Mini Cauliflower Crust Broccoli Quiches

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The coveted cauliflower crust ain’t just for pizza, my friends. We’re taking it to a whole new level today, expanding cauliflower crusts to the realms of brunch and appetizers. Because here at Smart Cookie, we think and eat outside the box, or in this case, outside the pizza.

My Mini Cauliflower Crust Broccoli Quiches are going to change the way you think about healthy brunch foods. When you go to a brunch, your healthy eating options usually include fruit, water, and maybe a nice floral arrangement. You’d likely see some quiche, but you wouldn’t touch it with a 10-foot pole because regular quiche is several hundred calories per slice.

But guess what? My Cauliflower Crust Quiches will cost you around 200 calories for the ENTIRE RECIPE. Now, unless you have ten stomachs like me, I highly doubt you’ll need the whole recipe to satisfy you, so think of how guiltlessly you can gorge.

You can have as many of these crispy-crusted quiches with their tender filling, fresh basil, and melted mozzarella as you like; they won’t bite you in the butt after (or go straight to your butt, for that matter). They’re darn delicious and surprisingly filling thanks to the protein-packed eggs and fiber-rich crusts.

The magical cauliflower crust does it again!DSC_9555

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Find my classic Cauliflower Pizza Crust recipe here.
  2. My version of the cauliflower crust is much better for you than the majority of other cauliflower crust recipes because they use gobs of mozzarella cheese, which totally defeats the purpose of making it healthier than traditional crusts, and I use fat-free ricotta, a healthier low-cal alternative.
  3. Can’t find the low-fat cheese sticks I used? Sub in a sprinkle of parmesan instead.
  4. I imagine you could make this recipe into a full-sized quiche, but I’ll have to test that and get back to you.
  5. Use fresh basil. The flavor is incomparable. I am the first to admit, I HATE chopping fresh herbs, but once I taste the finale product, I know it was well worth it.DSC_9510

Mini Cauliflower Crust Broccoli Quiches
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

For the Crust

  • 1 small head cauliflower, chopped
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ¼ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 2 tbsp. fat-free ricotta cheese
  • ¼ cup Egg Beaters

For the Filling

  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1 bag Green Giant Broccoli Steamers
  • ½ tsp. minced garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • 2 tsp. grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 50-calorie light mozzarella cheese stick (like Sargento), pulled into strings and finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. chopped fresh basil, for garnish

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a mini muffin tin with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.
  2. Place cauliflower in a large microwave-safe dish. Fill halfway with water then cover and microwave until tender, about 5 minutes. Drain.
  3. In a food processor, pulse the cauliflower until it resembles the size and texture of rice. Use papers towels to squeeze dry as much as you can.
  4. In a medium bowl, mix together cauliflower, salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil, ricotta, and Egg Beaters until evenly combined. Make sure you break up the clumps of ricotta well.
  5. Press about a tablespoon of cauliflower mixture into each cup of the muffin tin, shaping it to the cup in an even layer. Bake until set and just starting to brown around the edges, about 15 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, cook broccoli according to packaged direction. Chop or puree in food processor to make smaller if you like.
  7. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Egg Beaters, broccoli, garlic, salt, and parmesan. When the crusts are done prebaking, spoon about 2 tsp. of egg mixture into each crust so that they are 2/3-full. Return to oven and bake for another 10 minutes, or until quiches are puffed and set, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. During the last few minutes of cooking, sprinkle the mozzarella cheese over top and let melt.
  8. Let quiches sit for one minute before using a fork to gently twist and loosen the quiches. Then use the fork and your fingers to carefully transfer the quiches to a plate and serve. Garnish with fresh basil.DSC_9576

Eggs in Pepper Rings + How-To Video

I grew up eating the classic Egg in Bread, or Egg in a Hole, Egg in a Window, whatever-the-heck you prefer to call it. Such a simple little meal, but so darn delicious all the same. As is the case with most classics, you start to wonder if there’s a way to revamp or reinvent the tried and true dishes you love so much. Bread’s a great vehicle for little eggs, but what other kind of vessels are out there?

Pretty little pepper rings make the perfect carriage for an egg in these Eggs in Pepper Rings. They add a pop of color, plus bold and fresh flavor. These cute little guys will wake you right up with their pepper power. Plus, all that protein in the tender, filling eggs gives you the energy you need to get your butt in action in the morning (and to make it to lunch without eating your arm).

Don’t feel limited to breakfast though; make this colorful meal any time of day. Delectable and vibrant, they’re a great snack, lunch, or even dinner. Break(fast) the rules!

Check out my video for a step-by-step breakdown for making these beautifully easy eggs. It’s eggcellent!

