meatless monday

PASSOVER SPINACH PIE

I can’t imagine Passover without this dish. Spinach pie which, during the year I top with buttered phyllo sheets and sometimes with puff pastry, depending on the occasion.

On Passover it gets a matzo crust – like this one, ready for the oven.

It’s a versatile dish too. You can make it plain or add mushrooms or make it with cheese. You can also switch to kale or other greens if you prefer.

Nice for a meatless dinner too.

SPINACH PIE with MATZO CRUST

  • 2 10-ounce packages frozen whole leaf spinach, thawed
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cups cut up mushrooms, optional
  • 8 ounces feta cheese, crumbled, optional
  • 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh dill
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 2 sheets matzo

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Squeeze as much water out of the spinach as possible and set aside. Heat the olive oil in a saute pan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for 2-3 minutes or until slightly softened. Add the mushrooms, if used, and cook, stirring often, for another 2-3 minutes or until the mushrooms are softened. Stir in the spinach and mix well. Remove the pan from the heat. For dairy, add the feta and Parmesan cheeses and mix them in. Add 3 of the eggs, the dill, and salt and pepper to taste. Mix well and place in a baking dish. Soak the matzo in cold water to cover for 1-2 minutes or until softened but not mushy. Shake off excess water. Place the matzo on top of the spinach mixture. Beat the remaining egg and brush over the top of the matzot. Bake for about 20 minutes or until golden brown.

Makes 4-8 servings (as main course or side dish)

3

A letter from my mother and a recipe

I received a greeting card from my mother the other day which included a check. Not a necessary check (I told her she didn’t need to pay me back), but a little extra grocery money is always nice. Thanks, Mom! The bonus of the delivery was the printed recipe that was folded and stuck inside the envelope. There was a handwritten note in the corner that said, “I went to a luncheon yesterday – This was delicious.”

Bingo! Just when I was scratching my head wondering what I would post here, a mother-approved recipe landed in my lap!

This is a meatless lasagna, which is always a welcome alternative. It bakes up crispy on the edges, and it’s nice and cheesy throughout. My husband gave it both thumbs up!

A few thoughts about this dish:

  • The cheese and the Alfredo sauce make this dish pretty rich. No complaints, but I’ll serve a fruit salad tonight with leftovers, which will be the perfect, light accompaniment.
  • The recipe calls for jarred Alfredo sauce. I rarely go the pre-made route so I made my own, which was bowl-licking good.
  • Feta cheese gets sprinkled over the top of this lasagna, and it is salty. Taste as you build this and consider using a light touch with the salt when seasoning your other layers.
  • I like rosemary, but I decided to substitute a generous amount of fresh basil – perhaps ten leaves stacked, rolled and cut in a chiffonade. I loved it!
  • The recipe called for a scant ¼ cup sliced, fresh mushrooms. Huh? I upped that amount to a couple of cups.

Artichoke spinach lasagna – a recipe from my mother’s friend. Serves 12, however if you’ve got a room of real hungry people to feed, I think 8 servings might be more accurate.

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ sliced fresh mushrooms (I increased this to almost 2 cups)
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 (14.5 ounce) can vegetable or chicken broth (or homemade)
  • 1 (14 ounce) can water-packed artichoke hearts, drained and coarsely chopped
  • 1 (10 ounce) package frozen spinach, defrosted, thoroughly squeeze-dried, and fluffed
  • 1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed (I subbed fresh basil)
  • ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • ¼ teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1 (16 ounce) jar Alfredo sauce
  • 9 no-cook lasagna noodles
  • 12 ounces shredded mozzarella cheese, divided (I ran short, so ended up grating a little more)
  • 1 cup crumbled tomato and basil feta cheese, or plain feta cheese
  • If using plain feta cheese, sprinkle finished dish with 1/8 teaspoon each garlic powder, dried oregano, parsley flakes, and basil

Directions

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Spray a 9 x 13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

In a large saucepan over medium heat, heat oil. Add mushrooms and onions and cook until onions are golden and mushrooms have released their liquid, stirring frequently. Add garlic and cook one minute longer. Stir in broth, artichokes, spinach, rosemary (or basil), nutmeg, and pepper. Bring just to boil and reduce heat. Simmer 5 minutes. Stir in Alfredo sauce.

To assemble, spread 1 cup of sauce into prepared baking dish. Layer with 3 noodles and handful of shredded cheese. Repeat layers (3 layers total). Top with remaining sauce and cheese. Sprinkle with feta cheese (and herbs if needed).

Bake, covered, for 40 minutes. Uncover, and bake 15 minutes more, or until hot and bubbly. Let stand 10 minutes before cutting.

Meatless Monday: Start Your Week With A Delightful Pomegranate Smoothie

If you had a little too much fun grillin’ and chillin’ (and perhaps cocktailin’ too) this weekend, we have a great way to reset for the week.

We are adoring this simple pomegranate, blueberry, and banana smoothie recipe to start the week.

Here’s how it’s whipped up:

http://thenutritiouskitchen.com/banana-blueberry-pomegranate-smoothie-cookbook-review/