Monday, June 9, 2008

Spanikopita (or Greek Spinach Pie)

Spinach is a fantastic food to incorporate into your diet. Here are two recipes that feature spinach. My kids love these recipes and it gets them to eat their spinach. Caroline even asked for me to make this recipe for her birthday dinner!

1/4 - 1/2 cup fat-free chicken broth
1 large onion, chopped
1 bunch green onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds spinach, rinsed and chopped (or 3 packages of frozen spinach that is thawed and drained)
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp. ground nutmeg (freshly grated is best)
2 eggs whites, lightly beaten
1/2 cup low fat ricotta cheese
1 cup crumbled low-fat feta cheese
8 sheets phyllo dough
2 TBSP cup olive oil
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Spray with nonstick spray a 9x9 inch square baking pan.
Heat 1/4 cup chicken broth in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Saute onion, green onions and garlic, until soft and lightly browned. Stir in spinach and parsley, and continue to saute until spinach is limp, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool - add more broth if needed for to keep food from sticking
In a medium bowl, mix together egg whites, ricotta, and feta, nutmeg and salt and pepper. Stir in spinach mixture. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo dough in prepared baking pan, and brush lightly with olive oil. Lay another sheet of phyllo dough on top, brush with olive oil, and repeat process with two more sheets of phyllo. The sheets will overlap the pan. Spread spinach and cheese mixture into pan and fold overhanging dough over filling. Brush with oil, then layer remaining 4 sheets of phyllo dough, brushing each lightly with oil. Tuck overhanging dough into pan to seal filling.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 to 40 minutes, until golden brown. Cut into squares and serve while hot.

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