Saturday, April 21, 2012


I always thought of spanakopita as fabulous appetizer triangles. I never thought of making a larger portion for dinner until I found this recipe on Stephanie Cooks. This is another one of those recipes that I held on to for far too long before finally making it. It comes together easily and seems like it takes much more effort. If you like spinach and feta, you'll definitely enjoy this dinner!

You will need:
*2 tablespoons olive oil
*1/2 small yellow onion, chopped small
*2 green onions, yellow and white parts, chopped
*10 oz package frozen spinach, defrosted and drained, or fresh**
      **I always saute and squeeze out excess moisture using a spatula in a colander
*2 eggs, lightly beaten
*2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
*2 tablespoons bread crumbs
*1 teaspoon kosher salt, additional for topping
*1/2 teaspoon pepper
*1 cup crumbled feta cheese
*12 sheets phyllo dough, defrosted
*4 tablespoons butter, melted

1. Preheat the oven to 375.

2. Heat the oil in a saute pan over medium-high heat. Cook the onions until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the green onions and cook another 2 minutes. Set aside.

3. In a mixing bowl, combine the spinach, eggs, Parmesan cheese, bread crumbs, salt, and pepper. Add the onion mixture, stirring until well combined.Gently fold in the feta.

4. Place one sheet of phyllo on a flat work surface such as a large cutting board or right on a clean counter. Brush lightly with butter. Place an additional sheet of phyllo and then top that with butter. Repeat this process until 4 sheets are layered. Slice the phyllo in half lengthwise using a pizza cutter.

5. Spoon about 1/3 cup spinach mixture onto the top of one phyllo rectangle. Fold the dough on the diagonal as if folding a flag-folding the dough over the filling then folding over itself. Repeat until a triangle is formed. (I double checked on YouTube as Stephanie suggested in her recipe post, there are definitely videos available for forming spanakopita if you need to see this visually.) Place seal side down on a baking sheet. Repeat until all triangles are formed.

6. Brush the tops with melted butter and sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake 30-35 minutes or until golden brown.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Spinoccoli Pizza

We've been on a very successful pizza kick around here. I didn't realize that I hadn't blogged about this pizza until we decided to make it tonight and I couldn't find the recipe on here. This is another winner from Annie's Eats. I rarely use heavy cream sauces on pizzas, but I rationalized that the vegetables rounded out the calorie content for this one. The combination is amazing and filling. It also reminds me of the cream sauce available on a "Great White" pizza at a local pizza shop. The leftover slices still tasted great when reheated the next day. We tend to not preheat our pizza stone. I know, I know not the best practice, but it always seems to work just fine for us. Because of this I tend to use a bit lower temp when making pizzas and cook them longer. I find this helps the crust get crisp and brown without burning. I currently use store bought wheat pizza dough but one of these days I'll try making own.

For the sauce, you will need:
*1 tablespoon butter

*1 tablespoon flour
3/4 cup heavy cream or half-and-half
1 clove garlic, minced
Salt and pepper
*6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese
**Note- this will make extra sauce. You can use it for crust dipping if you'd like.**

For the pizza, you will need:
*pizza dough
*Olive oil
*1/2 cup baby spinach leaves torn and packed
*1 cup small broccoli florets

*2 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese

*2 oz. shredded cheddar cheese

*grated Parmesan

1. Preheat the oven to 450.

2. Make the white sauce: Melt the butter in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Whisk in the flour and whisk constantly until bubbling and lightly golden, about 1 minute. Next, whisk in the heavy cream and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens and bubbles. Remove from the heat; whisk in the grated Parmesan until completely melted and smooth.

2. Prepare the pizza dough onto your pizza stone. I always do this by mixing a bit of cornmeal into the dough to help prevent tearing as I stretch and shape it with my hands. Lightly spray or brush the perimeter of the dough with olive oil.

3. Spread a thin layer of the white sauce over the crust leaving the crust border uncovered. Sprinkle the torn spinach leaves over the white sauce. Next, evenly distribute the broccoli florets. Sprinkle with the shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses and finish with additional grated Parmesan.

4. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the crust is lightly browned. This takes about 15-20 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool slightly before slicing and serving.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Shrimp, Black Bean, and Pineapple Foil Packets

It's spring in New England. Last week I was grilling these foil packets in beautiful, warm weather, and this week I needed to wear my down jacket again as the morning temperatures were below freezing. Mother Nature just wanted to remind us that we weren't anywhere close to summer yet!

This recipe from Cara's Cravings was perfect. I can already predict that this will be repeated for lunches and dinners throughout summer. It comes together easily and is quite flavorful. If you're tempted to try this before your grill is ready, you could also heat the packets in the oven.

You will need:
*8oz raw, medium-sized shrimp (peeled, deveined)
*1 cup canned black beans
*3/4 cup pineapple, diced
*1/3 cup red onion, diced
*2 tablespoons jalapeno, minced
*1 tablespoon fresh ginger, grated
*2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, divided
*1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
*3/4 teaspoon ground cumin, divided
*1/4 teaspoon chili powder
*pinch of salt
*freshly ground black pepper
*2 tablespoons chopped cilantro (omitted, but I'd use if I had it on hand)
*1/2 avocado, diced
*rice or other grain for serving

1. Preheat grill at medium. It should reach about 350-400 degrees.

2. Rinse shrimp and pat dry. In a small bowl, combine shrimp with 1/4 teaspoon cumin, chili powder, salt, and pepper. Set aside.

3. In another larger bowl, combine the black beans, pineapple, red onion, jalapeno, and ginger. Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice, coriander, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cumin.

4. Spray 2 large pieces of aluminum foil with olive oil. Spoon half of the black bean mixture into the center of each and top with half of the shrimp. Squeeze the remaining lime juice over the shrimp. Seal the foil by bringing the edges together and folding down to make the packets. Make sure it is sealed well on all sides.

5. Place the foil packets on the grill and cook, covered, for 10-12 minutes.

6. Remove the packets from the grill. Carefully open the foil packets and stir the contents. Top with the diced avocado and serve over rice.

If you'd like to see the nutritional information for this recipe, please visit the original recipe via the link above.