Food & Drink

Yes, you can have a gluten-free crust for a quiche

Cooked, chilled quinoa is the base for the gluten-free crust on Spinach and Feta Quiche.
Cooked, chilled quinoa is the base for the gluten-free crust on Spinach and Feta Quiche. Gretchen McKay/Pittsburgh Post-Gazette/TNS

Homemade quiche can be a problem for cooks who don’t like to play with pastry dough, as well as diners who want to steer clear of gluten. Enter quinoa, a protein-packed, grain-like seed that’s been nourishing people for more than 3,000 years.

A safe and healthy alternative to wheat, cooked quinoa (pronounced “keen-wah”) is a perfect building material for a tasty – and super easy – pie crust when mixed with some beaten egg and a pinch of salt and freshly ground pepper.

Any number of fillings lend themselves to the nutty taste of a quinoa crust, but spinach coupled with salty, slightly tangy feta pairs especially well. Served with a bright citrus salad or bowl of fresh fruit, this cheesy quiche makes just as good of a dinner as it does a lunch or brunch dish. And you don’t have to feel guilty if you feel like taking a second helping; a quarter-pan wedge has just 309 calories.

Spinach and Feta Quiche With Quinoa Crust

From “Cooking the Counts” by the Editors of Cooking Light (Oxmoor House; January 2017; $21.95).

For crust:

2 cups cooked quinoa, chilled

1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper

Dash of salt

1 large egg, beaten

Cooking spray

For filling:

1 teaspoon canola oil

1/2 onion, thinly sliced

5-ounce bag baby spinach

1/2 cup low-fat milk

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 teaspoon each black pepper and crushed red pepper

4 large eggs

2 large egg whites

1 1/2 ounces (1/3 cup) feta cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Make crust: Combine quinoa, pepper, salt and egg in a bowl, stirring well. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Bake 20 minutes; cool.

Make filling: Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add oil to pan and swirl to coat. Add onion and saute for 3 minutes. Add spinach and saute for 3 minutes. Remove from heat and cool.

Whisk together milk, salt, black and red peppers, eggs and egg whites. Arrange spinach mixture in crust, and pour egg mixture over spinach. Sprinkle with feta cheese.

Bake for 35 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes, then cut into 4 wedges. Serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings.