chicken, leek and bacon quiche – syn-free and delicious!

‘ey up!

I think, if someone held a gun to my head and demanded I pick one meal to eat for the rest of my life, I’d go for quiche. You have no idea how much I love it – I grew up on my nana’s cooking and her idea of quiche was two eggs, bacon that was still oinking and more salt than the Dead Sea. It was delicious, not least because it took away the taste of her apple pie. I’m not sure if it was a result of growing up in the war (she fought a pivotal role in the Transvaal Rebellion) but she was never lavish with her ingredients – she remains the only woman I ever met who could turn a postage stamp sized bit of pastry into eight full fruit pies and a batch of sausage rolls. The apple pie didn’t so much have a filling of apple as a light dusting. I would love to be able to bake like that – absolutely no measurements, timings or fuss: just 100% pure instinct.

That leads me to my simple point that I want to make before getting straight to the recipe: don’t fall into the trap of following recipes slavishly – everything we post is merely a guideline. Don’t like an ingredient? Leave it out (though use common sense, you’ll struggle to make tomato ketchup if you use Weetabix and tears, for example) and put in something you actually want to eat. Recipe not looking quite right? Cook it for a bit longer. Use cheaper meat if you’re short on cash. Don’t stress about the little things – and never more so then in this chicken, leek and bacon quiche recipe, because you can chuck any old shite into a quiche and as long as you season it well, you’ll be laughing.

chicken, leek and bacon quiche

chicken, leek and bacon quiche

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chicken, leek and bacon quiche

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Yield 8 large wedges

This chicken, leek and bacon quiche is perfect for either using up all manner of leftovers from the fridge or specifically for a tasty, lovely lunch. You can add anything you like - add more cheese, some mushrooms, pepper, red onion...anything you like! Easy to make too.

Ingredients

  • two chicken breasts - grilled, poached or baked - cut into cubes or shredded
  • a few rashers of bacon
  • one large yellow pepper
  • one chilli pepper
  • one leek - get a big one, mind, you want it to leave you wincing every time you pick it up
  • lots of salt and pepper
  • 180g of ricotta (2 x HEA)
  • 40g of extra mature lighter cheddar (1 x HEA)
  • eight or so eggs (if you're using whole eggs) or 12 egg yolks (so much nicer!)
  • 30g of parmesan (1 x HEA)

NOTE: so this makes enough for eight wedges, but let's assume you'll eat two wedges. That's one HEA.

Instructions

  • preheat the oven to 180 degrees fan
  • cut your bacon into raggedy chunks
  • thinly slice your leeks - we used a mandolin slicer because it'll do it in no time at all
  • thinly slice your pepper and chilli
  • cook off the leeks, pepper, bacon and chilli together in a pan until the bacon is cooked and the leeks have softened
  • add the chicken
  • mix together the ricotta, cheddar and the eggs - now this is where you need to use your judgement - you may not need as many eggs if you have big eggs or less mixture - you want a good thick 'sauce' when it is all beaten together
    • I prefer to use egg yolks only because it makes a lovely rich quiche, but can work out pricey for eggs - if you go down this route, don't waste the egg yolk - make these peppermint meringues!
  • mix everything together in one bowl and add a good pinch of salt and pepper
  • slop it all into a good non-stick dish - I like to grate half the parmesan into the bottom of the dish before putting the mix in, then top the quiche with the rest of the cheese
  • cook in the oven for about 35 minutes, or longer if it is still wobbly
  • allow to cool and serve with salad!

Notes

  • we use a smart silicone dish for this chicken, leek and bacon quiche - this has never failed us once!
  • this freezes perfectly - cut it up, wrap the pieces in foil and take one out the night before for lunch
  • feel free to tip the mixture into several smaller tins to make individual quiches
  • you'll note that there's no wrap involved in this mixture - that's because we're not insane, see?

Courses snacks, evening meal

Cuisine British

You can’t beat a good quiche! Want some more quiche ideas? Of course!

Plus, we’ve updated our recipes page again, we’re now nearly at 600! Enjoy!

J

proper ham, cheese and onion quiche

We’re all itching for the proper ham, cheese and onion quiche, but honestly, like I’m going to let that happen without some flimflam first.

Albert Einstein once said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. I might have changed his wording a little, but damn it, this is my blog not his. He’s absolutely right, though. I’ll give you an example – I have many, many cake and cooking tins from the halcyon days way back when when I used to bake all the time and delight my friends and co-workers with biscuits, cakes and goodies. Now all they get is barely disguised contempt and secretive farts into my office chair. One of these tins is a fancy Lakeland square tin with one of those bottoms that you push up (same as Paul) to release the cake. Great idea. Has it ever worked? Has it balls.

