Archive for the ‘Lunches’ category

Kale and Swiss Cheese Quiche

March 12th, 2012

Kale and Swiss cheese quiche

Oh, quiche.  I love you so, and yet I rarely make you.  I don’t know why, as you aren’t exactly a complicated dish to prepare.  Bake some pastry, saute some veggies, whisk some eggs, and voila!  Dinner (after a quick stint in the oven) is served!

1 round of pastry (see here for my usual recipe)
3 cups finely chopped kale
1 leek, halved and thinly sliced
1/2 tbsp olive oil
salt & pepper
1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1 cup shredded Swiss cheese
3 tbsp flour
4 eggs
1/4 cup milk

Roll out your pastry and fit it into the bottom of a pie pan.
Bake the pie crust for 10 minutes at 400º while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
Cook the kale and leeks in the olive oil until softened – about 7 minutes.
Mix the veggies, cheese, seasoning and flour in a large bowl.
Take the pie crust out of the oven and lower the temperature to 350º.
Pat the cheese and veggie mix into the bottom of the pie.
In the same bowl you used for the veggies and cheese, whisk together the eggs and milk.
Slowly pour the egg mixture over the quiche fillings.  At this point, you can also sprinkle on some bonus cheese, if desired.
Bake the quiche for 30-40 minutes, or until the egg at the middle is set.

FARM (finally)

May 3rd, 2011

After wanting to visit for the past two years, I finally made it to Calgary to have lunch at FARM, Janice Beaton’s sweet little bistro.  It was a late lunch – 2:00pm – so I’d missed out on the sandwiches.  No worries there, as the salads looked like the perfect meal for the first epically sunny day of spring.

Salad at FARM

I had the spring salad, which featured Broxburn cherry tomatoes, crispy torn croutons, pickled red onions and thin slices of fresh asparagus and green beans.  The dressing was buttermilk-based – perfect with the chunks of 3 year cheddar that replaced the salad’s usual smattering of feta.

The restaurant’s decor is casual and homey, with blackboard menus and kitchen-style chairs.  As I was on a quest for shoes and didn’t have a cooler to safely transport any food purchases, I skipped the temptations of the attached cheese shop.  This also kept me from breaking out into any long-winded, Monty-Python-inspired speeches.  Next time, I’ll come properly equipped to bring home some of the local cheese and sausage and make the most of the Janice Beaton experience.

Farm on Urbanspoon

Asparagus Tart with Goat Cheese

April 10th, 2011

Asparagus tart

What to do with a bunch of asparagus and some leftover whole wheat pastry dough?  Make a lunchtime tart, of course.  This came together very simply – a quick rolling of dough, sprinkling of cheese, laying out of the asparagus and it was ready to pop in the oven to bake.  The resulting combination of flaky pastry, gooey cheese and nutty asparagus was perfect with a side green salad and a cup of hot tea.

1 batch whole wheat pastry dough
1 bunch of thin asparagus spears
1/2 cup shredded goat cheese
1/4 cup shredded Asiago cheese
salt & pepper

On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry dough.  You want a rectangle large enough to hold the long asparagus spears.
Roll up the four edges of the rectangle, creating a low border to hold in the cheese.
Sprinkle on the goat cheese, lay out the asparagus, then top with the Asiago and a fresh grinding of salt and pepper.
Bake at 375º for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown and the cheese is bubbling.
Cut into quarters and serve.

The pastry will be flakiest if you leave the dough in the fridge overnight and roll it from very, very cold.  Don’t overwork the dough when rolling or it will be tough.
The goat cheese I used is a hard cheese, more like a Swiss than a feta.  It is infused with garlic and nettle, which adds to the flavour of the tart.  If you’re using plain goat cheese, I’d add a sprinkling of fresh thyme along with the salt and pepper to add some smoky depth to the tart.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

February 14th, 2011

Heart-shaped salami!

How cute is this salami?  My local deli has been carrying it for a while, but I waited until this week to try it.  It didn’t seem right to have any before Valentine’s Day.  Apart from being adorable, it’s also tasty – a bit like a semi-spicy Genoa.  Just the thing for a quick but special lunch!

Fruit and Nut Yogurt Cups

September 1st, 2010

With my new job comes a new challenge: box lunches.  I’m now working across town at our shiny new branch library, as opposed to being a quick walk from the downtown library.  This spells the end of dashing home for lunch and tossing something together from scratch.  I’ll be packing my lunch to take with me every morning which means a complete overhaul of my lunch process.  I’ve been scavenging for grain and bean salad recipes, reading the Moosewood Restaurant Daily Special cookbook for soup ideas and trying to make sure I hit all the food groups with whatever I end up tossing in my lunch bag.

The lunch idea that has made me happiest came from The Kitchn, over at Apartment Therapy:

Lunchtime yogurt cup

Simple Mason jar yogurt cups.  This one is has blackberries on the bottom, smothered with 2% yogurt and sprinkled with almonds.  Next up: blueberries with toasted walnuts.  Then maybe some pineapple and coconut, or applesauce and raisins.  Endless possibilities and endless lunchtime smiles.

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