How to eat more healthy, good-for-you, blue foods.
Okay, okay, it’s not the typical “blue food” that would come to most people’s minds when thinking about foods to beat the Blue Monday meal blues. This quiche is, however, a great crustless quiche recipe for adding some spring flavor and a bit of sun-shiny yellow on your plate to brighten up your Blue Monday meal!
Mmmm, delish! The flavors of this easy crustless quiche recipe are inspired by Julia Child’s Quiche Au Roquefort. In this version, I’ve skipped the crust and added asparagus (one of my favorite spring vegetables), and some chopped ham.
Pair this crustless quiche with a glass of well chilled white wine for a fancied up Blue Monday meal that’s a satisfying pick-me-up even when you don’t feel like fussing. What’s more is that this amazing Crustless Blue Cheese, Asparagus & Ham Quiche is low in carbs, it’s gluten-free, and packed with healthy goodness and great flavor!
Picture the recipe step-by-step...
So, what is Blue Monday?
For those of you who are unfamiliar with this whole gloomy titled third Monday of January known as “Blue Monday,” it might just be that in your neck of the woods, you’ve called it “The Winter Blues” or “Cabin Fever.”
In the Blue Monday equation weather=W, monthly salary=D, debt=d, time since Christmas=T, time since failing our new year’s resolutions=Q, low motivational levels=M, and the feeling of a need to take action=Na. No units in the “formula” were defined.
Could it be that I live under a rock out here at Lac du Nibiinaabe? Don’t answer that. I’m sure there are those who might think so. Seriously, before today I wasn’t familiar with this term for the gloomy titled third Monday of January known as “Blue Monday.”
So, I Googled it! Blue Monday, I learned, has been around since 2005 and it’s truly become somewhat of an “anti-holiday” holiday where many people instead of trying to ward off the blues which accompany this time of the year, they decide to embrace the blues by listening to sad music, refusing to use happy greetings and by refusing to leave the house.
It just happens that this year Blue Monday has fallen on the heels of what hints to be in my mind the perfect name for a heavy metal band, the “Super Blood Wolf Moon Eclipse,” the total lunar eclipse seen last night by folks in North and South America, Europe and western Africa.
Then it hit me that this alignment of the earth, moon, and sun has gotten the proverbial last laugh on all of us in its timing for this gloomy celebration of Blue Monday that aptly fuses last night’s performance with somewhat of a muffled ringing in of a celestial hangover of sorts.
After rocking the holidays (possibly) a little more financially reckless than we maybe should have, feeling guilty for not meeting our self-induced expectations of our New Year’s resolutions, and let’s not forget the cold and dark winter we are experiencing. Here we are, welcome to Blue Monday, dubbed the most depressing day of the year.
The onset of the winter blues, and in this case the gloomy titled third Monday of January, is said to be so depressing because of a combination of post-Christmas bills, the abandonment of New Year’s resolutions, low sunlight levels, and cold weather.
In nothing more than a promotional stunt for a marketing campaign meant to sell more travel packages in January, Blue Monday has turned out to be the unofficial holiday that celebrates both those trying to beat the blues that accompany this time of year as well as those who embrace the blues in more solitary ways.
While blue foods really have nothing to do with this recipe for Crustless Blue Cheese, Asparagus & Ham Quiche beyond Blue Cheese being called Blue Cheese; the health benefits of eating blue foods are pretty amazing.
According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Study (NHANES), a survey of eating and health habits, people who eat blue and purple foods have a reduced risk of heart disease, diabetes, and metabolic syndrome that is a precursor for Type 2 Diabetes.
If you still need convincing, there's more...
Blue and purple foods have many different nutrients that provide lasting good health benefits for your body. By enjoying blue and purple fruits and vegetables, you’ll also be reaping the rewards of lowering the risk of colon cancer, preventing age-related memory loss, keeping your eyes and urinary tract healthy and lowering the risk of gum disease and stomach ulcers.
TRY THESE BLUE AND PURPLE VEGETABLES
- Blueberries, blackberries, grapes, eggplants, and blue potatoes are usually fairly easy to find
- Plumbs and purple cabbage is abundant all year
- Purple kale and blue corn is available at certain times of the year (also blue corn is used in blue corn tortilla chips)
Finally, blue and purple foods contain anthocyanins, a type of flavonoid and class of compound with antioxidant effects. Anthocyanins are found naturally in many foods and are the pigments which give blue and purple foods their color. These compounds benefit your body by fighting free radicals, soothing inflammation and have been linked to improving balance and coordination. Many also contain ellagic acid, a phytochemical (“phyto” means “plant”) produced by plants and are believed to prevent some cancers as well as lowering cholesterol levels.
HOW TO EAT MORE BLUE AND PURPLE FOODS
- Add fruits like blueberries, blackberries, plums, and raisins to make great snacks or add to cereal, oatmeal, pancakes, salads, and desserts
- Vegetables like blue potatoes, eggplants, and purple cabbage are perfect to add eye appeal to salads and soups or even to serve as the main ingredient in entrees
- Choose black grapes for nibbling on as an easy snack
- Make a healthy coleslaw using purple cabbage, grated carrot, a little sweet red onion thinly sliced, and raisins – mix with plain natural yogurt and a little low-fat mayo for an easy low-calorie side dish
- Blend up a superfood smoothie using blackberries and blueberries with natural yogurt, a drizzle of honey and a few cubes of ice for a naturally sweet, high fiber drinkable treat that’s high in antioxidants and disease-fighting nutrients
- Stew some purple plumbs then swirl into yogurt for a delicious dessert
- Try a delicious grilled cheese sandwich that’s a little strange but super delicious using soft goat cheese and blueberries for an updated classic combo
But if you’re not a person who is all about eating blue foods today, it’s okay. Eating right with color is a continuous process that a person can work on throughout the year. Beyond that, no matter what you might call today, “Blue Monday,” “The Winter Blues,” or the day when “Cabin Fever” sets in. No matter what blue group, you may identify with as you celebrate today; I want you to know that this Crustless Blue Cheese, Asparagus & Ham Quiche with its rich custard, asparagus, ham, and blue-cheesy filling makes a flavorful, savory meal for most any day or time of the year. Enjoy!
Crustless Blue Cheese, Asparagus & Ham Quiche
- veggie steamer basket
- pan or pot
- small baking dish
- 3 large Eggs
- 5 spears Asparagus
- ¼ Cup Ham chopped
- ¼ Cup Bleu Cheese mild Gorgonzola dolce
- ¼ Cup Cottage Cheese small curd
- 2 Tablespoons Half-N-Half
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 325ºF.
- Wash asparagus in cool water and slice into 1-inch pieces. Place in a vegetable steamer basket and place in a pan or pot with just enough water to fill to where the base of the steamer is above the water level.
- Cover pan and steam asparagus for 2-3 minutes. Use a fork to check for tenderness. Use the handle or ring to lift and strain any excess water from the basket while removing and set aside to cool slightly.
- Prepare a shallow baking dish by coating sides and bottom with butter (or spray with gluten-free non-stick spray). Layer the steamed asparagus, chopped ham, and bleu cheese evenly in the dish.
- In a small bowl, combine eggs, cottage cheese, half-n-half, and seasonings. Whisk together until lemon-colored. Pour egg mixture over top of the ingredients in the baking dish.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes until custard mixture is lightly set, puffed up and slightly browned. A knife inserted in the center will reveal that the quiche is firmly set but not weepy. Let cool for 1-2 minutes before serving.
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(Nutritional values are an approximation. Actual nutritional values may vary due to preparation techniques, variations related to suppliers, regional and seasonal differences, or rounding.)