Lighten Up

Lighten Up

Like many consumers, all it takes is for the media to circulate words such as outbreak, recall and salmonella to influence me to look at food with a suspicious eye. With the recent salmonella outbreak in over half a billion eggs recalled from farms in Iowa, there are surely people who may have decided to omit eggs from their diet altogether. Some have flocked (eek, pun intended) to purchasing local eggs. To be safe, I know I will, for the time being, refrain from making my own Caesar salad dressing and letting my kids lick the cake batter from the spatula. It would be wise to avoid other foods that have raw or undercooked eggs.

Otherwise, experts, including Margaret Hamburg, Commissioner of Food and Drugs at the FDA, recommend that eggs are safe to eat as long as you:

  • Wash hands before and after handling eggs
  • Cook to 160 degrees
    • fry on both sides for at least 2 minutes
    • scramble until solid
    • boiling for 15 minutes
  • Don’t use eggs that are cracked or broken
  • Store eggs at a temperature below 40 degrees Fahrenheit

I’m going to relax and enjoy my fully cooked and safely handled eggs! I made a Spinach, Zucchini & Smoked Salmon Crustless Quiche the other day, but what was nagging me more than the salmonella outbreak was the fat content. So, I lightened it up. No crust means less butter and carbs. Cottage cheese replaces heavy cream. And I loaded it with a lot of veggies – the zucchini helps to fluff up the quiche as well. If you don’t like smoked salmon, substitute it with prosciutto, or a good smoked ham! This quiche is very flexible.

While you’re waiting for it to bake, I recommend listening to a really interesting forum on the egg recall that was held by KQED, our public media in Northern California. Their panelists had quite an interesting discussion on the future of food safety, regulation, and egg prices. I’ve also included some links after the recipe if you care to read up some more on the issue.

Spinach, Zucchini & Smoked Salmon Crustless Quiche

  • olive oil
  • 1/2 onion, minced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 zucchini, shred
  • 1/2 cup spinach, chopped (if using frozen, squeeze out excess water)
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/3 cup cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup mozarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup smoked salmon, sliced into small pieces
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. H eat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Sauté the onions, zucchini and spinach until the onions are translucent. In a bowl, beat eggs and add cottage cheese, mozzarella, and smoked salmon. Add vegetable, salt and cayenne pepper. Stir. Pour into a quiche dish or pie pan, and bake for about 25-30 minutes, or until the quiche is cooked through.

Note: Feel free to use 3 eggs. I was just trying to really lighten up the dish, and I wanted a thinner quiche.

Egg Recall Reads

NPR: How to Stay Safe After the Egg Recall

WSJ: How Safe Are My Scrambled Eggs?

CNN: Feed One Likely Source of Salmonella in Eggs

Egg Safety Center: Video on New Federal Guidelines for Food Safety

KQED Bay Area Bites: Forum | Egg Recall

The Atlantic: The Egg Industry’s Full-Page Ad, Translated


    • Liren

      Hi Maria, thanks for stopping by! The cottage cheese works, it was the first time I tried it!

  1. Monet

    Those guidelines were super helpful, and I’m going to pass them along to my concerned friends and family. And anything with salmon and spinach always make me smile!

    • Liren

      I’m so glad you found the tips helpful, Monet! Hope your loved ones find them useful, too :)

  2. skip to malou

    I had eggs again this morning.. i know I should be more careful. Great way to make quiche healthier and yes lighter!

    • Liren

      I have to admit, I am hesitant to have my eggs over easy, but I will try to avoid them for a while longer!

  3. City Share

    Yum! Your crustless quiche sounds delicious. I have never tried cottage cheese in quiche. That’s an intriguing switch. We are definitely eating local eggs to avoid any problems.

