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Eating for Life | Savory quiche goes gluten-free

Who needs pastry when you have a potato crust?

By JILL WENDHOLT SILVA
The Kansas City Star

If you count yourself among the 1 out of every 133 Americans who suffers from celiac disease, you have probably bid adieu to such baked goods as bread, bagels, pasta and pie.

To manage their condition, those with celiac avoid wheat, rye, barley and oats. These cereal grains contain gluten, a protein that helps breads rise and retain their structure. As more people follow a gluten-free diet, food manufacturers have been devising products to cater to them.

The U.S. sales of gluten-free foods and beverages are projected to exceed $5 billion by 2015, according to Packaged Facts. What was once a niche market is going mainstream as big manufacturers figure out ways to make Chex Mix and Busch beer gluten-free.

While gluten-free products serve a need, they can be pricey. When it comes to figuring out an alternative crust, inexpensive potatoes can fill the bill. The Star’s Potato-Crusted Quiche uses shredded potatoes to make a nest of hash browns. The cook simply adds vegetables, then pours an egg white and skim milk mixture to bind. Garnish with low-fat mozzarella for a gluten-free alternative that can satisfy the whole family.

• Cooking tip: It is especially quick and easy to shred potatoes using a food processor.

Potato-Crusted Quiche

Makes 6 servings

Crust:

1 pound russet potatoes, peeled (about 3 medium potatoes)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Nonstick spray coating

Filling:

1 teaspoon olive oil

1/2 medium zucchini, thinly sliced (about 1 cup sliced)

1/2 medium red bell pepper, chopped

2 cups fresh trimmed spinach leaves, coarsely chopped

1 egg

2 egg whites

1/2 cup fat-free milk

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning

1/2 cup shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

1/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese

For crust, preheat oven to 425 degrees. Shred potatoes. (It will make about 2 cups shredded potatoes). Place shredded potatoes in a colander and drain well. Season potatoes with salt and pepper. Spray a 9-inch pie plate with nonstick coating. Spoon potatoes into pie plate, patting evenly across the bottom of the plate and up the sides to resemble a crust. Generously spray with nonstick spray. Bake, uncovered, 40 to 45 minutes or until potatoes are light golden brown.

For filling, meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add zucchini and red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until zucchini is tender. Add spinach and cook, stirring frequently, 2 minutes or until spinach has wilted and any moisture evaporates. Spoon cooked vegetables into center of potato crust, arranging evenly across the crust.

In a small bowl, whisk together egg, egg whites, milk and Italian seasoning. Slowly pour egg-milk mixture evenly over vegetables, allowing mixture to seep down around vegetables. Sprinkle evenly with mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake, uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until knife inserted in center comes out clean. Allow to stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Per serving: 139 calories (27 percent from fat), 4 grams total fat (2 grams saturated), 43 milligrams cholesterol, 17 grams carbohydrates, 9 grams protein, 249 milligrams sodium, 2 grams dietary fiber.

Recipe developed for The Star by professional home economists Kathryn Moore and Roxanne Wyss. To reach Jill Wendholt Silva, The Star’s food editor and restaurant critic, call 816-234-4347, send email to jsilva@kcstar.com or follow her on Facebook.

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