Lunch Menu With Quiche

by Meg Jernigan

    Quiche is simply a savory custard cooked in a pie shell filled with whatever ingredients suit the cook. Easy preparations, including fixing the side dishes, take under an hour. Since some quiches contain most of the elements of a complete meal, side dishes tend to be light additions that complement rather than compete with the finished product.

    A traditional Quiche Lorraine contains crumbled bacon, shredded Swiss cheese and chopped onions that have been cooked until they're soft. Stay with the French theme by serving steamed green beans topped with almond slivers and a splash of lemon juice. Add mixed fresh fruit or a poached pear half to the plate. Create an even healthier tossed salad by using dark greens and adding sunflower seeds, sprouts and fresh peas before adding your favorite dressing. A creamy onion or blue cheese dressing will complement this salad's flavors.

    Make a Tex-Mex quiche with a crust made from crushed tortilla shells. Fill the shell with sliced tomatoes and top it with eggs or egg substitute scrambled with shredded Monterey jack or a cheese like queso manchego, a firm Mexican cheese. Toss chopped red bell pepper and onion into the egg mixture. Add jalapenos if your family enjoys spicy meals. Serve the quiche with a dollop of guacamole on a lettuce leaf and make a Mexican chopped salad with greens, black beans and corn kernels. Add some heat to your salad with a creamy chipotle dressing. If your kids don't like spicy foods, opt for a creamy ranch dressing.

    Layer fresh spinach on the crust and top it with cooked sausage. Top the sausage with fresh vegetables like sliced summer squash or eggplant and use shredded cheddar in the egg mixture. For an additional treat, flavor the eggs with a ranch seasoning mix. Leave the peel on the vegetables for extra nutrition. Make quick garlic bread to serve on the side by slicing a baguette, brushing it with melted butter and sprinkling it with a little garlic powder. Potatoes go well with sausage and eggs, so put a dish of hash browns or home fries in the oven to cook along with the quiche. Kids love to dress up their potatoes, so provide them with some ketchup or creamy dressing.

    Quiche adapts well to meals tailored to families or guests with special dietary needs. Vegetarians, gluten- and lactose-intolerant kids, folks with peanut allergies can enjoy a healthy, filling quiche. Make a crustless quiche filled with vegetables and topped with egg substitute, lactose free cheese and soy or rice milk. Make a variety of sides so that each diner can enjoy something with their quiche. Load a tossed salad with chopped fresh vegetables and serve the dressing on the side. Pass a bowl of mixed fruit. Toss cubed tofu with olive oil and fresh herbs. Roast vegetables in the oven while the quiche is cooking. Place salt and pepper, fresh herbs and sauces on the table so guests can spice up their meals.

    About the Author

    Meg Jernigan has been writing for more than 30 years. She specializes in travel, cooking and interior decorating. Her offline credits include copy editing full-length books and creating marketing copy for nonprofit organizations. Jernigan attended George Washington University, majoring in speech and drama.

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