Does that stop me trying it? Of course not. No, every time a recipe requires something square, out it comes. I spend a few minutes looking owlishly at it, demanding that it doesn’t leak, then proceed with the recipe. This time it was for a fancy quiche – lots of cheese, egg whites, decent ham. I spent an age cutting up the onion, sweating them down, making everything just right. Popped the mixture into this non-leak square tin, placed the tin in the oven, turned my back for one moment to set Just a Minute away on the iPad and turned around to see all the beaten egg dripping out of the oven. My kitchen floor looked like the gusset of a £5 prostitute’s knickers. It would have been more effective had I left the removable bottom off.

Well I was furious. I’d given this fucking tin enough chances. Yes, I could line it, but it was sold to me on the basis I didn’t need to line the fucker and I’m not going to be dictated to by Lakeland. I salvaged the contents of the quiche into a Pyrex dish, covered it with egg-white and took the scalding hot square tin outside, where I set about it with a sledgehammer. Do I feel better? Yes, I do, and I’m all set if I ever want to make a rhombus-shaped christmas cake.

Anyway, that’s the only wrinkle in an otherwise lovely, quiet weekend. You know we aren’t ones for doing anything that requires more movement than entirely necessary, and that was certainly the case on Saturday, when we literally moved from the bed to the settee and back to the bed. We make no apologies, we have busy working weeks. But last night Paul turned to me and said, through a fine mist of pastry crumbs and spittle, that I was to wake him up early in the morning and not let him sleep in late. Pffft. Let me explain how weekend mornings work in our house.

I wake up about 8.30am, always have. I’m not one for sleeping all day – once my eyes open, I’m awake and that’s the end of it, thank you. Knowing he is tired, I’ll generally stay in bed until half nine so Paul has something to lie against and act as ballast to stop him tipping onto his front and drowning in his chin-fat. I’m like one of those tyres you see strapped onto the side of piers for the ferry to rub against. He’ll murmur incoherent nonsense in my ear, put a clammy hand around my belly and fart those indescribably foul morning farts in my general direction all the while. I don’t know what his body does to food overnight but I swear you could power a small city on the strength of his morning flatus. He chuckles away to himself whilst he lets them out, which I do find endearing as I’m clawing at my throat trying to find oxygen.

At around half nine, I get bored with looking at Reddit, not masturbating and spending our money and decide to wake Paul up. This is a complicated process. First I’ll start by cuddling in so he gets far too hot, but then he just moves away or lets out a warning fart, making me retreat. The next step is to start shaking the bed by jiggling on the spot, but that does nothing other than occasionally illicit a cry from him to ‘STOP WANKING’. Plus, our bed is so ridiculously oversized that by the time the tremors eventually hit him, it’s usually nighttime again.

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With the shaking of the bed bearing no fruit, I turn to shaking him directly, starting off with the buttocks, moving up to the stomach and then, if that doesn’t work, his shoulders. This normally does the trick and after he’s wiped the sleep from his eyes and tried his luck with Little Paul (not happening, matey, not without a shower and caustic acid) he reassures me that he’s going to get out of bed as soon as he’s ‘done his stretches’ and could I make him a coffee? I’m happy with this – I’ll mince, invariably stark-bollock-naked, into the kitchen, make him a coffee and return only to find him fast asleep and pulling that face that reminds me awfully of what I imagine his mother looks like when she hasn’t had the formaldehyde in her tank topped up. At this point I generally take a huff and set about cleaning the kitchen instead, which really only punishes me instead of him. At 11 I’ll go in, flap the duvet, wake him up and tell him to get up. At 11.30 I normally go in and take the duvet away altogether, which only results in him sleep-farting more in an effort to heat the room.

Noon means the nuclear option. I’ve touched on this before, but we’ve got speakers in each room of the house that can be controlled centrally via the iPad. These ones, if you please. They’re useful for cleaning – a bit of Dolly in the bathroom, some Radio 4 in the kitchen. Great stuff. At noon, I choose the worst song I can possibly find, turn the volume up to 100 so the bass shakes your fillings out, sneak in and muffle it a little with a towel so I don’t deafen the fucker, then on goes something genuinely frightening: We Want The Same Thing by Belinda Carlisle has a very loud intro, for example. There’s been Minnie Riperton singing Loving You, too, but that starts out slowly. This morning was Magic Dance from Labyrinth, which worked, but only because he was laughing so much.

I called him Hoggle, he called me DCI Vera Stanhope. Paul was awake and all was right with the world again.

Seriously though, what does fuck me off just a smidge (if you’re reading this, my little clartyarse) is that he’ll invariably turn to me fifteen minutes after getting up and say ‘you really need to start waking me up earlier’. How we both laugh as I imagine waking him up with petrol and matches.

