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.
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.
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.
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.
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
1/2 cup 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
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.