Celebrating Easter with an elaborate meal is one of those religious traditions
that seems to date back as long as people have been going to church. And many
of the traditional foods are rooted in symbolism, such as eggs, which
represent rebirth and the Resurrection.
That's why decorated hard-cooked eggs get tucked into Easter baskets, and why egg dishes are a big part of many brunch spreads.
Recipes included with this story: Bacon, Gruyere and Broccoli Quiche; Tofu, Spinach and Vegan Sausage Quiche; Easter Frittata; Standard Pie Dough; Vegan Pie Crust.
One of the easiest egg dishes to make for Easter is quiche. The egg-custard pies can be made ahead and reheated before serving -- just the thing if you're going to Easter Sunday services and don't want to eat lunch until midafternoon. Quiches are also perfect because they're so versatile. They can be loaded up with all manner of savory meat, or they can be vegetarian-friendly, built around a wide variety of spring farmers market finds, such as asparagus and wild mushrooms.
For a traditional quiche, we turned to Jennifer Trainer Thompson's "The Fresh Egg Cookbook," a new cookbook aimed at urban homesteaders with coops of backyard chickens producing the freshest eggs possible. This quiche combines broccoli and smoked bacon, along with sweet and salty Gruyere.
But traditional quiche isn't for everyone -- and no, we're not going to revisit those idiotic "Real Men Don't Eat Quiche" stereotypes about masculinity from the 1980s. Some people don't eat eggs to avoid consuming animal products, while others need to watch their egg consumption out of concern over calories and cholesterol. That's why we're also dishing up recipes for a vegan quiche and a low-fat frittata.
The vegan quiche, which we adapted from Patricia Greenberg's '90s classic "The Whole Soy Cookbook," is made of soft tofu, frozen spinach and a plant-based sausage made of wheat gluten, eggplant and Mediterranean spices. The big surprise when we made it alongside the traditional quiche in Foodday's Test Kitchen was that many of our omnivore tasters preferred it over the eggy version.
For a leaner take on quiche, we've got a low-fat frittata that captures the essence of regular quiche while shaving off about 75 percent of its calories, thanks to the use of egg whites and a lot less cheese. Like an oven-baked omelet, frittatas are puffy and can be filled with lots of delicious ingredients. The only problem is that traditional frittatas are made without a crust. We wanted a crust. We also wanted at least some of the creaminess that makes a quiche, well, a quiche. The solution: shredded potatoes, which crisp nicely, add the starchiness that a regular pie crust provides, but without all the fat.
So whatever way you eat, there's an Easter quiche that's right for you, and that won't take all day to prepare, leaving more time for an Easter egg hunt.
The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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