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Although these eggs are great as is, you can dress them up with cheese, fresh herbs, or slap ’em on a sandwich. Also feel free to serve with sausage or bacon.
  2. If you don’t like a runny egg, then you’ll have to flip the eggs & cook on both sides to get it thoroughly cooked through.
  3. Fresh herbs make all the difference here.
  4. Any cheese would be tasty on here: parmesan, cheddar, or mozzarella.
  5. Serve over hashbrowns for an extra special treat.
  6. Letting the peppers cook for a few minutes before adding the eggs gets them nice and hot so they act as a wall when you add the egg and keep it from spreading.

Eggs in Pepper Rings
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield: 4 eggs

Ingredients:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil or butter
  • 1 red pepper, sliced into 2 1-inch thick rings
  • 1 green pepper, sliced into 2 1-inch thick rings
  • 4 large eggs
  • salt, to taste
  • pepper, to taste
  • 2 tsp. fresh chopped basil

Directions:

  1. Bring a large skillet to medium heat. Drizzle with olive oil. Lay a ring down on the hot pan and let cook for 2-5 minutes, or until nice and hot.
  2. Reduce heat to medium low. Crack an egg directly in the center of the egg. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, or until set. You can set a lid over top to steam it and cook it through quicker. If you like your eggs less runny, flip the egg halfway through.
  3. Garnish with salt, pepper, and basil. Plate and serve.

Healthy Cookie: Mean Green Stuffed Omelet Machine

As a vegetarian, I eat a lot of eggs, more than I care to, really. They’re a go-to meal for me since they’re super rich in protein but contrastingly low in calories. It’s a win-win. However, it’s hard to look at eggs positively after you eat them the same way time and time again. I get really bored, really fast.

Just when I was praying for a way to shake up the same old scramble, I stumbled upon this Big Green Omelet recipe on Hungry Girl. I liked the concept, but some of the ingredients didn’t appeal to me (mushrooms, Laughing Cow cheese). So I switched out some stuff and Smart Cookiefied it to create the Mean Green Stuffed Omelet Machine.

This omelet is a food super hero, packed with protein and vitamins to make it mighty nutritious. Everybody needs a hero in their diet to make them strong…and full. The Mean Green Stuffed Omelet is just the meal for the job.

It’s every bit as hearty as it sounds: A fluffy omelet stuffed with 2 kinds of cheese (creamy ricotta & salty parmesan), fresh spinach, tender green beans, tangy shallots, and good old garlic. The filling alone is so flavor, cheesy, and packed with good stuff that I barely need the egg to go with. But the two in combination make for one seriously filling and substantial meal.

Eating healthy doesn’t have to mean eating ho-hum. Don’t settle for boring or unsatisfying; Enjoy this hearty, super-stuffed omelet for under 200 calories.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Really any green veggie will do in the stuffing, but I love refreshing green bean twist.
  2. Grated parmesan is fine in the filling.
  3. I use Egg Beaters because they’re convenient and good for you.
  4. There are two ways to cook this depending on if you can multitask. Make the filling and then the egg, or make them both at once.

Mean Green Stuffed Omelet Machine
Inspired by Hungry Girl

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1/4 tsp. minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp. vegetable stock
  • 1 small shallot or 1/2 a large shallot, chopped
  • 3/4 cup frozen green beans
  • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach
  • 2 tbsp. fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 2 tbsp. shredded parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/8 tsp. pepper

Directions:

  1. In a medium skillet sprayed with nonstick cooking spray, cook the garlic, onions, and green beans in the vegetable stock over medium heat until green beans start to soften. Add the spinach and continue to cook until green beans are completely tender to your liking and spinach is wilted. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Remove from eat and stir in ricotta and parmesan. Cover and set aside.
  2. Cook the egg beaters in a small skillet over low heat until done to your liking. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Spread the filling on top of the omelet then fold in half and serve. *If you’re good at multitasking, cook the egg and the filling at the same time.

Healthy Cookie: Mini Broccolini Ricotta Frittata

Tell me that’s not the cutest name for a recipe you’ve ever heard. Just say it out loud once. Go ahead: Mini Broccolini Ricotta Frittata.

Doesn’t it make you giggle?

I love foods that put a smile on your face (which, for me, is most foods). Although a frittata isn’t exactly the first candidate that comes to mind when you think of fun, cheerful foods, you’re going to find that this Mini Broccolini Ricotta Frittata changes your mind. What makes a frittata fun you ask? It’s a combination of great flavors, a fluffy texture, and guilt-free stats you can feel good about. This whole hearty frittata is all yours for under 200 calories.

Now are you feeling joyful?

If all that protein and nutrient-rich goodness doesn’t cheer you up, then the first forkful sure will. This frittata has a pillowy texture thanks to the ricotta that gets mixed right in. Adding that creamy cheese makes this taste very indulgent, when in reality, it’s the exact opposite. In fact, we’re using fat-free ricotta, which mean you get decadent cheesy taste without the fat or calories.

Then we add broccolini, which is essentially mini broccoli, because mini stuff makes everything more fun. Fresh oregano and garlic take the flavor scale over the top, proving that healthy foods don’t have to be flavorless. Finally, the generous layer of gooey mozzarella cheese on top will make you truly question how this frittata could be guilt-free.

