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There are recipes you make because you like the way they taste (chicken pot pie, carrot risotto, thin and chewy pizza crust); there are recipes you make because you’re trying to show love (hot chocolate cookies, homemade cheesecake, soft and chewy salted caramel); and then, also, there are recipes you make for another reason, one not unlike the reason to get a new job or start a garden or build all your furniture yourself:

Because you didn’t think you could.

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Maybe this is how climbers feel about new mountains, or runners, about setting a new pace. When my brother says he wants adventure, and we end up at the top of the Arcadia National Forest in Maine, maybe this is why.

Because the thing about a challenge or, more specifically, about meeting one, is that it makes you feel powerful, like you can do things. And when we defeat something we didn’t think we could, we learn to be less afraid.

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In a 2008 CNN article titled “The Spirit of … Adventure,” Brigid Delaney writes about this challenge-seeking spirit that accounts for the increasingly common tendency of 20-somethings to take a year off between college and career, or for middle-aged retirees to travel the world. She says “yearning for adventure can strike at all ages,” and she quotes a traveler for saying this:

“I see adventure as going beyond something you feel comfortable with. If you are uncomfortable going to the end of your street and you go beyond this, then you are being adventurous.”

In other words, adventure may mean climbing a mountain or, adventure may mean taking someone’s hand and choosing to trust. Challenge can be moving to a new place or, it can be as simple as going to the kitchen, pulling out ingredients, stepping outside conventions and attempting something you’ve never tried before or tasted.

Like, for example, a cheeseless, crustless quiche.

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Where will you seek adventure this weekend?

Cheeseless Crustless Quiche
Adapted from Gimme Some Oven
Makes one 9-inch quiche or, 6-8 servings

Crustless quiche is nothing new—but cheeseless? Can that even still be quiche? I figured I’d try it out last weekend, motivated to do something I’ve never done by a friend’s avoidance of dairy, so I substituted and improvised my way into a recipe with not only no crust but also no milk, no butter and no cheese.

The result? I’ll still take my quiche with cheese and my pans greased with butter, but—I now have proof, real and tangible proof that I ate with friends Sunday afternoon, that when you saute vegetables and combine them with eggs, it’s almost impossible for that to go wrong.

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon coconut oil
3 handfuls fresh baby spinach (about 2.5 cups), roughly chopped
1 small white or yellow onion, chopped
1 red bell pepper, diced
10 thin asparagus spears, ends trimmed then chopped into 1-inch pieces
6 eggs
1/2 cup chicken stock (how to make homemade chicken stock?)
3 tablespoons almond meal
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon cayenne powder
1/8 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch pie pan.

Heat coconut oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add chopped onions, chopped red peppers and chopped asparagus, and saute for 5 minutes, or until the onions are translucent and the asparagus is cooked. Remove from heat.

In a separate large bowl, whisk together eggs, almond meal, baking powder, chicken stock, salt, paprika, thyme, cayenne and black pepper. Stir in the sauteed vegetables and fresh spinach, and stir until well combined.

Pour the egg and vegetable mixture into the prepared pie pan, and bake for 45-50 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean. Remove from the oven and allow the quiche to set for at least 5 minutes. Then slice and serve! Quiche can also be made the day before and popped in the oven for about 15 minutes to reheat before serving.

Shanna Mallon started Food Loves Writing back in 2008, as a way to remember her grandma and write about her life through food. Since then it's become a place leading her to a lifestyle of eating whole foods, a new home in Nashville and the love of her life, Tim. Follow Shanna on Twitter @foodloves, keep up with Food Loves Writing on Facebook and stay inspired with the monthly newsletter.

This Post Has 36 Comments

    1. Shannalee

      Next time I get a zucchini, I’m dying to try zucchini chips—have you heard of them? Super paper thinly sliced zucchini, tossed with oil and seasonings and dehydrated (or low-baked) for two hours.

  1. nicole

    This looks so good – I will make it for my sis-in-law (in Maine!) when we visit next month … This weekend’s adventures include a swim in Tomales Bay and also running for 2+ hours in the seashore if my cranky achilles cooperates. I’m a little nervous, but am choosing to trust it will be fine. Happy weekend to you!

  2. Kathryn

    I’ve had to accept in the last year or so that I’m never going to be able to do any physical challenges and I think that’s really spurred me on to be more adventurous in the kitchen because that’s the one place where I can really push myself. Love this!

  3. Vicki

    I’m with you, quiche with cheese all the way!! How is cultivating your friendships going? When I responded to that blog post I mentioned trying to grow a tomato plant again this year. So far so good. I just got a red tomato the other day and I almost remember to water it daily. A friend got me an herb garden for my birthday last month. I see some green sprouts which I take as a good sign.

    1. Shannalee

      Thanks for checking in, Vicki! I’m so glad to hear about your plants and about your regular watering. : ) I’m still tending and cultivating relationships over here, but every now and then I see fresh buds, and I feel so much hope.

  4. sarah

    This looks great! I think it’s important to challenge yourself in all areas, and I still haven’t branched out enough in my dairy-free foods. I will have to try this soon!

  5. Helene

    That quiche looks pretty great! My adventure and challenge of the week was attempting homemade raviolis… and well, they didn’t turn out as pretty as that quiche :-) Adventure is a process. A little bit better next time is what I’m hoping for (I lie actually, I always hope for A LOT better)…

    1. Shannalee

      Helene, How exciting! Homemade ravioli is such a treat… but we have to experiment with some duds before we find the recipe that works best. I wish you could have seen the time I tried to make buckwheat ravioli—picture hard dough, heavy ravioli and a lot of heartbreak. That’s how we learn, right? : )

  6. Halle

    Great recipe – thank you!! Made it tonight for me and my (gluten-free) boyfriend and we both loved it. Didn’t have asparagus so with zucchini and added some green onion :) Yum.

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  10. Donna

    This….stunning fare…Could I possibly add nutritional yeast to your mélange…for cheese-y taste without the cheese factor?…Thanks for continued brilliance.

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  12. Margie

    Thank you, thank you, thank you! I do not like cheese but love quiche and this was a dream-come-true recipe! I made this for my family tonight and they loved it.

  13. Bernie

    Do we know how many calories this might contain in a 1/6 slice. I omitted the coconut oil and used canola. Instead of asparagus, used broccoli and did not have all of the spices except thyme and my guests enjoyed it. Love that it has no cheese or daily.
    Thanks for the adaptation.

    1. Shanna Mallon

      Hi Bernie, I’m sorry to say I don’t. We aren’t calorie counters; we’re more like “nutrient counters” and try to focus on what good things we’re giving our bodies with what we eat. That said though, I think there are calorie counters for recipes online, where you can enter the ingredients and serving sizes and get a number. Hope that helps! Glad you enjoyed the quiche!

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