Friday, August 26, 2011

Waste Not : Bento Scrap Quiche

"Tell me honestly, are you wasting a lot of food with all the cutting? I'm curious about the little scraps and what happens to them."

This was a question a friend asked recently. And I can see how one might think there'd be a lot of food waste, but the answer is No! Really! Sure, if I was to throw out all the post-cookie cutter remnants, then yes, that would be wasteful... but I use the scraps :)

I actually think making all these scraps is benefitting me! I used to pack the sproutlets their lunches then go on with my busy day, and often it would be late afternoon before I'd stop to eat, and most of the time I would be so hungry or tired I wouldn't feel like taking the time to make something, especially just for myself - so I'd just grab a Monster or Red Bull - bad huh? But since I started making their lunches with shapes & themes, I have all these little scraps of cheese, ham, fruit or whatever, that I scrape into a container and put in the fridge, so later on when I am hungry, I have something to toss into a salad or fold into a quesadilla, or mix with an egg in a bowl and cook into an instant omelet in the microwave, or just nibble on as finger food. So the scraps are actually getting put to good use! I have even planned dinner around the scraps I will make with lunch - for example, when I made the Hugs & Kisses lunch above, I knew I'd have lots of ham & cheese bits leftover (and I ended up with more than I anticipated since I made too much and they didn't finish it) so I planned to put them in a quiche for me & Sailor Boy to enjoy. I can see that becoming a regular thing, I love quiche.

Now Pickle's PB sandwiches have always made crust waste - and sometimes I eat them, but a lot of the time they do end up in the trash. One of my readers, Amy, shared this recently: "I cut the bread before adding the other ingredients, then put the bread "scraps" in a freezer bag. I get them out and put them through the food processor any time I make a recipe that calls for breadcrumbs. You could also save them in a "feed the ducks" bag." Thanks for the good tips, I'm going to start doing that!


No fun lunch photos today. The sproutlets had some little friends over, and I made the bunch of them macaroni & cheese from a box. The blue box, of course, gotta be KD! (My fellow Canadians will know what I'm talking about!) Oh, Pickle did have his usual PB, but I didn't do anything special to it. In lieu of bento pics, here's one of a yummy quiche I made, and my recipe of sorts:

Easy Cheesy Quiche

Easy Cheesy Quiche

  • Pastry dough (I'm no baker - I use storebought refrigerated)
  • At least 3 eggs
  • 1½ - 2 cups cream or half & half. If I don't have half & half I use whatever milk I do have, but I decrease the amount and add more egg. It makes for a more omelet-like, less creamy quiche, but it's all good :)
  • Salt & pepper (I don't measure, I just add a good shake of each into the egg mixture)
  • Herbs & seasonings to taste (depends on my mood and what else I'm putting in it - but dill is almost always in there)
  • 1 cup of grated cheese, plus enough sliced cheese to cover the bottom of the pie pan
  • Various chunky ingredients such as ham, spinach, cooked chicken, leftover steamed broccoli or carrots, onions, peppers, etc. Sailor Boy would probably love it if I used mushrooms but ew, I don't like them. Pretty much if you can put it in an omelet you can put it in a quiche.
  • Press the pastry dough into a pan. Line it with a layer of cheese. I usually use swiss for the bottom layer, but anything goes.
  • Add the chunky ingredients, distributing evenly on top of the cheese, to about halfway to the top of the crust.
  • Beat the eggs, cream/milk. Beat in salt, pepper, & seasonings.
  • Pour the egg mixture over the chunky ingredients.
  • If there's still room, and you have any more, add more chunky ingredients, just make sure to leave room for the grated cheese.
  • Top with grated cheese.
  • Bake in 375 degree oven until browned and set. This takes anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour in my unreliable oven.
  • Let cool, and enjoy! It's even good cold!

Our family is off to Beautiful British Columbia for the weekend, to visit our Canadian family - and you can bet I'll be hitting the supermarket to stock up on the Canadian brands I can't get here in Washington!

Happy Weekend Everyone!

Like the look of our EasyLunchboxes? Get some!
And the Mini Dippers, and the cookbook too!


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