  4. Susi

    Fantastic looking quiche! Love the addition of the cottage cheese and how can you go wrong with salmon? Also, great information on egg safety! :o)

  5. trisa

    Yum I will definitely try this! Fits right into my gluten free and calorie/fat lifestyle! I have lost 13 pounds ;)


    Beautiful Liren! The colors are stunning and I really like the mix of cheeses as well as the addition of the spinach. We are very lucky to be able to purchase our eggs just about a mile up the road from where we live – we see our chickens ‘live’ and we know our farmer; won’t be purchasing store-bought eggs in the near future. Thanks for the links for further research as well!

  7. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    This looks terrific! I have to admit, I’ve been a little scared these past couple weeks with the egg recall, but I can’t stay away from quiche (hey, I’m gay… it’s a part of who I am). Love this!

  8. Baking Barrister

    deny your children the opportunity to lick the spoon? NOOOO. I’m going to keep eating my raw eggs (after I check that they were not recalled) and thus my batter. Hmph.

    ANYWAY, love the idea of a crustless quiche–keeps the dish light and lower calorie. I think my dad & brother would love this for breakfast or brunch.

  9. Jean

    Your quiches look like delicious little pizzas–so yummy! I like your lighter version, egg fear or not. I’ve stopped making quiches for really no good reason but you’re motivating me to try them again. :-)

    • Liren

      My kids called them little pizzas, funny enough! And just like pizza, the quiches are great cold, too :)

  10. Magic of Spice

    This looks fantastic…love smoked salmon :) And great post about the egg recall, I always use organic and did not see any recall on them or at least not the ones I purchase.

    • Liren

      Glad you like this! I always use organic, too, and after reading the FDA report (ugh), I’m encouraged to continue supporting smaller local egg farmers.

  11. norma

    I could just have one of those slices with a cold glass of wine! Absolutely colorful and pleasing.

    • Liren

      Ah, yes, a good sauvignon blanc! That would be wonderful!

  12. Jun Belen

    Thank you for the list of links about the egg recall and thanks for the lovely quiche recipe — and healthy, too! I need to go on a diet for the next few weeks or so after splurging at the IFBC (we should all go next year!) and this quiche recipe would be perfect!

    • Liren

      My tummy was full just from following all the IFBC food tweets! You guys had a grand time! Hope the lightened quiche helps you detox :)

  13. Becky

    I love the idea of crustless quiche and yours looks wonderful. I agree tha thi kind of looks like pizza with less calories.

    • Liren

      Thanks so much, Becky! Now that I know quiches are possible with less calories, I can indulge in them more!

  14. citronetvanille

    I love crustless quiches, and this one looks particularly delicious. I haven’t heard of the salmonella outbreak, maybe I should get back to listening the news! Thanks for the info!

    • Liren

      Silvia, you were probably enjoying the sandy beaches of Mexico when the outbreak was first reported! Sigh :)

  15. Brian @ A Thought For Food

    Washing your hands after handling them is absolutely key. Great suggestions!

    I’m a smoked salmon nut… just can’t get enough of it. I would eat it every day if I could. And this recipe looks perfect for breakfast lunch or dinner! :-)

    • Liren

      LOL, I find that when I “eat light,” I tend to crave heavy desserts! Oh well, can’t win them all. Hope you enjoy this!

  16. Leslie

    Would I be able to prepare this ahead of time and refrigerate it until morning. Also do you think ricotta would work in place of the cottage cheese?

    • Liren

      Hi Leslie, I don’t see why you can’t prepare this the night before and refrigerate until morning. The ricotta would surely work, too. Please let me know how it turns out!

  17. Leslie

    Hi just wanted to let you know that refrigerating over night and using ricotta worked out great. In fact I’m making this again for Easter.

    • liren

      Leslie, I’m so glad that you enjoyed this! Thank you for dropping by and letting me know :) Hope you had a wonderful Easter.

  18. Jacelyn Boonstra

    Salmonella poisoning affects thousands of individuals each year. The good news is that it can be prevented. It is only a matter of proper hygiene and the practice of food safety in the kitchen. Here is a list of ways to prevent it: Wash hands frequently Dirty hands can bring about cross contamination.;*..:

    With kind regards

    See you later

Kitchen Confidante®