Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Deep Dish Curried Quinoa and Veggie Tart

I like to use the term tart rather loosely...I mean, technically, this should be called a pie, or a quiche. It's really way too deep to be called a tart. Not to mention it wasn't baked in a tart tin. But tart just has such a ring to it. It just sounds so much more fun than a quiche. So, Deep Dish Curried Quinoa and Veggie Tart it is! 

This dish was a major hit. We had it for supper last night, and I'm having it for lunch today, and I'm seriously considering it again for supper tonight. It was so good that I started writing this blog post right away, instead just of adding it to my list of "to blog." Yes. That tasty. It was another attempt at a meatless, veggie-ful meal, and, I think, a great success! It's huge on flavor, thanks to the curry (I love a spice that does that!), packed with protein from the eggs and quinoa, and very hearty. We were both full after only one slice! It could also very easily be made as a crustless quiche for gluten free or lower carbs, and any kind of squash would be great in it. I just happened to have some summer squash in the freezer that needed using, but butternut would be SO good in this.


And, it's a slam dunk when it comes to heart health!

Garlic- Garlic has anticlotting properties, possibly due to the ajoenes present. Also, the sulfur phytochemicals may help protect against heart disease.

Onions- This tear jerker is a great source of both soluble and insoluble fiber, which helps control bad cholesterol. The quercetin found in red onions is thought to  help prevent heart disease. 

Mushrooms- These have vitamin B6, riboflavin, and niacin- all helpful in preventing heart disease. Shiitakes are even more enriched with heart helpful nutrients, such as eritadenine (lowers cholesterol) and lentinula edodes mycelium. 

Spinach- Spinach is chock full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant that helps combat free-radical cell damage;  folate, a B vitamin that likely helps protect against heart attacks; and plant sterols, which help lower LDL cholesterol, as well as vitamin C! 

Quinoa- Considered a "super grain", Quinoa is an excellent source of heart-healthy magnesium and vitamin E, as well as cholesterol-reducing plant sterols, saponins, and rutin.
Whole Grains- The complex carbohydrates in whole grains contain indigestible oligosaccharide carbohydrates, which are linked to helping prevent cardiovascular disease. They also contain flavonoids, which are antioxidants also linked to a reduced risk of heart disease and help bolster blood vessels. Lignans and plant sterols may help lower cholesterol, and vitamin E is an antioxidant that may also help prevent heart disease.

Olive Oil- This healthy oil contains disease-fighting phytochemicals, vitamin E, and monounsaturated fat. All these help keep arteries clear of cholesterol. The monousaturated fat may also help raise good cholesterol, and a diet rich in this fat may help lower your chance of heart disease. 

Curry- Several of the spices in curry (such as cumin, cloves, ginger, nutmeg,  and turmeric) are thought to be cardio protective and have antioxidant properties. 

Source: Fight Back with Food: Use Nutrition to Heal What Ails You,  The Reader's Digest Association

Deep Dish Curried Quinoa and Veggie Tart

One whole wheat pie crust (optional- this could easily be a crust less quiche) (I used this recipe from The Pioneer Woman, subbing half whole wheat flour and using all butter.)
1 small zucchini, sliced (or any kind of squash)
1 small yellow summer squash, sliced (or any kind of squash)
5-6 mushrooms, sliced
2-3 handfuls of fresh spinach
1/4 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 cups cooked quinoa
4 Tbs olive oil
1/2 tsp sea salt
1/2 Tbs curry
4 eggs
1/2 cup of milk
1 tsp sea salt
2 Tbs curry

Preheat your oven to 425 degrees. 
Crust: roll out dough into a 9" round. Transfer to a deep dish pie plate, and prick with a fork. Line the bottom of the plate with parchment paper and dry beans or pie weights (this part is really optional...it will still work without the weights, it just might be puffier.) Bake  at 425 for 15 minutes for a par-baked crust.

Filling: Heat 2 Tbs of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the zucchini and squash. Stir occasionally, until the veggies start to soften (10-15 minutes), then add the onions and mushrooms.Continue to saute until the veggies are nice and golden, then add in the other 2 Tbs olive oil, garlic, quinoa, and spinach. Cook for 3-4 more minutes, until the spinach is lightly wilted, then add 1/2 tsp. sea salt and 1/2 Tbs. curry. Spoon filling into par-baked pie crust. 

Custard: Whisk eggs, milk, 1 tsp sea salt, and 2 Tbs. curry until well blended. Pour into the crust, on top of the filling. Bake at 425 for 35-40 minutes, or until custard is set and top is golden. 

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