It gets dark too early around here these days.
When I leave the office at 6.30pm nowadays, I’m greeted by a sky so dark and intense it feels like night has already fallen. With the earlier sunsets also come chillier, colder temperatures, announcing the inevitable arrival of winter, which will sweep in majestically and mercilessly in about three weeks.
In this part of the world, deep in the Southern hemisphere, everyday gets shorter by a minute, and the sun creeps away earlier than we would like. While our friends in the Northern hemisphere are celebrating spring and the upcoming summer holidays, it’s quite the opposite for us. And in Argentina, where the tango was born, these darker months seem like a never-ending chorus of a sad and melancholic tango song.
It’s easy to understand why there are more cases of depression in winter; the lack of sunshine and impossibly low temperatures are hardly encouragement for the soul.
But as I’ve learnt in painting over the last couple of years, it’s extremely crucial to create contrasts in colors and shades, alternating between bright and dark, pale and intense, going from one extreme end of the color scale to the other.
And because I know how lessons from different facets of life can be applied in almost all other facets, I’ve decided to brighten up these dark soon-to-be-winter days with warmth and brighter colors, all of which can be created in the kitchen.
I’d chanced upon this recipe for quiche cups from Manila Spoon a while ago while surfing food blogs, and because it seemed easy enough and healthy too, I’d bookmarked it for sometime in the future, not knowing that it would eventually come in handy in these wintry days.
This is a simple snack made from sauteed button mushrooms, cooked fresh green spinach, shredded cheese, eggs, and a little bit of cream.
Isn’t the spinach just so beautiful?
Mixing the ingredients together, you then form the mixture to be baked.
The mixture is then poured into a muffin mold, then baked for 20 to 25 minutes in moderate heat, resulting in cute little yellow quiche cups, these snacks make such delightful eating.
I loved the contrasts in colors – dark, caramelized brown and an intense forest green against a bright sunshine yellow.
It filled my kitchen with golden sunshine and my stomach with a warm, delightfully healthy meal.
It also transported me back to summer, to nature and to warmer times..
I’ll assure you once again, this is definitely a snack you’ll want to try..
MUSHROOM SPINACH QUICHE CUPS (Makes 12)
Adapted from Manila Spoon’s Spinach Quiche Cups recipe
1) 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil (for cooking the mushrooms)
2) 300g of fresh spinach
3) 4 eggs (or 5 if they yolks are small)
4) 1 cup of shredded cheese (I used a mix of mozarella & cheddar, but you can use whichever you fancy)
5) 200g of fresh button mushrooms (sliced thinly)
6) 1-2 tablespoons of whipping cream
7) Salt & pepper to taste
8) 3/4 cup of water
1) Slice the mushrooms thinly, and remove the spinach leaves from the stems, washing them thoroughly
2) Heat up a little olive oil in a frying pan/skillet, and saute the mushrooms in the pan on low-medium heat until brown and cooked (around 5-6 minutes), then remove the mushrooms from pan
3) In the same pan, add in the spinach leaves and 3/4 cup of water, and cook until leaves are wilted (about 3-4 minutes), then drain the water from the spinach
4) Pre-heat oven till 190 deg cel (or 375 deg farenheit)
5) Mix sauteed mushrooms, cooked spinach leaves, shredded cheese, eggs, whipping cream, salt & pepper in a bowl until the ingredients are homogenously distributed
6) In a greased muffin mould (I used a silicon mould for 12 muffins), pour filling until it just reaches the top of each mould
7) Bake in oven for 20 -25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean
Fresh mushrooms, spinach, eggs, cheese:
Heat up a little olive oil in a frying pan/skillet, and saute the mushrooms in the pan on low-medium heat:
Until mushrooms are brown and cooked (around 5-6 minutes), then remove the mushrooms from pan:
In the same pan, add in the spinach leaves and 3/4 cup of water:
Cook until spinach leaves are wilted (about 3-4 minutes), then drain the water from the spinach:
Mix sauteed mushrooms, cooked spinach leaves, shredded cheese, eggs, whipping cream, salt & pepper in a bowl:
Until the ingredients are homogenously distributed:
In a greased muffin mould (I used a silicon mould for 12 muffins), pour filling until it just reaches the top of each mould:
Bake in oven for 20 – 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in comes out clean: