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I’ve written pretty extensively here before about my cushy grocery budget. We do a lot of scrimping and saving in other areas of our life to be able to afford such a luxurious grocery budget. Plus, my job is recipe development and food photography, so groceries are a business expense for me. I know it isn’t possible or realistic for every family to spend the kind of money we do, so my philosophy has always been to buy the best food you can with what you have.
This all being said, let me tell you, our food bill has gotten totally and completely out. of. control. Last month we spent $1223.95 on groceries (which I know with a few clicks in YNAB—the best budgeting software ever). That doesn’t include eating out (we live in the middle of nowhere, there is no eating out here really). Or anything fancy (no lobster dinners with caviar). That $1200 is particularly ridiculous when you consider the fact that we don’t need to buy eggs, have enough food stores in our house to feed a small army, and live in an area of the country with a very low cost of living. So where does that $1200 come from? Well, I had a lot of food photography work last month. And we had family in town for a week, but honestly, much of it is from laziness. Pure laziness. That’s where.
Instead of creating meals based on what we have in our freezer or pantry, it’s been easier to just pop into the store and grab a few items for dinner—even if we have duplicates at home. I would come home from the grocery store, and try to put groceries away, but our fridge, freezer(s), and pantry were so full, I had no room to put the new groceries away.
Doh. I think that means I need to start shopping from my own kitchen! So that’s what I’m going to do. Say hello to my first pantry meal, Veggie Mediterranean Quiche—using only ingredients I already had on hand. Which you’re going to laugh at. Because who has this kind of stuff just lying around their kitchen gathering dust? This girl. That’s who.
In the Mediterranean quiche are eggs (from our ladies, of course), sundried tomatoes (that we dried from our Chadwick Cherry tomatoes this summer), red bell peppers (frozen from the garden), garlic (from the garden), onions (in our pantry), spinach (frozen from the garden), dried parsley and oregano (from our garden), kalamata olives (from the pantry), plus cheddar cheese sent to me from my friends at Cabot Creamery and some feta we had kicking around in the fridge. We buy both butter and flour in bulk, so we always have those on hand to make a pie crust.
I know you’re seeing those olives in there and about three-quarters of you are turning up your nose in disgust, but let me try to convince you that you need to leave them in the recipe.
My husband is a reluctant olive eater. He’ll eat them if I cut them into small slices and hide them inside something. And honestly, he’d probably prefer if I never brought another olive into the kitchen.
On the other hand, for me, a dream vacation would be a lounge chair and a free pass to the Whole Foods olive bar. Yum.
So keep this in mind when I tell you that my husband was happily nomming away on a piece of this Mediterranean quiche for dinner the other day, he looked up at me and said, “These are Kalamata olives in here, right?” And I told him they were. And his response was, “They add a really great flavor to this. Super good. It’s not really olive-y. Just a nice, salty taste.” Music to my ears. Try the olives. TRY THEM.
5 from 1 reviews
This healthy vegetarian Mediterranean Quiche recipe is packed full of bright flavor and healthy veggies. Serve it for breakfast, brunch, lunch or dinner!
You’ll find two types of sundried tomatoes in the grocery store—dry ones and ones packed in olive oil. Both work for this recipe. If you get dry ones, follow the directions in the recipe to reconstitute them. If you get oil-packed ones, skip the part where you soak the tomatoes in boiling water. Just remove them from the oil, chop them, and proceed with the recipe.
Between the feta, cheddar, and olives, this recipe has a lot of inherent saltiness—season carefully. You can always add more salt at the table, but you can never take it out!
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I am a single person with grown kids. My youngest stays with me twice a week, and I have two Siberian Huskies who get some homemade dog food. I can spend 500 a month in groceries easily, having a crazy need to have all the things at my fingertips. My mother was the same way. I have been trying to curb that, and it isn’t easy! I flail here and there (for instance, having 3 dozen eggs for one person, though these are local eggs, so special!) I often wonder if there is some sort of great fear of starving or something involved. My mom grew up very poor, I did not. Anyway, this is a great idea, to use up what is on hand. And…. I have everything to make this quiche too….
hi, i’m planning on making this for a brunch in the morning. i have 2 quick questions: 1) when do you add the sundried tomatoes after chopping? & 2) can this be prepared the night before and just baked the next day? not sure what the rules are for raw eggs…
Yup, you can prepare it the night before and bake it the next morning. And just mix in the sundried tomatoes with the rest of the veggies. :)
i would prep everythng but wait until you are going to bake it to add the eggs, otherwise they might soak into the crust and make it soggy. Or it could be baked and made the day before and re-heated to serve, but it wouldn’t be as fresh.
I’m the same way. I plan my meals weekly but I need to be able to change it at the drop of a hat depending on my mood. My chef nephew as visiting and said my pantry was stocked better than his restaurant pantry and was so happy to prepare a dinner for us and having to buy only the main ingredients. We even forgot dessert but a quick check of my pantry yielded chocolate cups, had ice cream and frozen raspberries in the freezer and some whipping cream!
