I try to come up with a meal plan on Sundays based on our plans for the week. Every week is different around here – some weeks I only prepare one or two true dinners, other weeks it is four. How do I meal plan, you ask? I cozy up on the couch (or hunch over the island in the kitchen) with a magazine or two plus my 3-ring binder filled with this years Cooking Light recipes that I just haven’t had time to cook and just start to flip through the pages.
Meal Planning Rules:
- Most Mondays are vegetarian/meatless days. I think it’s a good way to “detox” from the weekend and to start the week off right.
- I try not to cook dinner with the same protein in the same week. I truly believe that variety is the spice of life. If we have pork on Tuesday, I won’t be cooking with it again that week.
- There must be a veggie component in every dinner.
- If I have to buy an ingredient that I’ll only be using part of – I try to find another recipe to utilize what’s remaining.
- Similar to the second rule, I try not to serve the same grain twice in the same week. For example – I rarely serve rice twice a week.
So this past Sunday, I pulled out my magazines and I started flipping. When I came across Spinach and Feta Quiche with Quinoa Crust I looked to Big Guy for approval and once I got the thumbs-up, it immediately went on “the menu” for Monday’s dinner.
The recipe is simple but I would suggest making the quinoa in advance. I actually went ahead and prepared a batch of quinoa on Sunday afternoon so that on Monday I wouldn’t have to wait for the quinoa to cool. Bonus: I have extra quinoa left over for lunches this week.
Though the recipe requires some time, it doesn’t require a lot of labor.
When you’re ready to make dinner, combine the cooked quinoa with 1 egg and pepper. This mixture is pressed into a pie pan and baked.
While the crust is baking, saute the onion (I used red onion – which I highly recommend for this recipe) and the spinach. Also, prepare your quiche base – eggs, milk, salt, pepper and crushed red pepper.
Once the crust is pre-baked, arrange the spinach-onion mixture inside the crust and then pour the egg mixture on top. Sprinkle on the feta cheese and baked until set.
I was impressed at how well the quinoa crust held up against the quiche. The perfect gluten-free alternative to your typical quiche crust. I loved the addition of the red onion and I wish I had added more red pepper flakes. Another idea: Add a tablespoon or two of grated Parmesan to the quinoa crust mixture – I found the flavor to be a little lacking and I wanted more cheesiness.
How do you meal plan?