I remember the moment of despair. It was 15 March, 24 hours before England was being placed into lockdown. Like most people, my panic set in when confronted with empty supermarket shelves and the inability to get hold of fresh produce. A trip to Home Bargains proved more comforting because at least they still had a few jars and cans of vegetables and pulses at rock bottom prices.
One of my quirkiest buys that day was two jars of white asparagus for £1 each. At the time, I only knew the contents would keep well but didn’t know what I’d end up doing with them! And then came the lightbulb moment of discovering Chicken and Asparagus Quiche from Pinch of Nom. Now of course, you’re meant to use fresh asparagus for this recipe, but my jarred variety worked a treat with some eggs I picked up from a postbox outside a local farm. The owners kindly left fresh eggs in there every day and trusted people to leave the correct amount of money to pay for them. That was a period when lockdown brought out the best in some people and it became a highlight of my hour long walk at the crack of dawn.
As for this recipe, it just goes to show that you don’t need calorific pastry to make a decent, affordable quiche. Served with a side salad, this is a handy lunchtime option which should last you over 2-3 days when refrigerated afterwards, depending on how many people live in your house.
Recipe: Chicken and Asparagus Quiche
Calories: 192 per serving
Book: Pinch of Nom – Everyday Light
Prep time: Approx 15 mins
Cooking time: Approx 32 mins
- 1 chicken breast (skin and visible fat removed) cut into 1 cm chunks
- 1 large onion (peeled and finely chopped)
- Low-calorie cooking spray
- 100ml chicken stock (1 chicken stock cube dissolved in 100ml boiling water)
- Sea salt
- Ground black pepper
- 8 eggs
- 2 tbsp quark
- 60g reduced-fat Cheddar (finely grated)
- 125g asparagus spears (trimmed and cut into 1cm pieces)
Cost per portion: Approx £0.86
Pre-heat the oven to 200 degrees C / Fan 180 degrees C / gas mark 6.
Put the chicken and onion in a frying pan and spray with some low-calorie cooking spray. Gently saute over a medium heat for 2 minutes, until the chicken is white on the outside. It won’t be cooked fully, only the outside will be coloured.
Add the stock to the pan and simmer for 5 minutes, until the onions are soft, the chicken is cooked through and there is no liquid left in the pan. Season with salt and pepper.
Beat the eggs and quark together in a bowl until smooth, add half the grated cheese and season with salt and pepper. Add the chicken, onion and asparagus to a roughly 23cm (9 inch) flan dish. Pour over the egg mixture. Sprinkle the other half of the grated cheese on top. Place the dish in the centre of the oven for 25 minutes, or until the quiche has set all the way through and is golden on top.
Remove from the oven and serve hot or cold. You can also cover and freeze for another day once cooled.