Tag Archives: baked goods

“Easy as Pie” Spanakopita

  

As many of you know, I had to take a two-week break from any kind of cooking while my family relocated to a new kitchen- I mean house.  When we FINALLY unpacked the new kitchen, we had gained a collective 20 lbs from 2 weeks of restaurant eating, and we were in desperate need of something easy and nutrient dense.  So wah-la!  This tasty pie is packed with TWO POUNDS of spinach (that makes up for 14 days without any greens, right?), three eggs for protein, nutritional yeast for some veggie B-vitamins, and is made with spray oil- making it easy AND lower in fat than your traditional pastry. 
 
Afraid of Filo?  I was too, until I worked with it using Pam instead of the basting brush and oil method.  Try it once and you will no longer be intimidated!
 
To make this dairy-free, substitute crumbled tofu for the feta and add salt or Tamari as needed for flavor.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
“EASY AS PIE” SPANAKOPITA – serves 6

 

Make Ahead and Make it Easy

This dish can be made ahead in two ways.  You can make the whole thing, bake it for 30 minutes and freeze.  When it’s dinner time take it out of the freezer and bake it again for about 45-60 minutes.
 
Or, you can make the filling a few days ahead and when you are ready to finish the dish just throw the filling in the dish with the filo and bake.
 
Ingredients
  • 8 sheets filo pastry, defrosted 2 hours at room temp or 8 hours in the fridge (do not open the package, just defrost the whole packet)
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 8 scallions, chopped
  • 2 lbs fresh spinach, chopped
  • 3 eggs
  • 2 tsp dried dill
  • 6 oz feta or tofu, crumbled
  • 3 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • Spray cooking oil (such as Pam)

How to make it

  1. Heat oven to 375.
  2. Heat oil in a large dutch oven or pot and saute scallions for 2 minutes.
  3. Add spinach to pot, stir, and cover.  Lower heat to medium-low and let cook for 10 minutes until wilted.  This will look like a LOT of spinach and it is- but it will reduce in volume by 90%.
  4. While the spinach is cooking, beat the eggs and dill in a separate large bowl.
  5. Add the feta or tofu to the egg mixture and stir in the nutritional yeast.  Add salt and pepper (if you are using feta beware it is already salty).
  6. When the spinach is done, drain it for a couple of minutes in a colander and then add it to the egg mixture and stir it up.
  7. Spray a 10-inch pie dish with the cooking spray.
  8. Open the filo, unroll it, and pull of one sheet.  Place it in the dish with the edges overhanging and lightly spry with oil.  Dont worry if you accidentally get two sheets stuck together, or if it tears.  Filo is VERY forgiving.
  9. Repeat until there are 4 layers of filo in the dish.
  10. Spread the spinach mixture into the dish, and top with 4 more layers of filo and spray.
  11. Cut around the edges of the filo as you like and roll the edges up into the dish.
  12. Bake for 45 minutes and enjoy!

World’s Richest Banana Bread

I am not going to try to hoodwink you into thinking this banana bread is healthy. There are plenty of “healthy” banana bread recipes out there and this is not one of them. This is a buttery, rich, “treat-yourself-and-don’t-feel-guilty” kind of banana bread.

We’ve all tried lots and lots of banana bread recipes because we all find ourselves with brown bananas now and again. Well, this one is the best I have ever made. The best thing about this recipe? You probably already have it in your own house. I dug it out of Mark Bittman’s cooking bible How to Cook Everything and it remains my favorite recipe in the book of well over a thousand.

WORLD’S RICHEST BANANA BREAD – makes 1 loaf

Make Ahead and Make it Easy
I oftentimes will make 2 loaves and freeze one wrapped in foil. When we have unexpected company or a hankering for something really sinful (such as banana bread french toast) I’ll take it out to thaw the night before and it’s as good as fresh in the morning.
Ingredients
    • 8 Tbs (1 stick) butter, softened
    • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    • 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
    • 1 tsp salt
    • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
    • 3/4 cup sugar
    • 2 eggs
    • 3 very ripe bananas, mashed with a fork
    • 2 tsp vanilla extract
    • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped
    • 1/2 cup grated dried unsweetened coconut (if you can’t find unsweetened just lessen the sugar by a couple of Tbs)

How to make it

  1. Heat oven to 350 and grease a 9×5 bread pan
  2. Whisk together flours, salt, baking powder, and sugar.
  3. In a separate bowl cream together the butter and the sugar and then add the bananas. Mix well.
  4. Stir the banana mixture into the dry ingredients. Careful not to overmix!
  5. Add the vanilla, nuts, and coconut.
  6. Bake for 50-55 minutes.

From How to Cook Everything by Mark Bittman