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Cook it light: Use potatoes for quiche crust

Dear Jeanne: This is a delicious and easy breakfast dish for company, but all my friends are watching their fat and cholesterol intake, so it's not a welcome dish anymore. Can you make it healthier so I can make it for friends again? —Kathleen, San Francisco

Dear Kathleen: This was an interesting quiche, because the hash browns are cooked in the egg custard. I thought it might be good to use the potatoes as a crust and save all the fat and calories of the pastry crust. I used frozen shredded hash browns that have no added fat, and I think it came out really well; it has all the same flavors and a great texture. It was particularly good served with some fresh salsa I made with tomatoes, red onion, cilantro and jalapenos.


2 tablespoons butter

1 3/4 cups shredded potatoes

8 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled

1/2 cup green onions, chopped

1 1/2 cups Swiss cheese, shredded

6 eggs, beaten

1 1/2 cups half-and-half

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 pie crust

Melt the butter in a large pan and saute the potatoes until they're lightly browned. Put the potatoes in the bottom of the pie crust. Add the bacon, green onions and cheese. Beat the eggs and add the half-and-half, mustard, salt and pepper. Pour over the potatoes. Bake at 350 F for 45 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.


2 cups frozen shredded potatoes, thawed

1/2 bunch green onions, chopped (about 2/3 cup), divided use

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided use

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour, divided use

1 1/2 cups liquid egg substitute (or whites)

1 3/4 cups fat-free half-and-half

3 ounces Canadian bacon, chopped (about 1/2 cup)

1/2 cup reduced-fat Swiss cheese, shredded

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 350 F. Spray a deep pie plate or quiche pan with nonstick cooking spray. Set aside.

2. Combine the potatoes, 1/4 cup of the green onions, 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1 tablespoon flour, and mix well. Press down evenly in the bottom and up the sides of the prepared dish. Spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place on the lower rack of the oven and bake for 15 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the egg substitute, remaining green onions, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and last 2 tablespoons of flour. Add the fat-free half-and-half, Canadian bacon, Swiss cheese, dry mustard and black pepper. Pour into the hot potato crust. Return to the oven for 45 minutes, or until a sharp knife inserted into the center of the quiche comes out clean. Allow to rest 15 minutes before cutting.

Makes 6 servings.

Each serving contains approximately: Original Recipe: 621 calories; 43 gm fat; 294 mg cholesterol; 1,021 mg sodium; 37 gm carbohydrates; 22 gm protein; 2 gm fiber. Revised Recipe: 201 calories; 2 gm fat; 10 mg cholesterol; 612 mg sodium; 26 gm carbohydrates; 14 gm protein; 1 gm fiber.

Jeanne Jones is the author of 33 cookbooks, most recently "Cooking From the Cupboard" (Rodale Press). For more information, you can go to her Web site,

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