Saturday, February 28, 2009

It's all Greek to Me

I'm going to try to post recipes a little more often. I love to cook, but recently I've been a bit BLAH about it. I've often found that, when I'm feeling snarky or unpleased with my own activities, showing them to someone else is a great way to rekindle my interest, so, at least for a while, I'm planning to post a few recipes once a week...

After I decided what I was going to make for yesterday's dinner, I posted about it on Twitter and a few people tweeted back at me, so I thought I'd make this the first set of recipes...
Spanikopita; a pastry stuffed with spinach, cheese, and spices. It's Greek, from the words spanaki (spinach) and pitta (pie).

Ingredients

- can of non-stick spray (will use quite a bit of this!)
- 1 tsp exvirgin olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 (16 ounce) bag of chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed
- 4 ounces reduced fat (or fat free) feta cheese, crumbled (about 1 cup)
- 1/3 cup chopped fresh dill (or if you're lazy like me 3 tablespoons dried dillweed)
- 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped (ditto on 3 tablespoons)
- 1 large egg, beaten
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg, ground
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- 8 sheets phyllo dough, thawed according to package directions (you can get this in the freezer section of your grocery store near frozen pie crusts and whipped cream, usually)

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a large baking sheet with nonstick spray.

Make filling: heat a nonstick skillet over medium high. Swirl oil, then add onion. Cook until soft 4-5 minutes. Add spinach and cook another 3-4 minutes. Remove from heat, cool 5 minutes. Stir in feta, dill, parsley, egg, nutmeg, salt and pepper. mix well.


Place one sheet phyllo with the long side facing you on a work surface. Cover remaining dough with plastic wrap to retain moisture. (You MUST do this, otherwise the stuff cracks and breaks all over everything!) Lightly spray dough with nonstick spray. Top with a second sheet of dough and likewise spray it. With a sharp knife, cut the layered sheets into three equal strips down the long side. (You will end up with three, double stacked strips, about 4 inches wide and 17 inches long)

Place ~1/3 cup of the filling in the center of the bottom end of one strip of dough. Fold up one corner around the filling to form a triangle. (Flag-style)



Continue folding flag style to the top of the strip.



Place triangle seam side down on the baking sheet.

Repeat with other 2 strips, then with remaining phyllo sheets. This will make approximately 12 triangles (unless you drop one, which I have done.) Spray the entire batch with non-stick spray.


(Folding the triangles is the really tricksy bit, and I'm afraid it's a LOT easier to SHOW you how to fold than to explain it. Here's a site so you can watch. He's using a different mixture, but it's the same folding technique.)

Bake triangles until lightly golden ~20-25 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

(NI: 2 triangles: 160 calories, 6 g fat, 3 g Fiber. WW info 3 points per 2 triangles. Less if you use no fat cheese, but not much less...)

Make ahead tip! These triangles freeze. Prepare as directed until you get ready to bake, then freeze entire sheet. Transfer frozen triangles into zip-lock baggie, seal and freeze for up to 3 weeks (that's officially. unofficially, I've baked these things after being in the freezer for almost 6 months and didn't have a problem with them!) Do not thaw, just bake as directed, increasing cook time to 27-35 minutes.

Cool 'n Creamy Fruit Soup

Ingredients:

- 3/4 cup red grapefruit segments (I used mandarin oranges which seemed fine)
- 5 strawberries
- 2/3 cup fat-free plain Greek yogurt
- 1/3 cup skim milk
- 3 tbsp. Splenda
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/4 tsp. vanilla extract

Instructions:

In a blender, combine all ingredients except for the yogurt. Puree until smooth.

Add yogurt and blend on low speed until just mixed.

Refrigerate until chilled, or until you are ready to serve. Pour into bowls and enjoy!

NI: 115 calories, 0.5 g fat, 1g fiber, Points ~2


Dinner; 6.5 points...

Recipes adapted from: Weight Watchers Take-Out Tonight! and Hungry Girl emails.

4 comments:

Beth said...

Those look really good. I don't know if I would have the patience to fold all of them.

Felicia said...

Simply put : YUMO!!

Those look really good!

Have a super weekend!
*huggles*
=0)

Jen, a priorfatgirl said...

YUMMY!!! I took a phyllo class with my mom and we made those, they are so good!

d.fine09 said...

I am going to have to try these. I love almost anything wrapped in phyllo. Also, I love things that you can make ahead and freeze for those nights that I don't plan very well and it is 6 pm and I haven't planned anything for dinner.

Thanks for posting the recipes!