Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Cheesy Crustless Mini Quiches

I received free samples of Cabot Cheese mentioned in this post. By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe challenge sponsored by Cabot Creamery and am eligible to win prizes. I was not additionally compensated for my time.

I take my Academy Award watching very seriously.

Simple to make, these healthy, Cheesy Crustless Mini Quiches are fun to serve (and eat!) at your Game Day celebration, movie night, or Oscar party.

And being such a devote viewer usually involves a little bit of homework. I watch the nominated movies ahead of time, my friends and I cast our votes among one another (it's a pretty fierce competition),  and then I plop myself firmly on the sofa so I can watch from the beginning of the red carpet until the closing credits.

The Academy Awards are my SuperBowl. The dresses, the speeches, the shameless jokes – I love it all.

It’s funny to think that growing up in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, something as Hollywood as the Oscars seemed to be from an entirely different world. Now, I live 30 minutes away from the infamous Kodak Theatre; ten years later, that thought still is somewhat surreal.

Simple to make, these healthy, Cheesy Crustless Mini Quiches are fun to serve (and eat!) at your Game Day celebration, movie night, or Oscar party.

But, even though my location is a variable (Edmonton vs. Los Angeles), the process of how I watch the Oscars hasn’t changed one bit (sofa + sweatpants + good food). It’s so comforting to know that no matter how much life may change, some things remain constant.

Simple to make, these healthy, Cheesy Crustless Mini Quiches are fun to serve (and eat!) at your Game Day celebration, movie night, or Oscar party.

Wherever you are on the night of the Academy Awards, I hope you enjoy a bite of an extra cheesy crustless quiche. I’ll be eating them, too. 

These quiches can make any occasion feel special. I chalk it up to the Cabot Cheese; I used Cabot Alpine Cheddar Cheese for this recipe, which has a nutty, smooth, melt-in-your mouth taste. I love Cabot not only because their products taste truly amazing, but also because 100 % of their profits go directly to the 1200 family-owned farms that work together in the Cabot Creamy Cooperative to make such irresistible cheese. That warms my heart; just like the Academy Awards "Best Actor" and "Best Actress" speeches.

Cheesy Crustless Mini Quiches

Makes 10-12 crustless quiches

Simple to make, these healthy, mini quiches are fun to serve (and eat!) at your Game Day celebration, movie night, or Oscar party. 

5 eggs
3 egg whites
1 cup reduced-fat milk 
6 ounces Cabot Alpine Cheddar Cheese, grated 
2 cups spinach, chopped
6 basil leaves, chopped
pinch of salt & black pepper

1.     Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray or grease your muffin tin; set aside.
2.     In a large bowl, beat eggs and milk together.
3.     Add in chopped spinach, basil leaves, cheese, salt and pepper; fold in ingredients to combine.
4.     Distribute mixture evenly among muffin cups (~1/2 cup portion each).
5.     Bake for about 20-25 minutes.
6.     Remove from oven and allow to cool for about 5 minutes on a rack.

Enjoy, preferably with those you love.

Tuesday, January 27, 2015

The Dietitian Is In: What is Camelina Oil?

When we meet someone for the first time and share what we do, it often seems to open the gateway to a game of 20 questions. “What do you think about the Paleo diet?” “It’s a good thing to give up gluten, right?” “Is a banana bad for me?” “So, do you always eat healthy?” When we’re asked these kinds of questions, we’re happy to answer them. We feel grateful that people feel comfortable enough to ask. Here's a recent question we were asked...and here's the answer!
 Question: What is camelina oil, and is it a healthy alternative oil?

Camelina oil is anticipated to be the next healthy (and popular) cooking oil. This oil is derived from a seed belonging to
 the mustard family, that has a light, nutty, and earthy flavor. Also referred to as wild flax, false flax, or gold of pleasure, camelina grows well in colder climates. It was widely grown in Eastern Europe and Russia up until the 1940s, when it was displaced by commodity crops, such as wheat and oilseed. More recently, it is making a comeback among farmers in northern areas in North America, such as Saskatchewan and Montana, as a 
low-input, sustainable
 crop that shows allelopathic properties—in this 
case, the ability to inhibit
 the growth of weeds. Aside from containing
 high levels of omega-3 fatty acids
 and vitamin E, the oil is available in cold-pressed form—a process which maintains its integrity, nutrition, and flavor. Research 
has shown positive heart health outcomes in camelina oil’s ability to reduce “bad” LDL cholesterol. And since camelina oil has a high smoke point (475° F), it makes an ideal choice for culinary uses requiring high heat. Be on the lookout for this oil on your supermarket shelves; it’s a nice addition to a healthfully stocked pantry.

This Q & A was written by McKenzie for the September 2014 issue of Environmental Nutrition.

Monday, January 26, 2015

Game Day Food You Can Feel Good About: Kick-Off Tomato Vegetable Mac-n-Cheese

Our favorite part of game day is gathering together with our friends and eating good food.  Whether or not you’re hosting your own game day party, or going to a friend’s home, make some game day food you will feel good about eating.  Your best bet: foods rich in fiber and protein (including plant-based protein), good fats, and plenty of vegetables.

Here are some ideas for game day:

·       Olive oil popcorn
·       Dips with baked chips, like our Roasted Carrot Harissa Dip or Creamy Spinach Dip
·       A baked potato & baked sweet potato bar, with all the fixings
·       Vegetarian Muffaletta

This year, we’re adding this Kick-Off Tomato Mac-n-Cheese to our menu.  With cauliflower, spicy peppers and canned tomatoes, it’s a great way to add vegetables to your menu without the carrot sticks.  Making it with whole wheat pasta boosts the fiber content.  And the sauce gets richness and creaminess from whole milk and a little bit of cheese, but it’s not a mac-n-cheese that will weigh you down.  You’ll still have enough energy to cheer!

We’d love to hear from you! What are the game day foods you feel good about eating?

Kick-Off Tomato Mac-n-Cheese

1 pound small whole wheat pasta, such as chiocciole
2 tablespoons butter
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 tablespoons whole wheat flour
3 cups whole milk
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 head cauliflower, cut into small florets
1 spicy pepper (like a cayenne or jalapeno), thinly sliced
1 30-ounce can whole fire-roasted tomatoes
6 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
¼ cup grated parmesan cheese

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cook the pasta 2 minutes less than the package directions.  Drain.

In a large pot with a heavy bottom (like enameled cast iron), melt butter over medium heat.  Add the garlic and sauté for about 30 seconds.  Add the flour and whisk together with the butter to make a smooth paste.  Cook the flour and butter for about 2 minutes.

Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly to make a smooth sauce.  Bring the milk mixture to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and let simmer for about 5 minutes.  Whisk in the salt and oregano. 

Add the cauliflower and spicy pepper and let the cauliflower and pepper cook for another 3 or 4 minutes, until the cauliflower just starts to become tender. 

Stir in the canned tomatoes, breaking up large pieces of tomatoes as you put them into the pot.  Let that mixture simmer together for a few minutes.  Turn off the heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, stirring until the cheese is melted.  Pour the cooked pasta into the sauce and turn to coat all of the pasta in the sauce.

Pour the pasta mixture into a large baking pan and cover the top with the parmesan cheese.  Place the pasta in the oven and bake for about 25 - 30 minutes, or until it is bubbling and top is golden brown.  Let the pasta sit for at least 10 minutes before serving.

Serve this while you’re cheering for your favorite team with the people you love!