The new normal; chard-crab quiche

Shellfish and greens — who’d have thought they’d make such a delectable combination?

I was diagnosed with breast cancer just before Christmas (yeah, Happy Holidays!), and that’s been my excuse for everything I don’t feel like doing ever since. Like eating well or exercising or going to bed at a reasonable time. “I oughta be able to do this — I have cancer!”

Obviously, that’s not going to work in the short- or the long-term. I don’t want to be a person with cancer.  I want to be an old broad who happens to have a couple of chronic conditions as a result of family genetics and having lived this long. (As the saying goes, the alternative is not appealing. I would have missed, random examples, the blue grosbeak that showed up yesterday morning with the mellow- yellow goldfinches. I’d have missed singing “The Hallelujah Chorus” on Easter morning with one of our daughters and one of our granddaughters.)

So, back to Weight Watchers and the Y. Back to counting points and realizing that packing on 10 lost pounds is not a little weight gain. Back to going to bed with Stoic the Vast who knows how to turn off the television. Back to feeling better, even if I need 15 radiation treatments (chemo’s off the table — lucky me, yay!!) Back to vitamins and vegetables. Last night we had some leftover pasta with homemade marinara, oven-roasted cauliflower and a salad with greens from the garden.

Back to reminding myself that this is not a temporary thing, a diet. This is, in the words of our Weight Watchers leader Donna, “the new normal.”

So when heartfriends came to visit this past weekend I used maybe half of the Rainbow chard in the garden. (It is immensely happy and self-satisfied out there.) The recipe called for spinach, but Dora the Explorer, who cooks a lot more vegetables than I, said chard would be fine, and it was.

I added a fistful of blue cheese to the prescribed cheeses for a bit of what we in the South call a “wang.” Even with that and the mountain of chard, we could still taste crab, even though I’d used the cheapest canned crab. (I also used 10 ounces rather than the 5 to 8, called for in the Taste of Home recipe.)

Crab and spinach (chard) quiche

2 unbaked 9-inch piecrusts

5 eggs

1-1/2 cups whole milk

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon pepper

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1-1/2 cups grated Parmesan

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Swiss cheese

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

10 ounces canned or frozen crab meat, drained, flaked and cartilage removed

1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach (or an equal amount of carefully washed and finely chopped chard)

Heat the oven to 400°. Put foil and pie weights in the crusts and bake them for 8 to 10 minutes. Set aside to cool, and gently remove the foil and weights. Reduce oven temperature to 350.°

Stir together milk, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg and flour. Whisk until you don’t see lumps of flour.

Local strawberries are a wonderful accompaniment to the nutty, cheesy tastes of the quiche.

Add cheeses, crab, green vegetable and stir gently. Pour filling into crusts. Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until tops are golden. Remove to wire racks to cool and “set” into firmness. Cover and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Makes 32 appetizer servings or 16 brunch or lunch entrée servings. You can freeze one of the quiches for eating within the next few weeks.



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