You may remember that a few months ago Jones Dairy hired me to develop some recipes for their website, using their delicious gluten free sausage products. One of the recipes I came up with was a quiche, using their gluten free mild breakfast sausage rolled out as the crust. It came out great (I’ll post links to the recipes when they go live over on the Jones Dairy site), and I wanted to use the same crust concept for some other low carb recipes here on IBIH. Since I still had some rolls of the sausage they sent me to use in the recipes, I decided to fool around with it this weekend.
My in-laws had an abundance of swiss chard from their garden recently and were kind enough to share, which made me happy because my garden did not cooperate at all this year! I love rainbow swiss chard so much for both it’s beauty, and it’s flavor – but you could also substitute spinach in this recipe if you can’t get, or don’t like Swiss Chard.
I chopped and sauteed the rainbow chard with eggs, ricotta and mozzarella cheese (among other things) and it made a delicious filling for the sausage crust. I tried it several different ways, and my favorite was made in the mini muffin pan as shown in the photo above. It can also be made in regular cupcake size, tart size, or in one large pie that can be cut into wedges. If you are vegetarian you can omit the sausage crust altogether and it’s still very tasty. The mini muffin size make a perfect one-bite party appetizer, while the cupcake size is perfect for a quick breakfast or lunch when you’re in a hurry. I even enjoyed them cold, right out of the fridge, though hot is preferable. You may find that you need a little extra sausage if you are making the mini-size, rather than the large pie, because the sausage to filling ratio is a little different. These are insanely filling by the way, which is great because just a few bites keep me full for hours! Hope you guys like them and as always I love hearing your feedback in the comments!
Swiss Chard & Ricotta Pie (LC & GF)
- 1 Tbl olive oil
- 1/2 cup onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 8 cups swiss chard, chopped
- 2 cups whole milk ricotta cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup shredded mozzarella
- 1/4 cup shredded parmesan
- 1/8 tsp ground nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 lb mild sausage
- Heat the olive oil in a large saute pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook for several minutes or until soft. Add the swiss chard (or other greens of your choice) and cook for about 5 minutes until the leaves are wilted and the stems have softened. Add the nutmeg and season with salt and pepper. Remove from heat and set aside to cool. Meanwhile, beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the ricotta, parmesan and mozzarella cheeses. Stir in the sauteed greens. If making the large pie, you will have to roll out your sausage or press it into the pie tin uniformly. Then pour in the filling, place on a cookie sheet (to catch any dripping oil from the sausage) and bake at 350 degrees (F) for about 30 – 35 minutes or until firm.
- If making the muffins, use your fingers to press the sausage into place, lining the cups about 1/4 inch thick. Then spoon in your filling – don’t overfill because they will puff up slightly when baking. Make sure you bake these on a cookie sheet, as the grease from the cooking sausage will overflow the cups and you will have a mess on your hands if you don’t put something underneath it to catch it! Also, by all means add more cheese on top if you so desire.
Approximate nutrition information WITH sausage crust:
Per serving (one 8th) of pie: 344 calories, 27g fat, 4g net carbs, 23g protein
Per standard sized muffin: 230 calories, 18g fat, 2.6g net carbs, 16g protein
Per mini muffin: 115 calories, 9g fat, 1.3g net carbs, 8g protein
Approximate nutrition information WITHOUT sausage crust:
Per serving (one 8th) of pie: 200 calories, 15g fat, 4g net carbs, 15g protein
Per standard sized muffin: 134 calories, 10g fat, 2.6g net carbs, 10g protein
Per mini muffin: 67 calories, 5g fat, 1.3g net carbs, 5g protein