This is one of those dishes that I have loved since I was in college. I went to an International Festival in Muncie, IN of all places and fell in love with the Greek cuisine. I really like Baklava, but the Spanakopita Triangles (little phyllo dough pillows stuffed with feta, spinach, onions) just stole my heart and my palate.
Later, when I moved to MN, I stumbled across the Spanakopita casserole, which was basically the same ingredients, except easier to make. I didn’t have to spend hours perfecting rolling everything into tiny triangles, instead the time from prep to my mouth was considerably decreased. That makes a happy Megan!
And then I came across this recipe, promising less calories and fats of the original recipe, with less prep time as well. Booyah!
10 oz. fresh spinach (or frozen)
5 scallions (white end of the green onion), minced
2 green onion stalks, chopped
1 cup part skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup fat-free feta cheese crumbles
1/4 cup fresh dill, snipped
1 egg, beaten
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 Tbsp lemon juice
10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed
Preheat oven to 375°.
In a large frying pan, add half of the spinach and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally
Add the remaining spinach and stir occasionally for another 5 minutes.
Spray a 9 inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.
In a large bowl, combine ricotta, feta, dill, egg, scallions, green onions, lemon juice and salt. Mix well.
Add spinach to mixture, and mix together well.
Lay 1 sheet of phyllo in prepared pie pan and allow it to extend over the rim. Lightly coat with cooking spray.
Repeat with 4 more sheets of phyllo, placing corners at different angles and lightly coating each sheet with cooking spray.
Press down the dough to form the shape of the pan.
Spread spinach mixture over the dough in the pan.
Carefully layer the remaining sheets of dough as previously done on top of the spinach mixture.
Roll excess dough around rim of pie pan, creating a pie crust.
Do you ever feel like you’re in a rut? You keep making the same thing, the same day every week? For us, we have Sunday steak. This meal usually consists of a steak, my husband grills, and either a salad for me or Brussels sprouts. He usually has a baked potato! We live life on the wild side!
So, when I placed this casserole on the table instead of our regulars, dinner got a little exciting. Okay, maybe it wasn’t exciting for my husband (he’s more the “this food in front of me is sustenance. If it tastes good, then bonus for me” kind of guy). But, for me, I was venturing on a bold new adventure in Sunday night dinner. Boldly standing tall and proclaiming “We shall have variety in our food”. And then we dined!
There are a few reasons I really like this recipe:
Lower calories – 195 per serving (6 servings total)
Easy to make – literally took me about 40 minutes from start to table.
Cheesy, cheesy, cheesy
2 lbs Yukon gold or other yellow potato
3 cloves of garlic, sliced
3 oz fat-free cream cheese
1/4 cup Greek yogurt
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, divided
3/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1/4 cup Panko
1 Tbsp chopped chives
Peel and quarter potatoes. (Can leave skin on, if desired)
Place potatoes and garlic in large stock pot, and then cover with cold water.
Bring to a boil. Lower heat to maintain a gentle simmer and cook potatoes until they are tender, about 10 – 15 minutes. Drain all but 1/4 cup of water from potatoes.
Return potatoes to the pot, setting the reserved liquids off to the side for later use.
To potatoes, add cream cheese, yogurt, and half of the cheddar cheese. Using a potato masher, mash potatoes to the consistency desired.
When mashed, stir in salt,pepper, and about 3 to 4 Tbsp of the reserved potato water.
Turn potatoes out into a 1 1/2-quart baking dish that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Gently and evenly spread potatoes in dish.
Bake at 350° for 20 minutes.
While potatoes are baking, mix Panko and remaining cheese until well combined.
Remove potatoes from oven and heat broiler to high setting.
Sprinkle breadcrumb mixture on top of potatoes and broil for 3 to 5 minutes (taking care not to let them burn).
Cut Brussels sprouts in half, and cut into shreds.
Cook bacon in large skillet over medium heat for 8 to 10 minutes, until crisp; remove bacon, and drain on paper towel. Reserve 3 Tbsp of drippings in skillet. Crumble bacon.
Sauté apples, shallots, and garlic in hot bacon grease over medium-high heat for 3 minutes. Stir in vegetable broth and next 3 ingredients, stirring to loosen particles from bottom of skillet. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes.
Add Brussels sprouts; saute for 8 to 10 minutes until sprouts are crisp-tender. Top with shaved cheese and crumbled bacon.
Happy Memorial day! I hope you all had a great day and ate some wonderful food. These cheesy bacon ranch roasted potatoes are becoming one of my husband and my favorite side dishes (tonight it was a side to a New York strip steak off the grill). By the way, he is the grill master of this house.