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Quiche. The word alone sounds fancy-shmancy, but don't let the tart pan or the perfect egg to cream ratio scare you. It's doesn't have to be fancy, and it doesn't have to be heavy and high-calorie.

Quiche is popular in French cuisine. It's an open face pie filled with a custard made of egg, cheese, and milk or cream, poured into a pie crust, and baked. It can be made lighter by skipping the pie pastry altogether and going crustless. But for those who can't do without, purchase a prepared frozen crust or better yet, look for recipes to make a crust with white whole wheat flour and olive oil, rather than the nutrient-stripped all-purpose flour and artery clogging butter or lard. The silky custard can still be maintained with lighter ingredients. Use a few egg whites along with whole eggs to decrease the cholesterol and fat content, and a combination of non-fat milk and low-fat sour cream will add a creaminess without ever having to use heavy cream.

A quiche can include many different variations of lean meats, vegetables and low-fat cheeses. Instead of piling on large amounts of cheese, try decreasing the amount of cheese and adding flavor with caramelized onions. A quiche is the perfect breakfast for overnight guests. Make the quiche the night before so all you have to do is put it in the oven. It's a must try!

Pictured above is the basic quiche recipe with broccoli and shredded Cheddar cheese.  It was prepared without crust.

Basic Quiche with Colorful Variations Printable PDF

1 9-inch unbaked pie crust (optional)

2 teaspoons olive oil

2 cups diced onion

¼ teaspoon salt

4 large eggs

2 large egg whites

¾ cup non-fat milk

¼ cup low-fat sour cream

¼ teaspoon black pepper

Preheat oven to 375?F. Heat oil in medium skillet over high heat. Add onion and salt; cook until onions just start to brown. Turn heat to medium low; cook, stirring frequently until onions are dark brown and very soft, about 20 minutes. Set aside to cool. In a large bowl, whisk eggs, egg whites, milk, sour cream and pepper.

Add variations such as: 1 cup finely chopped broccoli and ½ cup shredded Cheddar cheese. ? cup diced ham and ½ cup shredded Swiss cheese. 1 cup ground cooked turkey sausage, ? cup diced red bell pepper and ½ cup shredded Jack cheese.

Sprinkle onions over unbaked pie crust or greased pie pan. Pour in egg mixture with variations. Bake quiche 45 to 50 minutes, until slightly wobbly but set.

Yield: 8 servings

Nutritional analysis per serving (with frozen pie crust and broccoli and cheddar cheese): 200 Calories, 10 grams fat, 100 milligrams cholesterol, 280 milligrams sodium, 18 grams total carbohydrate, 2 grams dietary fiber, 9 grams protein.