Anyway, come, let’s get to the quiche. I really miss quiche when I’m dieting, not least because the Slimming World equivalents are usually full of cottage cheese and empty in taste. It’s the food equivalent of eating a bath sponge, only at least with a sponge you get the excitement of wondering whether you’ll choke to death to alleviate the crashing boredom. I’ve seen quiches made with Pasta and Sauces and I think, all the very best to you, but that’s not really for me. No, I need cheese, eggs, chest pains and flavour. So, here we are.

One compromise I’ve had to make is the pastry. There’s no way that you can bring pastry in under Slimming World’s radar, I’m sorry. Decent pastry is butter and flour combined, there’s not much that can be done without your consultant (hey consultants, big fan!) having a conniption fit and sobbing into her fan of stickers. However, salvation lies in the form of sweet potatoes. Yes, that’s right.

proper ham, cheese and onion quiche

to make a proper ham, cheese and onion quiche, you’ll need:

Seriously, look at the top of that. This makes enough for six large portions served with salad.

proper ham, cheese and onion quiche

to make a proper ham, cheese and onion quiche, you’ll need:

  • one large sweet potato
  • a decent, non-stick pyrex dish that’ll not spill your dinner everywhere
  • three thick slices of ham – we got ours chopped at the deli counter, you want it about a cm thick (or use bog standard stuff if you want)
  • two large red onions
  • 2 large eggs
  • 125ml of 1% milk (from a HEA allowance, although 100ml is only two syns, so if you want, divide by six for less than half a syn per portion)
  • the whites from four more eggs
  • whatever cheese you want – I used 140g of Danish blue cheese – 35g is a HEA
  • pinch of mustard
  • bit of salt
  • lots of black pepper

to make a proper ham, cheese and onion quiche, you should:

  • slice your sweet potato – you want thickish slices and to save time and make this easier, use a mandolin – the one we use is currently reduced on Amazon, so it is
  • take your pyrex dish, give it a few squirts of spray oil and then layer the sweet potato on top of each other, covering the bottom and a little of the sides – don’t worry about the fact it doesn’t look uniform, that’s fine
  • put that into a preheated oven at 190 degrees for 25 minutes or so
  • whilst that’s cooking, cut up your onion nice and fine and sweat it off in a pan – I added a pinch of fresh thyme because I am one classy fucker
  • cut up the ham into nice cubes and crumble your cheese up
  • in a jug mix the egg whites, two large eggs, 125ml of 1% milk, pinch of mustard powder, salt and pepper
  • once your sweet potatoes are done, take them out of the oven, push them around a bit to make sure there are no major holes in the bottom of the dish
  • layer on the onion, the cubed ham, the cheese and then the egg mixture
  • cook in the oven for around 30 minutes on 200 degrees – make sure it doesn’t burn, but also, it’ll be a wee bit wobbly when it comes out, leave to cool and it’ll firm up nicely
  • I mean, do use your common sense though – if it looks like you could pour it on your cereal, cook it a bit longer
  • how easy was that?

You can swap out the cheese but don’t be adding mushrooms or tomatoes, they add liquid. I think this should be freezable, but not sure. Portion it up for lunches or, more realistically, eat the whole lot and spend the rest of the night on the toilet clutching your poor eggbound belly.

Looking for more ideas with pork or even taster nights (which you could take this quiche too, if you were feeling generous?) – click the buttons below! You could make this veggie too, so I’m including that link.

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Over and out!

J

rainbow quiche and octogenarian shenanigans

Well, that was an exciting afternoon. The parents have decided to spend a bit more of my inheritance and have buggered off to the Gambia for a week or two, leaving Nana Dearest in the care of me and my sister. She’s very independent but it’s good to check in on her every day just to make sure she hasn’t rolled a seven and shuffled off the mortal coil. So, fatty and I piled into the car today at half one and drove the thirty miles over to her house – in the ice and snow – to see that she was up and about and dutifully forgetting to take her tablets. Got there to find her curtains still shut in the bedroom and the door locked. At 2pm, and us without a key. The dog was scratching on the other side of the door. No amount of knocking and shouting got a reply. Naturally, we raised the alarm buggered off to do our weekly shop at Tesco with a view to coming back and trying again at half three. Still no reply. I had no key, remember. How do you attract the attentions of an eighty eight year old woman whose hearing aid would merely register a muffled bump if a plane crashed in her garden?

