Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Energy Efficient Recipes #1: Mini Quiche

I'm still trying to save money after Boyfriend bought a tablet, so I've been working on some energy efficient recipes.

This is also a good place to come if you live in a dorm, and don't have full access to a kitchen. I'm trying to use the toaster oven rather than the full oven.
Excuse the mess, its an old toaster oven.


3 Large eggs
1/4 cup Milk
1/4cup chopped onion
1/4 cup spinach
1/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Whisk eggs and milk together. Add onion and spinach (and whatever yummy veggies or meats you care for). Pour into 6 silicone baking cups. Top with cheese. Bake in toaster oven at 350 for 10 minutes.

About 55 calories each.

This does require silicone baking cups, which I got from Amazon for cheap. I find them extremely useful as lunch container dividers, so you don't have to take multiple containers. They are a great size and have a nice little fill line. Not sure why, but I love the fill line. The only problem I have is they do not like to be washed in the dishwasher. They fly everywhere. I try to pin them down, but its rather fruitless.

What I love about this recipe: Its really versatile. You can put whatever you want into these little cups. I just had spinach and onions on hand. If I liked peppers, I would chop up about 1/4 cup mixed red and green  peppers, which will give them a delightful mix of colours. You can even put bits of lunch meat (if not a vegetarian) in them, for extra protein. Adding the cheese on top limits the amount of cheese you can actually put on these, and cheese is one of those caloric sinks I've been avoiding. This is a great way to have the protein aspect of your meal. It gives you the satisfaction of making muffins, without the carbs. There are no refined sugars, the only sugar comes from the milk and onions. You could even add salt to it without making it really harmful.
As far as my energy efficiency goes, the toaster oven uses around 50% less energy than a normal oven. Similarly, it won't heat up my home like the oven will, so the AC doesn't work so hard.
As far as my 300-calorie-lunches so, its a perfect little muffin of protein and low caloric intake. Gives me plenty of wiggle room for my starch and veggies. And it has veggies in it! Pretty good all around, I must say.

What I don't like about this recipe: If you're watching your cholesterol, eggs are a bad thing. You could use an egg substitute, or use only egg whites. I feel like that would change the fat content too. Basically: If you want to avoid eggs, this is a bad thing for you.

What I could change about this recipe: Change from eggs to egg whites. Change from 2% Milk to skim... generally reduce the fat content.

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