Spinach, Leek & Goats Cheese Quiche With Homemade Shortcrust Pastry

Making your own shortcrust pastry can feel a little daunting at first, but let me assure you it is worth the extra effort. Crumbly butter crust that melts in your mouth is what makes a this quiche so pleasing.

Quiche is perfect for lunch or a light dinner with a nice green salad, It also is freezable if you don’t have family or friends (as we are still in quarantine) to share this with. Maybe making this for a neighbour or family to door drop as good gesture is also a lovely idea at this present time. Only if your part of the world allows.

You will need a food processor to make this pastry. There is a few easy to follow steps to making a shortcrust pastry, resting time in the fridge and rolling out and blind baking. With this extra time home at the moment it’s been an ideal time to enjoy the art and process of baking wouldn’t you agree?

Once the pastry has set in the fridge it will be easier to handle without the butter softening making the pastry break. You will then need to carefully mould the pastry into the tin, prick the pastry and blind bake, using baking paper and baking weights or rice so it doesn’t rise, puff and bubble.

Blind baking simply means pre baking the crust before filling with uncooked fillings. It is important to do this process or the crust won’t cook and pie/tart will be raw and soggy.

Once you have blind baked your pastry you can now fill it with your choice of filling. I have chosen to make a vegetarian quiche with spinach, leek and goat’s cheese. The flavours work really nice together but you can definitely use other cheeses like feta or ricotta if you prefer or leave out completely.

Word of warning the crust is quite fragile especially when just removed from the oven. As you can see from the above picture I rushed handling it as I’m always a little too eager and impatient when I cook and some of crust crumbled, though to be honest I like the rustic look makes it seem more homemade and authentic. Leave the quiche to cool slightly before slicing and serving. I enjoy it warm but you can also serve this cold.

Spinach, Leek and Goat's Cheese Quiche with Homemade Shortcrust

  • Servings: 8
  • Difficulty: a little time and patience needed
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Ingredients

Shortcrust Pastry

2 cups plain flour

1 tsp salt

150g cold unsalted butter, chopped

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 tbsp cold milk

Filling

1 tbsp olive oil

2 garlic cloves, crushed

1 leek, cleaned & roughly sliced

170g english spinach, chopped

4 eggs large

1/2 cup milk

1/2 cup pouring cream

1/2 tsp salt

pinch pepper

3 tbsp plain flour

1 cup parmesan cheese, grated

75g goats cheese

Directions

  1. To make pastry: Place flour, salt and butter in a food processor and process until resembles fine breadcrumbs.
  2. Add the egg, milk and process until a dough consistency forms.
  3. Roll out dough in between two sheets of baking paper to approx 4mm think. Place in the fridge for 15mins.
  4. Preheat the oven to 200’C. Lay the pastry over a tart form tin with removable pop out base. Gently push into the form trimming the edges. Place in the fridge for a further 30 minutes.
  5. Prick the pastry all over with a fork line with baking paper and place baking weights or uncooked rice in the middle to weigh it down. Bake for 15 minutes then remove the paper and bake for a further 10-15 minutes until golden.
  6. Meanwhile make the filling. Heat a frypan with the olive oil on medium heat and cook garlic and leeks for 1 minute add spinach cook until soft. Once cooked remove from heat and set a side.
  7. In a large bowl whisk the eggs, milk and cream together. Add the flour, salt and pepper, and parmesan cheese, mix well to combine.
  8. Once the pastry shell is cooked, remove and lower heat of oven to 180’C. Make sure you have the tart tin placed on a baking tray for easy movement.
  9. Spread the cooked spinach and leeks in the pastry shell evenly on the base, carefully pour the egg mixture on top. Crumble the goats cheese into large pieces and evenly place in the mix.
  10. Carefully place the quiche in the oven and bake for 50-55mins or until golden and set. Rest for 10 minutes before removing from tin and serving.

Zucchini & Corn Lunchbox Muffins

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This would have to be one of my all time favourite kids recipes that I make almost every week. Originally a zucchini slice recipe that my mother passed on to me when I had children, now I have shared this with so many of my friends and now you all.

My kids just love having them as individual size muffins. It’s easy for them to eat and makes for a perfect lunchbox size snack. Another way of hiding those pesky veggies in a way they will love with sweet corn, ham, eggs and cheese. They don’t last too long in my house so making a double batch is necessary for me if you want them to longer. Freezer friendly, wrap them in cling wrap and pack them frozen by lunch time they will be thawed just in time to eat. (more…)

Clean and Green Detox Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

This is one clean salad packed with all the good stuff. Whether it’s a light dinner, as a side or meal prep weekday lunches this salad is as healthy as it comes. Low in calories, anti inflammatory, vitamin enriched, and a good source of iron and plant protein. Ticks all the boxes to get back into healthy eating. You could also add some shredded chicken if you prefer.

This creamy avocado dressing is the perfect addition to this salad or any salad to be honest. Adds a beautiful texture and flavour to your salad with added essential good fats. Keeps well in a jar in the fridge for a few days.

Clean and Green Detox Salad with Creamy Avocado Dressing

GF, Vegan, Vegetarian

Ingredients

1 head broccoli, stalk removed florets roughly chopped

4 spring onions, sliced

100g green beans, chopped

2 cups baby spinach leaves

Handful parsley, chopped

Handful mint, chopped

1 chillies, finely chopped

2 tbsp mixed sunflower and pumpkin seeds

1 tbsp chia seeds

1/2 cup raw almonds, roughly chopped

50g goats or feta cheese

Salt and Pepper

Optional- pomegranate seeds

*omit cheese for vegan option

*optional add shredded chicken

Creamy Avocado Dressing

1 avocado, peeled deseeded

3/4 cup olive oil

Juice of 1 lemon

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar

Salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Place all salad ingredients in a large bowl. Mix to combine
  2. To make dressing, place avocado, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, salt and pepper in a food processor and blitz on high speed until smooth.
  3. Serve salad with Avocado Dressing.

Veggie Pad Thai Noodles with Peanut Sesame Dressing

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Pad Thai is one of the most well-known Thai dishes in Australia and around the world even scoring the title of one of the most ordered takeaway dishes back in 2014. It’s tasty, not too spicy yet still packed with flavour it is easy to see why it has become so popular.

Tradionally the dressing/sauce is made with a flavour combination of salty, sweet and sour, not unlike majority of Thai dishes yet this dressing I have served it with has the addition of peanut butter adding that creamy texture and flavour that takes it to a whole new level of deliciousness.  Pad Thai is typically made with flat rice noodles and a meat protein such as chicken, beef or prawns. I have opted to make it vegetarian and used gluten-free buckwheat noodles instead, only because I didn’t have any flat rice noodles in the house (really didn’t make any difference at all).

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Cauliflower, Corn and Cannellini Bean Chowder

Soup season is upon us and what better way to start the winter off  than with a big bowl of nourishing cauliflower chowder. We often associate chowder with the classic seafood chowder with its thick, creamy consistency it naturally  sounds and feels comforting in these colder months.

This vegetarian version is a lighter take on an authentic chowder recipe which is normally made with floury potatoes and heavy cream. Can also be easily made vegan with the elimination of the cheese. Even though it doesn’t contain those heavy ingredients with the addition of the cannellini beans it simulates the same sort of fulfilling comfort.

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