom of the pan. Meanwhile, I had the onions caramelizing on the stove, which needed an occasional stir, and the egg mixture to prepare. If I dared to turn my back on the dough for an instant, I would be back to square one. In desperation, I finally started stretching the dough over the edge of the pan and trying to get it to stick to the underneath of the pan edge. This worked – sort of – in keeping the dough up the sides, but it also resulted in tearing and holes in the dough, which I then had to try to patch. Somehow, I managed to get the dough high enough on the edges for a long enough amount of time to get the filling in. The dough had broken apart in several places along the pan edge, allowing the filling to get between the pan and the crust, but it was the best I could do. Finally the quiche was ready to go in the oven. Apart from the night when I set off the smoke alarms in my house, this was the most frustrating and ridiculous experience I have ever had in the kitchen.
On the upside to the evening, I got to use my new stoneware pie pan, which had been sitting in its original box for months. I also have to admit that the quiche turned out to be tasty – and filling. One-sixth of the quiche was a hearty serving. I was feeling inclined to write off the whole recipe, but it was good. It was a unique taste, as well; I do not recall ever eating anything quite like it before. John liked it more than I did, giving it 3.5 stars (there was a little too much onion and not enough tomato for his taste; otherwise, he probably would have given it 4 stars). With the preparation hassle fresh on my mind, I rated the quiche a 3. I might consider making the quiche again, but I would substitute a pie crust for the pizza crust, no matter how that might affect the taste and/or PointsPlus value.
Spinach, Caramelized Onion, and Tomato Quiche
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
3 medium onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp sugar
1 (10-oz) pkg frozen chopped spinach, thawed, squeezed dry
1 (10-oz) can refrigerated pizza crust or 1/2 lb refrigerated pizza dough
3/4 cup evaporated fat-free milk
2 large eggs, lightly beaten
1/4 cup light sour cream
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
1/8 tsp ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded low-fat Monterey Jack cheese (Not being able to find low-fat Monterey Jack, I used 2% sharp cheddar)
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
1. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onions, garlic, and sugar; cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are lightly golden, 10 minutes. Add spinach and cook 2 minutes. Remove pan from heat and cool 10 minutes.
2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick spray.
3. Place dough on lightly floured surface and shape into 4-inch circle. Cover lightly with plastic wrap and let rest 10 minutes. Roll dough into 11-inch circle; fit dough into pie plate and flute edges.
4. Mix milk, eggs, sour cream, egg white, salt, nutmeg, and pepper in medium bowl. Sprinkle cheese over bottom of pie crust. Top evenly with spinach mixture; then pour in egg mixture. Arrange tomato halves, cut side up, on top of quiche in circular pattern. Place on baking sheet and bake until quiche is just set, 45 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Yield: 6 servings (serving size: 1/6 of quiche). Per serving, 7 PointsPlus.