I’m moving from NWI to your neck of the woods so I can come over for dinner. In exchange, I’ll crochet you pretty things and make you pretty things and help you in the garden. Sound good? GOOD.
But seriously, I’ve never been to the olive bar at Whole Foods (we JUST got a WF in Schererville, IN but I haven’t been yet), but it sounds heavenly. I LOVE olives! There are some Italian type ones (I think) that are this bright green from Costco….I ate the whole jar. Sorry not sorry!
I knew I wasn’t exactly your target group…but holy cow. Love your blog but so wow. I’m hoping we can sqeeze the budget put to $250 for a family of three since it will include Thanksgiving I’ll host for us and my parents. Trying to only spend $200 so can put $50 towards Christmas.
I really like seeing my fridge drop to empty just before buying groceries, there’s something satisfying to me about using it all up.
We must be related! That’s how I roll too and it has stressed out my immediate family — but then I go to my mom’s house of 1 and LOSE MY MIND when her French-door fridge has no room to put anything as mine echoes….
I hear you we don’t go out a lot (barely ever really) but we both love to cook and love good whole foods it’s not cheap. Two adults and a teenager in our house and I spend anywhere from 200-350/week (we live in Canada and food is just more expensive). And that doesn’t include most of our meat which we get from a local farm in freezer boxes. I’m hoping to cut down this year by thinking ahead and buying more in season. It’s not usually this time of year for a single head of cauliflower to be 5-6$. I should rice a lot more when it’s in season but I don’t :(
I like reading your blog. I recently just stumbled upon it and I’m liking it. Since a lot of people don’t have a $1200 plus per month food budget….may I make a suggestion? Maybe you could try living on a food budget for a month or a few weeks and share your progress with your readers? This will help you be creative and more relatable to your readers. Just a suggestion. :)
That’s a great suggestion! Unfortunately, it’s hard to really do a heavy tweaking of my grocery budget because food photography and food writing is my business (and not just for the blog, for outside clients, too). Groceries are a necessary business expense for me. So I can’t do a lot of major shifting, but I’m hoping to be able to pull back a little bit in upcoming months.
Can I just say that I love this post, both the recipe and your honesty? While my food budget isn’t quite as big, I appreciate that yours is, knowing that when you post a recipe, you’ve done all of the legwork and trial and error for us. This means that when I invest in the ingredients for one of your recipes, I’m actually saving money because I know the recipe is good and I won’t have to waste anything. You wouldn’t post it otherwise. :)
So keep on keeping on – your recipe development and the rest of your blog are greatly appreciated by many folks!
Is there another cheese that I could substitute for cheddar?
Sure, whatever you have on hand would work. :)
I’ve used swiss or gouda, or a combination of those two in my quiches. Yum! Looking forward to trying this one Cassie….and I might have skipped the olives, but you’ve convinced me to try it. ;-) I’m not likely your target market either, but really enjoy your blog!
Hi I just made this and it is in the oven asi type. I didn’t see in your recipe where to add the sundried tomatoes? I added them with the red pepper as it seemed ok to do.
We are always looking for ways to help people get more veggies in for breakfast. I’ll definitely have to share this one as an alternative to a regular omelette. Good protein in here too! Thanks for the new recipe!
I made this. It was great!
Glad to hear it!
Hi this was delicious, but the crust was soggy. Any thoughts on what I should do differently? I followed the recipe exactly. Cooked for 55 minutes and cooled for 15 minutes.
Sometimes veggies have lots of water packed into them and that can cause some soggy-ness issues. After you saute, try letting the veggies cool, then squeezing out as much moisture as possible with paper towels before proceeding with the recipe.
Do you have the nutrition facts for this recipe?
Here is a great copy and paste nutrition info calculator that should help: https://www.caloriecount.com/cc/recipe_analysis.php
Hi I dont like olives is there anything I could substitute it with
You can just leave them out if you want, or increase the other veggies a bit!
Should we parbake the pie crust before putting the veggies and eggs in?
Nope, no need!
This was yummy! However, the recipe doesn’t say when to put the tomatoes in… unless I missed it… so I totally forgot to put those in!
Oops, good catch! Fixing it now!
The recipe link is broken ? Gonna have to wing it. Please fix as I doubt my version will be as good!!
We added a new recipe plugin, and it didn’t immediately transfer to mobile well. It should be fixed now! Sorry about that!
Is there a way to freeze this dish?
Sure thing! Just let it cool after baking, wrap well, and then freeze. :)
Great recipe, but can I make this without a crust? Like a Quiche?
I haven’t tried it, but you could give it a shot!
What it the temp that I ned to cook it at? It says the temp for the crust, but not the actual quiche.
Same temp as the crust—375°. :)
Really good. it was perfect to make ahead. my hubby & I have classes that keep us out until about 8:30 or 9 pm. We need something not too heavy to eat when we get home. This fit the bill perfectly.
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