February it may (only) be, but there seems to be a good number of reasons to go light: You may have subscribed to a regime of self-denial during lent, you still have not shed those extra kilos put on over Christmas and you are observing with a rising panic that the crop top season is nearing, or your need to fill the long dark and cold winter evenings with joy and entertainment by cooking and eating a large dinner in the comfort of your own home is somewhat getting less pressing as the days are getting longer again.
So I am throwing in a recipe for a light vegetable quiche here – feel free to make your own variation by using any type of vegetable that you like, or – if you want to skip even a few more calories – exchange the low-fat crème fraîche entirely with low-fat quark or cream cheese (I find the taste of crème fraîche quite essential to quiche, but that is ultimately a personal preference), or reduce the amount of dough and make it with only a thin bottom crust or entirely crust-free. You may, of course, also do vice versa (i.e. exchange the quark with (full-fat) crème fraîche) if counting calories happens not to be on your agenda after all.
In any case, do not forget the most important part, which is to enjoy your food!
For the dough:
- 150 grams of flour
- 75 grams of cold butter
- 1 pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of red pepper
- 1 medium egg yolk
- a couple of tablespoons of water
For the filling:
- 200 grams of shiitake mushroom
- 2 medium carrots
- 1/2 broccoli, broken into bite-size florets
- 1/2 zucchini, sliced
- 1 small leek, sliced
- 1 half red onion, slided
- 1/2 red pepper, sliced
- 1/2 green pepper, sliced
- 1/2 yellow pepper, sliced
- 3 to 4 slices (not too thin) from the center of a beef tomato
- 1/2 red chili pepper, finely chopped
- 250 grams of low-fat quark (Magerstufe, <10% fat)
- 50 ml of low-fat milk
- 200 grams of low-fat crème fraîche (15% fat)
- 3 large eggs
- 2 tablespoon fresh oregano, finely chopped
- pepper, salt
Preparing the dough:
- Pass the flour through a fine mesh onto the clean kitchen counter or a baking mat. Cut the cold butter into small pieces into the flour. Rub the butter and the flour between your hands until you have a crumble.
- Add the salt and the red pepper. Form a depression in the center of your flour mix and add the egg yolk. Quickly start kneading the ingredients adding tablespoons of water one by one until the dough is smooth, but not sticky. Should the dough become too sticky, add a bit more flour.
- Form a ball, wrap it into cellophane and let the dough rest in the refrigerator for approximately 15 minutes.
- Pre-heat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius (fan oven).
- Butter a quiche pan and press the dough into the bottom and up the sides. Prick the bottom with a fork all over.
- Cut out a round piece of parchment paper the size of the bottom of your cake pan. Place over the dough on the bottom of your cake pan. Place pie weights on the top (if you do not have pie weights, you may also use dry foods such as dried chickpeas, dried peas or rice).
- Put the quiche pan into the oven and bake only the crust for 10 minutes (blind baking). Take the crust out of the oven and reduce the oven temperature to 160 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for baking the quiche with the filling (see step 7 – Preparing the filling below).
Preparing the filling:
- Bring water in a pot to the boil. Blanch the whole carrots for about 5 to 6 minutes, then cut into slices (not too fine). Keep the water and blanch the broccoli florets in it for 3 minutes.
- Fry the shiitake mushroom in a non-stick frying pan with one teaspoon of olive oil until soft. Take out of the frying pan and throw out any water that got released through the frying process.
- Mix the quark with the milk with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the crème fraîche, the salt, pepper, and ground nutmeg, and continue beating until smooth.
- One by one, beat in the eggs until the mixture is smooth and well mixed.
- Fold in the fresh oregano and the chili pepper.
- First, spread the vegetables – except the beef tomato slices – over the half-baked crust (see step 7 – Preparing the dough above), Make sure the different types of vegetables are well mixed. Then, pour the egg, quark and crème fraîche mix into the pan. Make sure all of the vegetables are well covered by the mix. Finally, place the beef tomato slices on top.
- Bake the quiche at 160 degrees Celsius (fan oven) for approximately 45 to 50 minutes. Let cool down for a while in order to allow the filling to solidify properly.