Posts tagged ‘spinach’

September 11, 2011

Stuffed Tomatoes

These stuffed tomatoes are everything you could want in a late summer meal…. fresh, filling, healthy. They are easily adaptable too! Think of Stuffed Tomatoes as you would Stuffed Peppers… they work basically the same way! I wanted to go full-out Italian so I stuffed these with the same type things I would use if I were making a nice bowl of summer pasta!

Italian Stuffed Tomatoes

  • 4 – 6 large vine ripened tomatoes
  • 1 cup rice
  • 1/2 cup frozen (defrosted/drained) spinach
  • 1/2 cup ricotta
  • 1/4 cup pesto (garlic pesto if you have it)
  • 2 – 3 cloves garlic (if you are using a basil pesto – with garlic pesto: omit)
  • 1/4 cup parmesan
  • 2 Tablespoons Parsley
  • 2 Tablespoons Basil (or about a dozen fresh leaves)
  • 1 Tablespoon Oregeno
  • Salt & Pepper to Taste

Prepare rice according to package directions. Cool rice a little bit, then mix in all of the rest of your ingredients (except tomatoes). Cut the tops off of your tomatoes & scoop out the insides (put them aside – they are perfect for making soup/salsa/juice/sauce). Stuff your mixture into the tomatoes, top with some mozzarella or fresh grated parmesan & place them in a lbaking/casserole dish. Bake at 350 for about 45 minutes

And I leave you with this, Today’s Question of the Day… what foods do you like stuffed (chicken, mushrooms, pepper, etc) and what do you like to stuff them with!?

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July 29, 2011

Spinach Ricotta Pie

We keep on getting stuff called amaranth from our co-op. It is not a bad thing (actually pretty good) and it actually tastes a lot like spinach (with a slightly more bitter & fuzzy-ness to them) The major problem is that we are getting tired of it and we are also avoiding using the oven all the time during these summer months!

With our last crop of Amaranth I decided I wanted to do some sort of Spinach Pie & this recipe looked like it would hit the spot (which it did)! This got huge thumbs up from us & my parents (served with a big salad and some grilled garlic chicken to satisfy dad’s need for protein with every meal). The flavors in this were right on and in many ways it reminded me of my Spinach Feta Pie, (which I guess I never blogged, and am now craving as well)! Veggie Pies are an awesome way to get some tasty flavors into your diet (although “diet” is a rough word to use here with the 3+ cups of cheeses in the pie). So just ENJOY!

Spinach Ricotta Pie

  • 1 9″ prepared pie crust
  • 1 tablespoons butter
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 10-ounce package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry OR 1 big bunch spinach which you wilt down yourself
  • 8 ounce (1 cup) mozzarella cheese, grated
  • 1 cup freshly-grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1 15-ounce container ricotta cheese
  • 3 large eggs, beaten to blend
  • 1/3 cup basil pesto
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350° F

Place a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the chopped onion in the butter until very soft and translucent, about 12 minutes. Mix in the thawed, squeezed spinach.

Combine remaining ingredients in a large mixing bowl. Add the spinach/onion mixture and stir to combine all ingredients thoroughly.

Transfer filling to prepared pie crust. Bake in the preheated oven for 45 to 55 minutes, until puffed and golden. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving & ENJOY

And I leave you with today’s Question… what is your favorite “health food” – whether it is a true or fake health food?

May 15, 2011

Spinach & Mushroom Frittata

You are less than a 1/2 hour away from a delicious & healthy breakfast made to please! Use all those fresh veggies you have from the market, or the garden and enjoy a breakfast to thrill.

Spinach & Mushrooms in this tasty frittata

You can even switch out veggies and meats in this recipe to make this your go-to frittata that you can change your flavors as you and your family want. This was amazing as-is and was the perfect starter (with some garlic bread) to our Mother’s Day celebration this year. Get your fresh ingredients & enjoy breakfast to thrill… oh yeah – this would make a great “Breakfast for Dinner” meal too!

Not much to write – simple, clean, fresh flavors speak for themselves…

Spinach & Mushroom Frittata

  • 8 large fresh eggs
  • 2 tbsp milk
  • 1/2 onion – minced
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • large handful fresh baby spinach
  • 1 tsp sundried tomatoes
  • 6 oz Portobello mushrooms – cut into bite size pieces
  • < 1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano – grated

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Crack the eggs into a bowl, add the milk, sun dried tomato and Parmigiano. Whisk together until well combined. Season with salt and pepper, set aside. Into a cast iron pan (or other oven safe pan) add the olive oil and onion and saute approx 2 minutes over medium heat, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, reduce heat to low and continue to stir while cooking until mushrooms have released their water. Add spinach and cook just until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper.

