Easy, Anytime Idea: Cheddar and Chive Mini Quiches

These quick and simple quiches are a great source of protein.


What defines a great snack or light meal—especially for busy expecting or new moms?

* Simple to put together with a short list of "always at the ready" ingredients. No last-minute runs to the store, please.

* Able to be made ahead in batches, and equally delicious served fresh or reheated. This is no time to be on your feet and cooking constantly.

* Something you can enjoy any time of day, and something that is also flavorful, filling, and easy to digest

* Something that's adapable to suit your unique cravings or aversions

* Able to be pre-portioned and is imminently portable—for grab and go convenience in those moments when hunger doesn't just creep up on you... but seriously strikes!

These Cheddar and Chive Mini Quiches cover all the bases. Whisk together a handful of ingredients, pour into muffin pan, and bake: Done, and delicious!

THE BONUS CORNER: Not only is this recipe inexpensive, easy and convenient to make, but did you know the eggs featured in these quiches offer a slew of health benefits; especially while you're expecting?

Pack a Protein Punch: At 70 calories each, one egg provides 6 grams of high quality protein. (Don't skip the yolks, they provide nearly half the protein and a significant part of the nutrients.) The protein in eggs helps you to feel full longer and stay energized, to keep you satisfied between meals and snacks on busy days.

Support Your Strength: Consuming protein following exercise is also a great way to help build and maintain muscle strength. On the flip side: if you're on bed rest consuming a healthy amount of protein can help prevent muscle loss.

Healthy Baby: Egg yolks are an excellent source of both choline and B vitamins, which are essential nutrients that contribute to your baby's brain, nerve tissue, and spinal cord development. Two eggs provide about 250 milligrams of choline, or roughly half the recommended daily intake for pregnant and breastfeeding women.

Healthy Mama: In addition to choline, eggs contain a specific type of iron (a mix of heme and non-heme iron) that's particularly well-absorbed, making eggs a great choice for pregnant and breastfeeding women who may be at a higher risk for anemia.

Thankfully, the myth that eggs aren't good for you has finally been debunked. Eggs were once feared as "cholesterol bombs," but more recent studies by the American Heart Association show that eating eggs does not increase a healthy person's risk of heart disease, stroke, or high cholesterol. (Just in case that fear was lingering in your mind!)

Easy, filling, delicious, portable, and super-nutritious for you and your growing baby...definitely give these Cheddar and Chive Mini Quiches a try--both while you're expecting and after baby arrives!

Feel free to play around with different fillings, too. (I suggest several ideas in the recipe.) Concoct your own favorite flavor combination. You can also pop a batch or two in the freezer as your due date approaches to have at the ready for those wonderful-but-whirlwind newborn days to come.

Get the recipe for Cheddar and Chive Mini Quiches

Julie Hartigan left a career as an engineer/tech consultant to pursue her long-standing dream of attending culinary school. A fun loving person and natural born teacher, she loves her new career and sharing what she's learned with others. Julie currently develops recipes, writes, and blogs about cooking, health, and entertaining for Weight Watchers, Bed Bath Beyond, and others. She teaches healthy cooking classes for adults and children, has been a personal chef, and has also worked at Saveur magazine and Food Network. Part gym rat, part party girl, her approach to cooking and life is finding the sweet spot: "Where Healthy Meets Happy".

Julie lives in Hoboken, NJ with her two little girls, two chubby guinea pigs, and an extremely patient husband.

For more healthy cooking ideas and recipes follow Julie on Twitter @cookingwjulie and check out her Weight Watchers blog: "What's Cooking with Julie".