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A quiche that keeps the carbs and fat at bay

  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

    This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)
  • This Sept. 23, 2013 photo shows low carb cauliflower bell pepper quiche in Concord, N.H. (AP Photo/Matthew Mead)

Now that you’ve stuffed yourself with turkey and taters and gravy and pie and – of course – stuffing, you might be ready to do penance before the next rush of holiday calories.

If so, this is the dinner for you. For those post-Thanksgiving nights when you need something lighter, I give you this simple, low-carb, high-flavor “quiche” that calls for no grains, no gluten and no heavy lifting. It has, in fact, become my go-to dinner on busy weeknights simply because it is so effortless. It also happens to be pretty versatile.

The whole thing is cooked in a single skillet and requires only a few minutes hands-on time. The “crust” is made from caramelized cauliflower florets, but actually any number of other vegetables could be substituted. I’ve done it with broccoli florets, as well as cubed butternut squash.

This quiche also can be seasoned however you like. I usually keep it simple with thyme and garlic, but you can take it in any number of directions. Curry powder would be great, as would smoked paprika and cumin. And if you like it spicy, add some chopped jalapenos to the mix.

I also like to finish the quiche with fat-free feta cheese. It adds a nice salty-savory flavor.

LOW-CARB CAULIFLOWER-BELL PEPPER QUICHE

5 cups small cauliflower florets (about 1 head, see note)

1 large red bell pepper, cored and chopped

Salt and ground black pepper

8 egg whites (or 11/2 cups pasteurized egg whites)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/3 cup fat-free crumbled feta

Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray, then add the cauliflower florets and bell pepper, arranging them in an even layer. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, without stirring, for 3 minutes. Stir to turn the florets, then let them cook another 3 minutes without moving them. Once the florets are evenly browned, cover the pan and cook another 3 to 4 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together the egg whites, thyme and garlic. Pour evenly over the vegetables, then reduce heat to medium-low, cover the pan and cook for 3 minutes. Sprinkle the feta over the quiche, then cover again and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, or until the eggs are completely cooked. Season with salt and pepper.

Note: Be sure to cut your cauliflower florets very small, something between the size of a nickel and quarter is ideal. This ensures they cook quickly and evenly in the skillet.

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