Tag Archives: recipe

“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!

Secret Mission Cauliflower Soup

 
The thing about veggies is that veggie haters assume they are all green, and therefore easily identifiable.  The thing about cheese is, it makes everything awesome.  So there you have it.  The Secret Mission that this soup is named after is “Mission: Get-Vegetable-Hater-to-Consume-a-Full-Day’s-Worth-of-Vitamin-C-Plus-Lots-of-Fiber-Folate-Calcium-and-Phytonutrients.”  Now that mission is important, as evidenced by the sheer number of syllables in its name.
 
If the blue cheese varieties are too strong, I think this would work quite well with just about any type of cheese.  I also think you could mix n’ match veggies (broccoli and carrots come to mind).  Be sure to let us know what you try!  Serve it up with some braised greens and bread (shown- and don’t bother making the veggie hater eat the greens.  You’ve got to pick your battles) for a well-rounded and fast dinner.
 
SECRET MISSION CAULIFLOWER SOUP – serves 8
 

Make Ahead and Make it Easy

 Make this soup a few days in advance and slowly heat it back up when you are ready to eat it.  Some folks don’t like freezing dairy based soups but I find they freeze just fine.  Be sure to freeze it from room temperature and re-heat slowly, stirring often.
 
Ingredients
    • 3 Tbs butter or olive oil
    • 2 onions, chopped
    •  4 celery stalks, chopped
    • 4 cups cauliflower, roughly chopped
    • 4 cups veggie broth
    • 2 cups milk
    • 4 oz (2/3 cup) cheese from the blue family (Stilton, Gorgonzola, etc.)
    • 1 cup cream
    • salt and pepper to taste

How to make it

    1. Melt butter in a large soup pot or dutch oven over medium heat.
    2. Add onion, celery and cauliflower and cook about 10 minutes
    3. Add broth, reduce heat  and simmer until cauliflower is very soft- about half an hour
    4. Stir in 2 cups of the milk and use a blender, food processor, or immersion blender to puree the soup (be very careful as hot liquids can explode in the blender!).
    5. Return to pot, add cheese, cream, salt, and pepper.

“Choose Your Own Adventure” Granola

 

“Breakfast cereals rank third in the list of grocery store items on which Americans spend their money, behind only carbonated beverages and milk…” The Breakfast Cereal Gourmet
 
We all know how expensive breakfast cereals are at the store.  And we all know how much added sugar many of them contain.  But with just one recipe you can turn your nose up to the cereal industry, have endless breakfast possibilities, and continue down the path to good health that you and your family deserve.
 
This recipe, as the name implies, is flexible.  Add what you like, mix n’ match, and come up with your own fancy pants varieties at a fraction of the price of grocery granola.  It’s a great one to make with kids because it allows them to “choose their own adventure” and an empowered kid is a happy kid.
 
The foundation is rolled oats- which have been proven to reduce cholesterol, ward off breast cancer (due to high fiber content), and even reduce childhood asthma symptoms!  One cup of oats has more protein that most veggie burgers AND it is tolerated by many gluten-free friends!
 
 
CHOOSE YOUR OWN ADVENTURE GRANOLA – 8 cups 

Make Ahead and Make it Easy

 If stored in an air tight container this granola will last for a week or more- in the fridge it will stay fresh for- well, I don’t know how long, but long enough for you to finish it all!
 
Ingredients 
  • 6 cups rolled oats
  • 2 cups unsalted nuts or seeds in any combination: sliced almonds, cashews, walnuts, pepitas, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds
  • 1 cup dried unsweetened coconut (if you can’t find unsweetened just lower the sweetener amount later by a few Tbs)
  • OPTIONAL: 1 tsp cinnamon
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 tsp additional spice: nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice, cardamom, ginger, etc.)
  • OPTIONAL: 1/4 cup heathy adder: wheat germ, ground flax-seed
  • 1/2 cup honey, agave, brown rice syrup or maple syrup
  • 1-3 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp salt
  • OPTIONAL 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup neutral tasting oil (I use corn but I think coconut would be yummy)
  • 1 cup your favorite dried fruit or other sweet treat that doesn’t like the oven: blueberries, yogurt-raisins, cranberries, raisins, cherries, M&Ms (trail mix, anyone?) apples, candied ginger, pineapple, apricots, you name it!

How to make it

  1. Heat oven to 300F.
  2. In a large jellyroll pan (or roasting pan- anything with an edge to prevent spillage) combine oats, nuts, coconut, spices, and healthy adder if using.
  3. In a small saucepan heat syrup, vanilla, salt, sugar, and oil over medium heat until dissolved.
  4. Pour mixture over oats and stir.
  5. Bake the granola, stirring every 10-15 minutes for 40-60 minutes until it’s as golden brown as you like.
  6. Remove from oven and stir in the dried fruit.  Allow to cool before storing.