The summer after I finished 6th grade, my parents planned an exciting family vacation to Paris. We boarded the plane shortly after classes ended, and my brother and I spent the entire 10-hour flight devouring Harry Potter books, nibbling on rainbow-colored Nerds, and waiting as patiently as possible to land at the Charles de Gaulle Airport. We lugged our brand-new forest green suitcases onto the Métro, swayed back and forth in the aisles as it careened around the turns, and eventually found our rental flat less than a mile’s walk from Notre Dame.
Mom and Dad carefully arranged the dates to ensure we’d celebrate my 12th birthday in Paris, and they let me choose what sights to see on that special day. I initially picked both the Eiffel Tower and Versailles—I read a fictional novel about Marie Antoinette a few months before and desperately wanted to see the gorgeous gardens!—but after discovering the castle was actually located an hour away by train, we decided to spread out my birthday events over two days and settled on trekking out to Versailles the following morning.
After a sweet breakfast of chocolate croissants and fresh fruit, we hopped on the Métro to travel to the iconic structure. We joined the queue for tickets snaking around the base pillars, eventually paid our fees, and began the 1665-step climb, followed by a brief elevator ride, to the top. We soaked in the breathtaking (and dizzying!) views sweeping out over the entire city, clutching our yellow disposable cameras while pointing out the Notre Dame and Arc de Triomphe, before descending the stairs back down to solid ground.
My parents suggested that we wandered around the Musée d’Orsay during the afternoon, an art museum located in a historic train station next to the Seine. Before admiring any of the impressive pieces, we sped straight up to the restaurant situated in the top story directly behind the two 20-foot tall glass clocks for lunch. Despite spending almost an hour at our quaint table staring at the slowly circling hour and minute hands, we never quite got the hang of telling time backwards!
As an 11-turned-12-year-old, I was just beginning to overcome my picky eater phase, so my parents convinced me to order a simple quiche from the café menu. They patiently explained that it was very similar to scrambled eggs with cheese (which I often enjoyed for breakfast), but baked in a pie crust instead and with a few pieces of ham mixed in too. It sounded like the least scary option, so I cautiously agreed.
Sprinting up all of those Eiffel Tower stairs really piqued my appetite—I polished off the entire plate by myself! With the habit of saving the best for last, I set aside the biggest, flakiest pieces of pie crust to end my lunch, and I actually ordered multiple more quiches throughout the rest of our trip. Along with chocolate croissants and fresh fruit tarts, I just couldn’t get enough!
But things have changed a bit since then, and I realized that (a) I look forward to veggies more than ham and cheese, and (b) all those buttery crusts probably wouldn’t help my waistline too much. After reminiscing about our fun family vacation and pouring over pictures, I decided to create a skinny, guilt-free version and came up with…
This beautiful Kale and Tomato Quiche! Filled with flavorful herbs and held together with a little gooey mozzarella, this hearty vegetarian breakfast is studded with plenty of spicy kale and plump juicy tomatoes. Made with only healthy, clean-eating ingredients, each low-calorie serving of quiche—an entire quarter of the pan!—comes packed with 16.8 grams of protein to keep you full all morning!
This low-fat quiche requires almost no effort at all! Simply sauté the kale, dice the tomatoes, and whisk the egg whites with some herbs. When it comes to whisking, you can flex your muscles and do it the old-fashioned way with a regular whisk… Or you can use an electric mixer instead. Whenever I begin, I swear I’m going to use the easy route, but all 5 times I’ve made this quiche, I’ve forgotten, reached for my hot pink whisk, and gotten a good bicep workout instead. Oops!
For the prettiest presentation, treat the quiche like a pizza and assemble it in layers. Start by spreading the kale across the bottom; then sprinkle the tomatoes and cheese on top; and finish by gently pouring the herbed egg whites over everything. Layering ensures the fillings won’t clog the whisk (or mixer) AND that they won’t all float to the top of the quiche. I also prefer putting the cheese inside instead of reserving it for on top of the egg whites because it acts like glue to help hold the quiche together better. But if you’re rushed for time, feel free to skip the layering and just pour everything into the pan instead!
Now for the hard part: waiting. The quiche bakes at 325°F for 40-45 minutes, or until the center no longer jiggles. You want it to be completely set—no runny egg whites spilling all over the bottom of the plate! If the quiche hasn’t quite cooked through when you start to slice it, no need to panic. Just stick it back in the oven for a few minutes until it firms up. I did that with my first attempt, and it turned out perfectly!
I bake this Kale and Tomato Quiche at least once a week, and I practically spring out of bed in the mornings just to sink my fork into a slice. With its slightly spicy kale, juicy red tomatoes, and gooey mozzarella cheese, this skinny quiche is like a sliver of healthy comfort food heaven—all for just 113 calories!