Well, here’s how – you get a clothes prop from the garden. For those of you who aren’t living in the 1940s, a clothes prop is a very long, very thin bit of wood that Geordies use to hoist their clothes line high up in the air so that villagers in another parish altogether can cast disdainful looks at the skidders on your knickers. It looks like this:

clothes prop

Of course, it would be altogether too easy for my gran’s prop to be a strong, metal affair like the one pictures – no, hers was a manky old bit of wood that had been sitting in the snowy mud since the Battle of the Somme and was dangerously rotten. Nevertheless I pressed on and hoisting the bendy, rotten, 14ft prop into the air like a fucking pole vaulter and standing on the tops of my boots, I rapped it smartly against her window, tap tap tap, whilst Paul brayed on the front door, with each ‘tap’ of the stick leading another muddy print against her window. After ten bloody minutes, a wispy bit of white hair appears followed by a bemused face, then the window opens and she tells me off for leaving mud all over her window frame. Turns out she had gone to bed the night before and only just woken up at 4pm, which frankly sounds like my idea of heaven. Pills dispensed and a cup of tea later, she turns to me sagely and says ‘You could have just rang the doorbell, you know’. I almost turned the one hobnob (well, Aldi equivalent of a hobnob – a notnob?) (3.5syns) I’d allowed myself to dust in my balled up fists. She’s a dear, an absolute dear, but unless I had rung the doorbell with the front of my fucking car she really, really wouldn’t have heard.

Still, how Paul and I laughed as we made our way back home, our shopping defrosting merrily in the boot. I’d do it all again though.

The shopping I just mentioned will be turned into the following meals for the week ahead:

  • pulled pork, leek and mature cheese pizza;
  • spinach, basil, broccoli and kale soup;
  • macaroni cheese – with a twist;
  • roast beef dinner;
  • beef and broccoli;
  • spaghetti and hotdogs; and
  • chicken, beans and rice.

All healthy, all tasty. All low syns. I’m going to make a bit more of an effort to create rollover recipes – recipes which use the leftovers from another one I’ve done in the week. I thought it might help those trying to keep costs down. So in that vein, tonight’s recipe is a very quick one using up the remainder of the veg that we didn’t use on our Judy Garland Special Pizza (thank you Ms Savage!). The joy of a slimming world quiche is that you can chuck any old shite in it and it’ll taste good. Here it is – I left it in the oven ten minutes too long because I was too busy outside scratching my foot on the brick wall of my herb garden. It’s so satisfying!

slimming world rainbow quiche

No need for a full recipe for this rainbow quiche – this really is just all the leftover veg we chopped up, combined with four eggs and 300g of cottage cheese, lots of salt and pepper and chucked in the oven. Syn free of course and absolutely stuffed with superfree food, so it would be perfect for a work snack. Well, a slice or two – you don’t need to eat the whole bloody thing at once for goodness sake.

Finally, as a special treat, here’s a picture of Bowser a split second before he yawns. He looks so…speshul.

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Goodnight!

J

superfree quiche

Syn free this one, or maybe one syn if you’re anal. Hahaha, anal. Does anyone over the age of 18 not stop for a single beat whenever they type that word in its correct usage? Not only is it hilarious, it’s also delightfully smutty.

I have to say, for all the talk of Body Magic and moving our arses, Paul and I have done spectacularly little this weekend. No, really. I’m surprised I haven’t turned into one of those people who are grafted to their armchairs and have to have a group of men come in and wash me. Not that I’d turn my nose up at that. Our neighbours would love that. My mum once popped around in her police uniform (she’s a legit policewoman, not a stripper) and I’m not kidding, the sound of necks cracking as they craned round net curtains sounded like a giant rolling in bubble wrap.

Between Forza Horizon 2 and The Amazing Race, we’ve had very little reason to shift. Bowser seems reluctant to become a helping-cat, too, which doesn’t help. Our grand ideal of having the cat answer the phone, bring us the TV remote and cook us a three course meal seems entirely unreasonable to him. Anyway, short entry tonight as I’m off to work soon.

Tonight’s little recipe is what I suggestively call ‘Any Old Shite Superfree Quiche’ because frankly, that’s what I put in it.

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I’m not sure we actually need a full recipe here – it’s all on the card. The only thing worth thinking about is synning the little bit of parmesan that I used, but it was such a small amount between four servings that I can’t be bothered. The rest is a case of chucking anything you have going spare / on the turn into a quiche tin, chopped up to reasonably similar sizes. Beat three eggs into 250g of fat-free cottage cheese, mix it all together, put in oven, and keep an eye on it. It might take a little longer as our oven is a fancypants one, but really you can tell when its cooked. Serve with a side salad or excellent for taking into work for lunch.

If I can give you any tips – adding a lot of tomatoes will make it quite wet

I realise that actually, our leftovers sound a bit lah-de-dah, but well, such is life. Our fridge has its own vodka shelf so that’s where we’re at.

J