Fruits/Vegetables

Spinach Custard Pie

It’s almost Thanksgiving which means it’s appropriate to eat as much pie as you want, right? Well, maybe not. Pies in general are pretty easy to make yet seem so daunting. I admit, I’ll plan on making a pie for dessert next Thursday but this week, I still need to try to eat healthy. But who says you can’t have a healthy pie? Not all pies have to be sweet or have to have crust. So, when I came across this recipe for Spinach Custard Pie, I knew I’d found exactly what I was looking for.

Frozen chopped spinach is the base for this pie which has a little onion, red pepper, eggs and Parmesan cheese. Fat-free (or light) sour cream pulls all of this together, giving the mixture the consistency of spinach dip. Topped with a dash of paprika, this vegetarian pie bakes until golden brown and fragrant. Because it’s easy to portion out, this pie is a perfect option for the quick grab-and-go meal that’s packed with veggies. I’m eating this all week for lunch but one could argue that because of the eggs, this could be a breakfast option too. Pie for breakfast or lunch? Yes, please!

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Preheat oven to 350°F. Cook spinach according to package directions; drain well. Place spinach in a large bowl.

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Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add chopped onion and bell pepper; sauté 2 minutes or until tender.

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Add onion mixture, eggs, and egg whites to spinach. Add flour, cheese, butter, salt, pepper and sour cream; stir to combine.

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Spoon mixture into a 9-inch pie plate coated with cooking spray. Sprinkle evenly with paprika.

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Bake at 350° for 30 minutes or until set. Let stand 5 minutes before serving.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

 

Sweet and Spicy Pepperonata

Years ago, my friend lived in an amazing apartment in a big old Victorian house in a small town in South Jersey. The first floor of the house was a dentist’s office and his apartment took up the entire second and third floor. Because the office downstairs closed around 5pm every night and on weekends, we never had to worry about parking or how loud the music was. Quite often, we would walk a few blocks to the main street in town and sit at the bar of a shady Italian restaurant. There was nothing particularly charming about the restaurant except for it’s location but they served perfect bread and peppers. I’d never in my life eaten bread and peppers together before (mostly because I rarely ever ate peppers at this time) but these peppers, roasted and oily, served with soft doughy baguette, was the perfect bite for us every single time. The restaurant is no longer there and my friend has long since moved out but we still talk about those bread and peppers. When I saw this recipe for Sweet and Spicy Pepperonata, I knew it wouldn’t be a perfect alternative but it was pretty darn close.

A combination of peppers (I used mini peppers, poblano and long hots) are slowly cooked with shallots until soft and tender. A little sugar, red wine vinegar and fresh thyme are added to give a flavor boost. These peppers aren’t nearly as oily as the peppers from that restaurant but that’s not a bad thing. I served these peppers with some toasted whole grain bread and drizzled a little bit of olive oil over the top (perfection!). But these peppers, with their mild sweetness and heat, would be a perfect accompaniment to chicken or pasta or on a salad, especially if you are trying to eat more vegetables. Plus, just look at those colors! If you want to eat colorfully, you can’t get much more color than this.

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Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add oil to pan; swirl to coat. Add salt, peppers, and shallots; cook 3 minutes or until shallots begin to brown. Reduce heat to medium-low; cook, covered, 20 minutes or until peppers are tender.

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Increase heat to medium-high. Add vinegar, sugar, and thyme; cook 15 minutes or until peppers are tender and shallots are golden brown, stirring occasionally.

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Serve warm or at room temperature.

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Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light magazine

Asparagus and Pistachios

Asparagus…what is that? For that matter – vegetables? What are they? My eating habits haven’t been very good lately. I can’t remember the last time I ate something green. I’m ashamed of myself. I was on a zoodle kick for a while (zucchini noodles for those of you not in the know) so that was a positive thing. But somewhere over the last few weeks, probably since I had food poisoning last month, my fruit and vegetable intake has plummeted. Now that I think about it, I think my disinterest in vegetables started right around the time candy corn showed up in the stores. I’ll happily bypass the veggies to make room for candy corn. So when I came across this recipe for Asparagus & Pistachios, I figured it was time to put those green guys in my cart and bring them home with me.

Asparagus is cooked until crisp and green before being topped with a flavorful pesto made with pistachios, basil, parmesan, garlic, and lemon.  This pesto is thick and vibrant and, although not your typical pesto, full of flavor. I added a little extra olive oil to thin it out and really loved this pesto. Pistachio anything in general though is pretty much a sure thing with me. Pistachio ice cream? Absolutely. Pistachio pudding? Gimme. Pistachio pizza? Any day of the week. With additional pistachios providing a little crunch, this asparagus is a great new twist for those everyday spears. So I guess the only thing to say is… pistachio asparagus? I’m sold.

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In food processor, pulse 1/4 cup pistachios, basil, parmesan, garlic, and lemon until crumbly.

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In skillet, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add asparagus; cook 4 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water; boil 2 minutes. Season.

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Top with pesto and remaining nuts.

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Additions:

  • More olive oil

Omissions: None

Substitutions: None

Overall Rating: Like It

Source: Everyday with Rachael Ray magazine

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