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Quiche sticklers will ask “What is a quiche without a lovely, flaky crust?” True, the joy of the crust is absent here. So call it “Cheesy Pie.” It saves you approximately 100 calories per piece, and the hassle of making the pastry. And it’s still delicious.


Quiche with kale and vegan “chicken” chunks.

I have been pondering: what are the dishes I make so often that I can do them by instinct, without a recipe, when I’m tired after a day’s work? In no particular order, they are:

  1. Quiche or Cheesy Pie. (Find the recipe here and simply leave off the bread crumbs, as I often do. You can also increase the number of eggs). I only make egg dishes when I have a supply from the local Happy Chickens. No supermarket eggs, ever.
  2. Vegetable soup (usually asparagus, cauliflower, or kale). One of my favorite meals is soup with bread and cheese and a glass of wine.
  3. Vegetarian chili. I have been making this for 25 years. It’s for desperate nights when you have nothing fresh in the fridge and have to use canned goods.
  4. Sautéed greens with savory proteins. This is the one I turn to most often, because I have a huge craving for greens. It evolved from the pastas I used to make, but now I either leave out the pasta, or toss in just a handful. The proteins can be beans, meat analogs, or cheese.
  5. Mediterranean mostaccioli. This is pasta with a sauce of good canned tomatoes (or oven-roasted garden tomatoes, if I have them), garlic, olives, herbes de Provence, and red pepper flakes.
  6. “Mexican” beans and rice. This is rice cooked with tomato/pepper salsa so it’s tangy, plus refried beans, plus chopped sweet bell peppers, cilantro, scallions, and whatever other fixings I have around (avocado!!).
  7. Frittata. It’s faster than the quiche. The ingredients are similar, but I cook the eggs on the stovetop in a non-stick pan and garnish with cheese at the end. I don’t fuss with turning a frittata in one piece–I simply cut it in wedges and flop them over.

I can have any of these ready in 30-45 minutes. Numbers 2-6 are potentially vegan, but I usually have them with cheese, turophile that I am.

What are the everyday dishes you could make in your sleep?