Don’t let the deliciousness mess with your head; this eggy baby tastes good while being good for you too.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. If you can’t find broccolini, use regular broccoli or broccoli rabe.
  2. Spinach would be delicious instead as well.
  3. Add red pepper flakes to add a touch of heat.
  4. You could use parmesan or feta instead of the reduced-fat mozzarella on top.
  5. This makes a single serving, but feel free to double, triple, etc. in order to feed multiple mouths.

Mini Broccolini Ricotta Frittata
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup Egg Beaters
  • 3 tbsp. fat-free ricotta cheese
  • 1/3 cup chopped broccolini
  • 1/4 tsp. fresh chopped oregano, plus more for garnish
  • 1/2 tsp. minced garlic
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • 1 light mozzarella cheese stick, like Sargento

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray a 10-oz. ramekin or baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Tear the mozzarella stick into strings and roughly chop. Set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the Egg Beaters and ricotta cheese. Stir in the broccolini, oregano, garlic, salt and pepper. Pour into greased ramekin and bake for 30-45 minutes or until top is set and the middle is still a bit wiggly. Top with the mozzarella cheese and bake for another 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted and a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Sprinkle with fresh oregano & enjoy.


Mini Zucchini Frittatas

Everything is so much cuter when it’s mini. Cupcakes, cats, DQ Blizzards…you name it. Even shoes are cuter when they’re tiny. Try and tell me you’ve never walked into the children’s section at a shoe store and gone, “OMG, LOOK AT THESE. THEY’RE SO SMALL!”

These mini frittatas are the perfect example of the appeal generated when something is miniaturized. Regular frittatas are good. Mini frittatas are great. My Mini Zucchini Frittatas are bite-sized and fun to eat. You’ve probably never thought of frittatas as finger food, but these little guys will open your mind. Don’t be deceived by their small surface area; these babies are packing even more flavor than a full-sized frittata.

Each little bite of eggy goodness is perfectly sized to cradle a slice of fresh zucchini. Just look at the photos, and you’ll know these mini frittatas were just begging for it. The zucchini serves a two-fold purpose: one, it’s so cute on top of the little frittatas, and two, it adds a bite of freshness and flavor. The zucchini cooks just perfectly upon the eggs, turning tender while still retaining a bit of crispness.

I also employ a generous amount of tangy, salty parmesan cheese. Scallions and garlic lend their fragrant flavors as well. You can eat these guys plain or do as I like to and dip them into marinara sauce. It’s so fun and delicious!

Now I must divulge the secret to cooking my mini frittatas: a Babycakes Maker. For those who are unaware, Babycakes Makers are meant for cooking up mini cupcakes and muffins in a matter of minutes. I, however, have expanded its possibilities to Pancake Poppers, frittatas, and more. It steams my mini frittatas just right, cooking them through all the way until they reach fluffy perfection. It’s super quick, and just so darn fun! However, if you don’t have a Babycakes Maker, never fear. You can cook these guys in mini muffin tins in the oven instead.

A Few Tips Before You Get Cooking:

  1. Don’t like parmesan? Use a low-fat cheddar or mozzarella instead.
  2. Shallots would be lovely in place of the onions.
  3. Warning: your Babycakes Maker is going to make some scary noises while these guys are cooking, but don’t be afraid! It’s totally normally; it’s the sound of the heat rising through these hot frittata tamales. Be strong and frittata on!
  4. Make sure you spray the Babycakes Maker liberally with nonstick spray or you’ll leave half the frittata behind in the pan.
  5. These are great for party appetizers or brunch.
  6. These are super low-calorie, so they make a great healthy meal.

Mini Zucchini Frittatas
By The Smart Cookie Cook

Yield: 16 mini frittatas

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup Egg Beaters
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/4 cup chopped scallions
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper
  • 1 zucchini, sliced into 16 1/4-inch slices
  • 16 teaspoons shredded parmesan cheese (about 6 tablespoons)
  • marinara sauce, for dipping

Special Equipment: Babycakes Maker or mini muffin tin*

Directions:

  1. Preheat your babycakes maker. Liberally spray with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg beaters, garlic, scallions, grated parmesan, salt and pepper. When the babycakes maker is hot, quickly poor about a tablespoon of egg mixture into each slot; they should be 2/3 full. Place a slice of zucchini on top of each frittata and close. Let cook for 5-10 minutes, or until golden brown and center is cooked through all the way. Use a fork and knife to gently lift the frittatas out and onto a serving plate. They will come out big and fluffy then deflate, don’t worry. Immediately sprinkle a teaspoon of shredded parmesan onto each frittatta. Cover and let the cheese melt. Serve with sauce for dipping.

*If using a mini muffin tin, preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pan liberally with nonstick cooking spray. Fill the tins until 2/3 full and top each with a slice of zucchini. Sprinkle a teaspoon of grated cheese on each and bake until golden brown and centers are set.