Best vegetarian

Easy Swiss chard bell pepper quiche with healthy pie crust

I found a tasty way to sneak in leafy greens like swiss chard in a delicious quiche or frittata cups. Its a great protein veggie packed lunch and good for meal prep as make ahead breakfast or lunches that are great for school etc

Quiche version(frittata recipe is below):

  • 2 cups unbleached all purpose flour
  • 2/3 cup natural butter flavored coconut oil by Nutiva, cold and solid, but scoopable as you find it in winter, when its not melted into liquid (If not using butter flavored coconut oil, use Refined coconut oil for less coconut taste if you don’t like it)
  • optional, 1 tbsp coconut butter in place of 1 tbsp of a tbsp of above oil, not melted, room temp (u wont taste the coconut, I’ve used more in it before) or cold palm fruit oil (note you can find an environmentally friendly palm oil, also if using red palm oil, it makes things orangey so you’ve been warned)
  • 3-6 tablespoons ice water
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • Optional, tsp sugar

Or frozen pie shell (storebought or homeamadelook for a dairy free one, and gf if necessary, or paleo sub almond flour pie shell or see paleo frittata recipe below.)

  1. Mix the flour and salt either in a food processor attached with a dough blade or in a mixing bowl (ideally a bowl that you can easily get your hands into). Pulse a few times or mix by hand. Add coconut oil. Pulse or do it by hand and use a pastry cutter/pastry blender (or a fork) to cut the oil into the flour for about 35-40 seconds. It will look like wet fine crumble like wet sand with no chunks left and beads of fat smaller than a pea. If using food processor keeping stopping to scrape down the sides in this step and next steps. (note: a stand mixer can be used too to reduce handling with warm hands).
  2. Add 3 tbsp ice water, adding only as much as needed to get it into a dough. Mix with wooden spoon or pulse. add an extra tbsp of ice water, adding one tbsp at a time only as needed to make it a dough(if you take off a piece it should be easy to roll into a ball), and mix with spoon or pulse. Only use as much water as needed for dough to come together and so it is not too dry nor sticky. Very briefly knead it with your hands (they add warmth though so not long and don’t overwork the dough!)
  3. Place ball of dough between 2 sheets of parchment paper (with one paper on top of the dough and the dough on top of one paper or on a silicone non-stick mat or marble board to prevent sticking as rolling (you can spray them lightly if needed) and use a rolling pin to roll it out as a disc shape.

  1. Flip parchment paper over to gently turn out the dough over greased pie pan (greased with natural buttery coconut oil of course!)(quarantine update: or in a disposable aluminum pans if sold out) and make short edges as this oil based crust doesn’t hold quite as strongly as buttery ones.
  2. Flip the other rolled out dough disc to cover it, trim excess with kitchen scissors (fluting with fingers if desired, but its not necessary as long as its sealed, no fancy designs with coconut oil pie crust though!).
  3. Can be made ahead, wrapped up in seran wrap, refrigerated for a day, or frozen and then thawed .
  4. Paleo sub tip: if using almond flour, since almonds contain some fat you may want to decrease the oil slightly. You can also use a combo of almond and regular flour for better consistency.
  5. If using a gluten free flour mix, use one with some xanthan gum, and do not freeze and thaw, its too crumbly. Also adding an egg can help and if so you may reduce the ice water. chill it 20 min before using.
  6. If using whole wheat pastry flour you may need more water.

For the filling:

7 large eggs

1 small Orange/yellow/Red bell pepper, diced, or half of a large pepper( it adds juiciness)

1 small swiss chard stem,diced, Chard stems separate, sprinkled with salt or sub about a cup of spinach( spinach tastes even better but i try to sneak some chard in)

1 pack of fresh dill sprigs, ends chopped off, sub dried dill

Generous Salt as there is no dairy here like butter to add saltiness

Pepper

1.5 tbsp Nutiva’s butter flavor coconut oil, melted,or ghee or olive oil for quiche, plus extra for sautéing in the pan

These are the basic quiche/fritatta ingredients and for flavor add ons I like to do one of the below options:

Optional: quarter teaspoon thyme or pinch red pepper flakes

Leek chard quiche Variation: add 3/4 of one small finely chopped well sautéed (sauté for several min) leek

Scallion spinach or chard quiche Variation: Add 2 chopped scallions, whites and 2” of green,chopped.sauté them for two mins first.

Chives can also be used..and if desired pinch of nutritional yeast though it will be less pretty and smooth colored with it.

smoked salmon dill chard variation: add smoked salmon and keep the dill.

bacon chard quiche: add chopped bacon (1-2strips) instead of dill (I haven’t tried the dill with bacon, it would likely be good) and use bacon instead of a bit of the veg . it will be fantastic, my personal fave.

Creamy version (paleo) : replace one egg with a 1/4 cup canned unsweetened full fat coconut milk, add a good pinch of garlic powder and onion pdr and a good pinch of nutritional yeast.

Of course if you can have dairy you can sub out an egg with 1/4 cup goat cheese or shredded cheese, (I haven’t tried vegan cream cheese or vegan cheese with it yet nor lactose free cheese.)

  1. Thaw the crust 10-15mins. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Warm oil on the pan. Add only the chard stems not leaves, plus the bell pepper and sauté for just a few minutes, stirring. Whisk the eggs with the seasoning. Pour melted oil over chard leaves. Then combine eggs with all veg in a mixing bowl.Pour into pie shell. Cover chard well as it tastes best inside the quiche rather than sticking out as I’ve learned. If you are worried about spills as eggs rise slighlty you can place pie shell on top of a sheet pan(although ive never done it so far for quiche and never had spills so the time in oven may slighlty vary with it). bake for 5min then turn down to 350 and bake for approx 28-38min or until tooothpick comes out clean and eggs are solid and puffed. Best Served hot or refrigerate and reheat in oven

Paleo Grain free Frittata cups variation (grain free): Instead of using a pie shell use a well greased or muffin liner lined non stick muffin tin Or greased ramekins.Depending on whether you want to make six or 12(roughly 8eggs for 12) or something in between adjust ingredient amounts accordingly.1/4 cup plain almond milk can be added here(i dont add it to the quiche as it can make the crust soggy). Diced potatoes/hashbrowns can also be added as a carb. Use above flavor add ons like dill, scallions or red pepper flakes etc. Bake at 350degrees for 20 min minutes or until puffed up and toothpick comes out clean

To use up the rest of the chard (it wilts quickly and i personally dont have a vase or perforated bag big enough to store it well!) check out the garlicky sautéed chard

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