The Meatless Meal

‘Tis the season. Lent that is. This Wednesday kicked off the Lenten season and had me thinking about how to put together tasty, healthy meals that were meatless. Usually, if I try and serve a meal without some sort of meat, my husband will look at me like I have 3 heads. But even he can’t argue with a meatless meal during Lent! And while I always look forward to trying new recipes, my imagination gets stretched pretty thin towards the end of Lent. By the 5th or 6th Friday, I’m probably serving up some scrambled eggs or pancakes for dinner. Certainly not the most healthy option, and definitely not creative.

Ash Wednesday was here before I knew it. I found myself in the Teeter to pick up some heavy cream, because I planned on using the leeks and goat cheese I had in the fridge to make a quiche. I planned on serving it with a simple side salad. Since I was shopping without the kids – oh what a treat – I picked up an issue of Cooks Illustrated and (warning: never shop hungry) decided that I would expand on the leeky theme and make the leek and potato soup from that issue. Oh, and the chewy chocolate brownies.

The quiche is super simple! For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups flour
  • 8tbps butter
  • 5-6 tbps ice water
  • pinch sea salt

I use the food processor – pulse diced cold butter with flour/salt until it looks a bit like coarse cornmeal. Then slowly add water. I’ve learned the hard way that if your dough starts to come together in a ball during this stage, you’ve added too much water and your crust will be tough and brittle. It should still look coarse, but you should be able to pinch it and it will hold together. Pre-bake it @ 425 degrees for about 15 minutes… don’t forget those pie weights!

Here’s the prepared crust, topped with the goat cheese and sauteed leeks.
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For the filling:

  • 6 eggs
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • salt to taste

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Bake in the 425 degree oven for about 30 minutes, or until the middle is set. Here it is fresh from the oven.

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And our first meatless meal of the Lenten season. I took a picture of Josh’s plate… I ate a WHOLE lot more than that! And I found the soup recipe to be very delicious – and so easy too! It’s in this month’s issue of Cook’s Illustrated.

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Oh, and the brownies were good too. Josh loved them, which is odd because he typically does not like chocolatey desserts. I didn’t take a picture though, because although they tasted very good, they were a gooey mess. The recipe calls for a baking time of 30-35 minutes – I baked mine for close to 40 and they were still a little undercooked.

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