Tuesday, 7 October 2014

I'm nacho parent but here's some vaguely healthy and easy snacks to try?

Sorry that was a pretty random title.
¡ Hola mis cucharones y cucharas de jalea ! (See you even get some Spanish lessons from this blog!)
This is just a quick post of some snacks that are fairly easy to prepare and taste delicious. I'm rolling out a second post today because, well, I just wrote an important essay and I thought I'd get some posts up before returning to assignments just yet.

 I found this recipe of mini quiches(about the size of a cupcake) that are vegetarian friendly because they contain artichoke and spinach. I ended up with more mix than cupcake tins(presumably because of the small cup size of the mold) and as such used it for another batch of mini quiches that were definitely not vegetarian friendly in that they had bacon in it. Yeah. Wendy and I made these for a sleepover at Sophie's in the mid-semester break and to make things easy its BYO, so voila, quiches. In any case these are adorable and delicious, the clean up is easy and the preparation isn't difficult and the baking doesn't take long.

 Artichoke and spinach Quiche Recipe:
For this recipe, I was browsing Pinterest(a must-have for everyone. Just saying.) and came across so many of these that I finally decided to open one and have a look. The reviews were all raving about how great and healthy it is so well, why not.

The recipe comes from www.gimmesomeoven.com, and goes something like this:

-1 can(14.5 ounces) can of artichoke hearts(This was found at Countdown after scanning the canned food aisle thoroughly) drained and chopped.
-1 package frozen spinach, drained(I just found a pack of spinach from my local Fruitworld and put as much spinach -washed- as I could fit, which as I found, was a lot.)
-5 eggs, whisked
-3/4 cup shredded mozzarella cheese(we just used Colby, and it tasted fine so I think it's flexible within reason)
-1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
-2/3 cup milk(any kind)
-1/2 cup chopped white onion
-2 cloves garlic, minced
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/4teaspoon pepper
(NB: I would suggest cutting up the artichoke hearts and spinach slightly smaller so it can fit better; we realised that the spinach leaves were using a lot of space because we didn't chop it up.)
-Preheat the oven to 177(~180) degrees Celsius, or 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Prepare 12 baking cups by either spraying them liberally with cooking spray or lining them with paper lines. Alternatively you can grease them with margarine/butter and it should be alright too. Worked with ours.

 -Stir all ingredients together in a large mixing bowl until combined. Portion the mixture into the 12 prepared baking cups until they are nearly full. (We decided to sprinkle the cheese manually and ended up with leftover of that too.)

-Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the eggs are set and a toothpick inserted in the middle of the quiche comes out clean, serve immediately(Alternatively just keep watching it until you deem it ready and the toothpick comes out clean which should be about 10-15mins? )
The mix had to be spooned in and as you can see the spinach is being riotous.


Mine is a rubber "tin" which is really handy for taking things out. Also fairly easily cleaned.

Final form; in a metal dish ready to be taken to the sleepover I went to at the time of baking.
These were a little bland; possibly because we didn't mix too well. I would suggest individual seasoning.

Bacon Quiche recipe:

As mentioned earlier, I had about 2 cups of spinach and artichoke mix left so I just added 3 more eggs to the mix and used it up. I used Edmonds reduced fat savoury short pastry(I didn't really look at the label, the picture just looked right so I grabbed it from the frozen section at Countdown. This means I think like the mozzarella cheese it's flexible). Using a cup I cut circles in the pastry to put at the bottom of the cupcake mold. It's best to work fast because the pastry thaws quite quickly and sticks to itself.

For the rest of the filling, I just cut up some streaky bacon and some jellybean cherry tomatoes(Which are pretty good on their own by the way!) and placed them in each cup manually rather than dumping them into the mix(like the cheese in the previous quiche batch). That way they're more likely to have equal distribution and not get lost in the spinach, see? Be as liberal as you'd like, quiches seem to be able to have anything(within reason) as long as it fits and doesn't burn too fast. I also used up the remaining cheese and half an onion. Like the artichoke and spinach quiches, it baked in about 15ish minutes. However I took it out after 5 more minutes of the toothpick coming out clean because it was a bit pale.

These ones smelt so good so I had to taste one; delicious. They taste better than they look, honest.
So that concludes the quiche recipe. Keep in mind that you can probably just use a larger dish and increase the ingredients proportionally and end up with a big quiche if you'd like. Here's some other posts I'd like to include in the post;
I find them at the butcher's near Fruitworld and Classic bakery near the Greenlane Countdown, but I assume you can find them at Tai Ping or other Asian supermarts. If you toast them, the outside stays crunchy and has a nice toasted flavour but the inside becomes warm, gooey and seriously amazing with their salty caramel-like goodness. Mind you, it's not quite as nice before it's toasted, and it's best eaten while still warm. The inside is pretty hot though so be careful not to burn your tongue(speaking from experience as you may have guessed).

These are pretty self explanatory; spread cream cheese on and place thinly sliced cucumber as you like, then slice it into 4 triangles just because it's cuter and more yummy that way. I'm not sure how healthy the cream cheese aspect is but it's just an example of easy food. An alternative might be spreading avocado and putting other sliced up sandwich fillings in. The point is, make a sandwich instead of eating cookies.

Okay nachos are just awesome. You can have it as a snack or for a meal, depending on how much you make. I know you might hate our ad lib recipes but honestly nachos and quiches don't require you to be exact to the millimetre.
For this recipe, we used about 2 packs of minced beef and fried it lightly with some olive oil(Medium heat maybe, so it doesn't burn before the other ingredients are cooked). We then added a can of tomato puree(I think it was Watties but I can't be totally sure) because I like the occasional chunks, and just kept adding tomato sauce until we decided it didn't look dry. We also chucked in 1/2 of a big onion, chopped up. Since a majority of the sauce was tomato sauce I wanted to add a little more tomato so I added in my favoured jellybean tomatoes cut in half and stirred in.
We made some tin foil 'containers' and poured some corn chips in(any will do, but we did find a brand that said it was suitable for nachos). For 4-5 people(or  hungry people and an adult), we used about 1.5 bags of corn chips(The big kind). We sliced some Colby cheese and placed under a few chips, then on the chips, then poured the mince mix on and placed even more cheese on. To melt it we just used grill, though this means you have to keep a close eye on it because the cheese closest to the back will melt and bubble a lot faster and you have to make sure it doesn't burn. I would guess the melting took about 10 minutes max? Depends on your oven.
Excuse the dirty oven window; it was already like that when we moved in.

This honestly smells and tastes so good I'm just getting hungry looking at it again.
So this concludes the second post of the night!! I'd also like to give credits to W and Songie for usually being the ones who make the food. 3 in the kitchen is a bit of a hassle so I just stay out of it generally.
Muchas Gracias~
Just the One Lamb

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