#EggWeek recipe: quiche

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Quiche is a very versatile dish, and one that is really quite simple to make. All you need is a basic crust, good quality eggs, some milk or cream, and your favourite fillings. There are so many variations using meat, cheese, seafood, or vegetables. We like to change up the recipe seasonally, based on what we have on hand or discover at the grocery store. In fact, quiche can be a great way to clean out the fridge and use up bits of cheese and veg.

Basic Quiche
For a quick option, start with store-bought pie crust to help save time.

1 store-bought pre-baked 9″ deep dish pie shell
Your favourite filling ingredients (see notes below)
4 Yorkshire Valley Farms organic eggs
1 1/2 cups (375 mL) cream you can use light cream or (5%) or half-and-half (10%)

Filling
How much you need depends on your specific ingredient choices, but here are some suggestions…

Cheese and herb quiche: If you have nothing but some cheese and fresh herbs, you can still make a great quiche. Take 1 cup shredded melty cheese like Swiss or Gruyère and add a few teaspoons each of fresh herbs like basil, chives, thyme, maybe some savory. A pinch of nutmeg helps to elevate the flavours. Season with salt and pepper.

Mushroom quiche: 1 1/2 cups mixed sliced mushrooms, 1 cup shredded cheese such as Gruyère, 2 tsp each fresh herbs like chives and thyme. Season with salt and pepper.

Bacon and onion quiche: 4 slices cooked bacon crumbled into pieces, 1/2 cup caramelized onions, 1 cup shredded Swiss cheese, 3 tsp fresh basil. Season with salt and pepper.

Preparation
Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Check the preparation instructions on the pie crust and follow directions to pre-bake.

Spread your filling ingredients around the bottom of the pre-baked pie shell, distributing evenly. In a mixing bowl, whisk the cream and eggs until combined. Season egg mixture with salt and pepper, then pour egg over filling to fill pie shell and cover your ingredients.

Place quiche in oven and bake until a knife inserted near centre comes out clean, 35 to 40 minutes. Let stand 10+ minutes before serving. You can make quiche ahead and serve warm or at room temperature. Cooked quiche can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.

If you’d like to try making your own crust, the folks at Epicurious offer a basic crust recipe as part of their mushroom shallot quiche.

 

Tips for packing healthy school lunches

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It’s that time of year…time to head back to school! We recognize that settling back into routine can be a challenge, but it’s also a fun opportunity to try new things and recommit to good habits. One of those both fun and challenging activities is packing school lunches. How do you keep things interesting? How can you encourage picky eaters to try new flavours? We turned to the nutrition experts at EatRight Ontario to get tips and tricks for packing lunches that are healthy and balanced. Here is what they recommend…

Ideas for packing a balanced, healthy lunch:

Step one: Think food groups. Aim to have at least three of the four food group represented in your child’s lunch. Check out Canada’s Food Guide if you would like to review the food groups.
Step two: Think outside the sandwich! Get creative when choosing items for your child’s lunch. Try changing something as simple as the type of grain. For example, using pita, flatbread, tortilla, or cereal instead of bread can make lunch more interesting for your little eater.

Ideas to keep lunch interesting and to encourage picky eaters to try new flavours:

Your child’s tastes may change from one day to the next. Try new foods regularly and don’t be afraid to try them more than once. You may have to offer new foods many times before your children learn to like them!

Children experience food using taste, touch and sight. Keep them interested with lunches that include a variety of shapes, colours and textures.

  • Cut sandwiches into triangles or diamonds. Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes.
  • Change the bread – try different kinds of grains (rye, pumpernickel, flax) as well as the type of bread like whole grain tortillas, bagels and pitas.
  • Offer various types of cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, Jack, Swiss) in different forms (cubes, strings, slices and balls).
  • Switch up the veggies and fruit. Give your kids something different to experience with each bite. Group foods according to: type (citrus, tropical.); color (green, red, orange, yellow, purple); shape (balls, strips, chunks, whole); or texture (soft, juicy, crunchy)
  • Kids love to dip. Use cottage cheese, hummus, yogurt, or guacamole as healthy dips.

Tips on packing lunches and snacks that are safe to eat:

Keep these food safety tips in mind when packing your child’s school lunch and snacks.

  • As with any meal, always wash your hands first.
  • Prepare your child’s lunch on a clean surface using clean utensils.
  • Wash all fruit and vegetables thoroughly (even if labeled “pre-washed”) before cutting them or placing them into your child’s lunch bag.
  • Do not reuse perishable foods (meat, fish, poultry and milk products) that come home uneaten from your child’s lunch.
  • Keep lunches in the fridge until your child is leaving for school.
  • Use an insulated lunch bag with a small ice pack for foods that need to stay cool. A frozen juice box or bottle of water can also help keep foods cold.
  • Put foods that need to stay hot in a thermos. A thermos is also good for smoothies and milk.
  • Be sure to keep reusable containers clean by washing well with warm soapy water.

