Often times when I am cooking, I feel like I am a contestant on chopped. I open my fridge and pantry to see my weird assortment of items left over from other recipes that need to be used up.
Throwing together these random ingredients can evoke a stroke of genius, creating a brand new dish full of delight. Other times, a complete inedible disaster. But hey…at least I tried right?
Part of not going overboard on our grocery budget is making the most of what we have before buying new ingredients. Once you get a hang of this, you will see the difference in your bill and enjoy the rewards of your budget.
One recipe that I often go back to is my “lets-empty-out-the-fridge quiche.”
Quiches are simple to throw together and hard to mess up. If you have eggs…milk…a pie crust and random meats and veggies…you can make a quiche.
This time I had spinach that needed to be used up before it wilted to a slimy disaster, prosciutto left over from an antipasto plate, half an onion from I have no idea what, a few sweet peppers and remnants of cheese from a bag labeled “pizza cheese” for our homemade pizzas.
What do all of these ingredients equal? Quiche!
You could easily switch out the fresh spinach for frozen. Just thaw and drain the frozen spinach before placing in the pie. Don’t have small sweet pepper? Use whatever you like! Bell peppers, asparagus (I suggest blanching it first) or even some steamed broccoli florets chopped would be great in this quiche.
Many don’t have prosciutto lying around too…well I haven’t put it past me to use a few slices of ham lunch meat chopped into small pieces and sprinkled through my quiche. You can cook a few slices of bacon, chop and use in place of prosciutto too! Heck, be adventurous and skip the meat entirely. Substitute pizza cheese with any type that is your favorite! Whatever works for you and of course what is available in your fridge. 😉
Prep your piecrust with poking holes in the frozen pastry using a fork and bake in the oven at 400 degrees for 8-10 minutes. This prevents a soggy disaster when you add the quiche ingredients to the pie.
Then, chop your ingredients!
Saute the onions and peppers in a skillet at medium heat with two tablespoons of EVOO. You want the onions to yellow and tenderize. Then add your spinach for a few minutes until wilted.
Add the veggie mixture to the pie crust and get started on the filling. Whisk together the eggs, milk and spices. Then, pour over the top of the veggies and sprinkle the quiche with your cheese.
The Opportune Side
A great side dish with quiche at dinner is a fresh salad. Mine was created with the rest of my fresh spinach, a gala apple from the back of the fridge, a handful of wonderful walnuts for crunch, a handful of dried cranberries for a kick of tartness, and some leftover feta cheese from another recipe. Normally, I would suggest goat cheese for this salad but since my husband refuses to eat goat cheese, we stuck with feta. Top with a homemade, simple balsamic vinaigrette and you have a winner.
Time for a Cheap and Easy Dessert
I didn’t want to waste the rest of the apple from the salad, so I thinly sliced the remaining and got to work making a “crustless tart”. I tossed the apple slices with a splash of apple cider vinegar (weird I know but trust me) and half a teaspoon of vanilla extract.
After greasing a small dish, I lined the apple slices, slightly overlapping across the dish. Top with a tablespoon of butter chopped to small pieces, half a tablespoon of brown sugar, sprinkle with cinnamon and some sliced almonds and pop in a preheated oven of 350 degrees for about 20 minutes.
This would have been great served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream but sadly I had none in my freezer…maybe next time. After all, this was my attempt at using up what was left in my fridge.
All in all, this was a great, quick, and easy meal. We used up a lot of leftovers and veggies that would have otherwise gone bad.
The best part? If you have two pie crusts, and some extras…double the recipe and freeze the other quiche! When ready to eat, just thaw and heat in an oven at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes. (Reminder! If you do double the recipe, cooking two quiches in the oven at once prolongs the cooking time to double!)
What are your “go-to” recipes when you need to clean out the fridge? Do you have a favorite quiche recipe/ingredients? Share them below!