Pour egg mixture into pan and stir gently to combine. Allow to cook until the sides begin to set up. Transfer to oven and cook until eggs are no longer giggly. Approx 15 mins {check it every so often} Transfer to serving plate & enjoy immediately.

May 9, 2011

Manicotti stuffed with spinach & ricotta

I originally made these as stuffed shells but had some manicotti in the house and returned to this filling since it was so tasty!

Stuffed Shells and Manicotti were not an Italian food that I grew up with (or had ever made before this year), probably because they are not as easy as most other pastas. With just a little bit of time (assemble the night before – the way you would lasagna) you can have the awesome flavors you want and crave with the beautiful presentation you deserve!

So next time manicotti OR large shells are on sale, pick up a box and try this filling out for yourself, I promise you’ll be happy you did! (and feel free to use as many or as few containers to prepare this in like I did – you can even make more than one night’s dinner ready to go and just leave in the fridge or freezer)

before the oven - because let's face it.. once cooked they just don't look as pretty!

Manicotti

[adapted from Handle the Heat & Two Peas and their Pod]

  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 can mushrooms
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15 oz ricotta cheese
  • 1 egg
  • 3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded (divided)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated (divided)
  • 1/2 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, & drained (or fresh)
  • 1 T fresh basil
  • Dash of crushed red pepper
  • Salt and pepper
  • About 3 cups of marinara sauce
  • 1 box (about 18 jumbo) pasta shells OR 1 box (about 12) manicotti, cooked al dente (read box instructions)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray Pyrex 9 by 13 pan with cooking spray and put about 1/2 cup of sauce in the bottom of the pan Heat the olive oil in a large skillet. Once hot, add the onion, cook until soft. Add in garlic, mushrooms. Remove from heat and cool. Meanwhile: in a large bowl combine the ricotta, 1/4 cup of the mozzarella, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan, stir well. Add in the egg, spinach, basil, crushed red pepper, salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste. Mix well until creamy. Then, add the mushroom, onion, red pepper mixture.

Place the cooked manicotti/shells in the pan. Make sure they are spaced out evenly. Stuff each manicotti/shell with cheese/veggie mixture. Pour the remaining sauce over the stuffed shells. Add the leftover mozzarella and parmesan. (refrigerate with saran & foil at this point if making the night before, and add about 10 minutes to baking time – just go ahead and put your cold pan in cold oven and then start the timer once you are preheated and your pan is up to temperature!)

Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove the foil and bake for an additional 5 minutes – manicotti/shells should be bumbling and irresistible! Let cool for a few minutes and serve burn – your – face – off warm.

March 21, 2011

Spinach [Parmesan Cheese] Balls

In my attempt to be healthy recently I have been on a GREEN kick (smoothies, and pancakes, and muffins, and all sorts of yummy stuff made with spinach). Well now St. Patrick’s Day is passed and Spring is here (although I currently have a snow day on the first full day of spring… hmm). BUT, I still think that green fits in quite perfectly! I made these amazing simple (and kinda healthy) spinach balls around Thanksgiving (but we had too much family at the house and I didn’t get a good picture before everyone snatched them all up so I never posted). These make an amazing appetizer and I figured they would be amazing with a Sausage-Meatball (take your favorite sausage out of the casing, add some egg n bread crumbs to make your balls) and pasta as a healthier dinner option than just a plain “meat”ball (OR just do the spinach balls for your veggie-friends!


RECIPE

  • 2 (10 ounce) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 2 cups Italian-style seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 4 small green onions, finely chopped
  • 4 eggs, lightly beaten
  • salt and pepper to taste
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees
  2. In a medium bowl, mix the chopped spinach, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, butter, green onion, eggs, salt and pepper. Shape the mixture into 1 inch balls (if you make them too big, they will have a longer cooking time).
  3. Arrange the balls in a single layer on a large baking sheet. Bake in the preheated oven 20 minutes, until lightly browned.

* I am currently working on playing with the recipe to lower to amount of butter. This last time I just used one stick of butter and used a bit less bread crumbs but they  were much more delicate. Next time I plan to still just use one stick of butter and then add another egg or so to hold them together more… feel free to play around to make these be all that you want them to be.

Like I always say: as long as the end result is still edible: experimentation in the kitchen is a good thing!

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