For more tips on packing healthy lunches, visit the EatRight Ontario website.
Looking for menu inspiration? Download this sample weekly menu plan.

 

Recipe: stracciatella (egg drop soup)

This is our take on stracciatella alla romana, an Italian egg drop soup that is wonderfully comforting on a cold winter day. It is easy to make and requires only a few ingredients. Here in the YVF Kitchen, we like to serve our stracciatella in mugs, alongside some crusty bread, for a quick lunch.

Our version of this soup is Inspired by the cookbook ‘How to boil an egg’ from Rose Bakery, a beautiful collection of recipes that celebrate of the humble, versatile egg.

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Stracciatella (egg drop soup)
670mL Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken stock
2 Yorkshire Valley Farms organic eggs, beaten
1/4 cup ground almonds (substitute almond meal or semolina flour…in a pinch you can leave this out all together, but it adds nice texture to the eggs)
1/3 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
pinch nutmeg
1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley, loosely packed
salt and pepper to taste
Optional: 2 cups of shredded greens such as spinach or arugula

Transfer the Yorkshire Valley Farms organic chicken stock to a medium-sized pot. Heat the stock to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer.

While the stock is heating, gently beat the eggs. Add the ground almonds, Parmesan cheese and nutmeg. Mix to combine.

When the stock is at a gentle simmer, add the parsley, then add the egg mixture and swirl around the pot. If using shredded greens, add now and stir to combine.

Remove pot from the stove. Ladle soup into mugs or bowls. Sprinkle with extra parsley and Parmesan if desired. Serve alongside your favourite salad or a warm baguette.

Makes 4 small servings or 2 large.

Creamy Leftover Turkey Soup

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This recipe comes to the YVF Kitchen courtesy of YVF team member Amberlee, who brought this to the office for lunch the week after Thanksgiving. Her soup was a big hit with the YVF crew, so we wanted to share with the YVF community so that you too could enjoy this tasty way to use up extra turkey meat.

Amberlee also explains how she makes her own turkey broth for this soup. Homemade broth is really versatile, so you can make a big batch and then store extra broth in the fridge or freezer. Substitute into your favourite recipes instead of water for a flavour boost – try using broth instead of water when cooking rice or grains.

Creamy leftover turkey soup
1 large onion, chopped
3 celery ribs with leaves, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
4-5 small potatoes, cut into small cubes
6 tbsp butter
2 tbsp olive oil
6 tbsp all-purpose flour
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp each dried parsley flakes, herbs de Provence, and ground sage
1 tsp fresh thyme, stems removed
1-1/2 cups milk
4 cups cooked Yorkshire Valley Farms organic turkey, cut into bite-size pieces
5 medium carrots, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
2 cups homemade turkey broth (See note below regarding turkey broth. Alternatively, you can substitute chicken stock.)
2 cups frozen peas
1/4 cup half-and-half cream (optional)

Heat butter and olive oil in a large soup pot. Sauté onion, celery and potatoes until tender, about 10 minutes. Stir in flour and seasonings. Gradually add milk and bring to a boil. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add broth. Add turkey meat and carrots. Add more broth, if necessary, to achieve desired consistency. Cover and simmer for 15 minutes. Add peas. Cover and simmer for 15 more minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Finish with cream, if using.

Tip: Don’t use purple potatoes or carrots for this soup. While they are a fun way to add colour to other dishes, they will turn your soup an unpleasant greyish colour.

Homemade turkey broth
1 Yorkshire Valley Farms organic turkey carcass
1 onion, quartered
3 celery ribs with leaves, quartered
10 peppercorns
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1/2 tsp dried ground sage
water

Put all ingredients into a large soup pot. Add enough water to cover turkey carcass. Bring to a boil, then turn heat down and allow to simmer for 1-1/2 hours. We suggest you hold off on adding salt during the cooking process. This gives your broth more versatility for use in a variety of dishes and avoids over-salting. Adjust the seasoning when you add the broth to your desired recipe.

To store extra broth, allow to cool and then transfer into containers for storage in the fridge. Broth can also be frozen. Skim fat off the top before freezing. To cool broth quickly, fill sink with cold water and set pot into sink. Change water after 10 minutes, if necessary, until broth is fully cooled.