Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Arthritis Friendly Recipe: Easy Tortilla Crust Quiche

Rummaging around my kitchen the other day, I decided I wanted to make butternut squash quiche, but frankly with my arthritis playing havoc and a 3-month old baby I'd rather be playing with, I didn't feel like faffing around making a crust. Staring into the fridge, I ummed and ahhed about what I could use and then it occurred to me that the half-eaten pack of tortilla wraps would make a great quiche crust and be more arthritis-friendly!

If your arthritis makes cutting squash up tricky, you can either buy prepared squash or substitute any other vegetables you like, as long as they aren't too 'wet' (so no courgettes etc). You can vary the quiche by adding different seasonings to the egg mix too, try a tablespoon of pesto or a little smoked paprika.

Ingredients:
4 large eggs
2 egg whites
200g ricotta (or cottage cheese)
300g butternut squash 
4 spring onions
20g finely grated parmesan (optional)
Black pepper and salt to taste
2 tortilla wraps (I used seeded ones)
Olive oil to grease pan

Serves 4-6

Grease a small flan dish or 8inch cake pan with a little olive oil. Place one tortilla over the base (it should cover it completely) and then use strips of the second to cover the sides. Place the pan on a baking tray to make it easier to transfer in and out of the oven.

Cut the butternut squash into dice sized cubes and steam until tender (I microwaved mine on HIGH for 5 minutes in a small bowl covered with pierced cling film).Slice the spring onion finely. Scatter the prepared vegetables evenly over the tortilla base. 

Beat the eggs, egg whites and ricotta together in a jug. Season with the black pepper and a little salt. Pour this egg mixture over the vegetables and top with the grated parmesan.

Bake the quiche for 30-35 minutes at 180C/375F or until it is golden on top and set.

Allow to cool for 15 minutes and then turn out. You can eat the quiche warm or at room temperature.

Arthritis diet notes:
This is a much healthier spin on the traditional quiche. Removing the pastry crust cuts back on butter and the ricotta replaces the saturated fat rich cream and cheese without compromising on taste. High intakes of saturated fat have been linked to an increased likelihood of developing rheumatoid arthritis and greater levels of inflammation in osteoarthritis and all types of auto-immune arthritis. Despite a flurry of recent media coverage about sevearl studies suggesting that saturated fat may not be as harmful for people's health as previously thought, I'd remain pretty cautious about eating large quantities of any animal fat. Most of the evidence still supports that eating a healthy plant based diet is best for your long term health and arthritis.

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