Splendid Spinach

Spinach, one of my favorite veggies.  With just a few ingredients I think even the pickiest of eaters enjoy this leafy green.  On top of being tasty it is SOOOO good for you.  It’s high in antioxidants and full of vitamins, plus it will make you strong like Popeye (sorry had to do it).

So it’s been super crazy around the Roggio household.  We started the house hunt, and man is it stressful.  It really sucks being a responsible adult.  Things are starting to come together, so cross your fingers! Now that I have finally gotten around to posting all these delicious recipes, let me give you the run down. I’ll start with Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip, a healthy alternative to the normal version…with a kick.  Then one of my all time favorite recipes, Spinach Pie….stolen from my mom.  Then I’ll finish off with Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken.  These recipes are a great way to get your vegetables in without feeling like you’re eating plant, so get ready to be amazed.

 

Spicy Spinach Artichoke Dip

Spinach Artichoke Dip, a game day/holiday staple. I could easily sit down and eat a whole bowl of this stuff, but usually it’s all mayo and cream cheese…BAD!  I tried using greek yogurt for the base, and only added a small amount of mayo and cream cheese.  I also used some spicy cheese to kick it up a notch, and it turned out awesome! Costco sells this Habanero Cheddar Cheese that is dangerously spicy, but soooo addicting.  It comes it a huge block, so I shred some to keep handy on top of just slicing off a bite everyone and a while!

Spinach Artichoke Dip 2

I start by pulsing the artichoke hearts in the food processor. This can also just be done with a knife, but I found it way too dangerous for me.  The artichoke layers tend to slip and fall apart when chopping with a knife, not fun.  Before you know it I would slice my fingertip off.

Spinach Artichoke Dip 1

 

Then drain ALLL the water out of the spinach.  This can be done a number of ways.  I don’t use one more than the other, just make sure to get as much moisture out as possible. Here’s your options (remember these for the Spinach Pie later)

  1. Squeeze with your bare hands. This way works well, but it’s messy.
  2. Place the spinach in a paper towel and squeeze, the paper towel will fall apart…but that’s ok
  3. Place spinach in a clean kitchen towel and squeeze.  I find this the best way but it will stain your towel, so just use an old one or a dark colored one.

 

Spinach Pie 1

 

After you drain the spinach, pulse it a couple times in the food processor (or skip this step).  Then put everything in a large bowl and mix well.  Pour in into a greased casserole dish, saving about a 1/2 cup for Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken.

 

Spinach Artichoke Dip 3 with text

Bake at 350º for 25-30 minutes until bubbly.  Serve with veggies and my Homemade Pita Chips.

 

Spinach Pie

This is one of my all time favorite recipes.  My mom has been making this since I can remember, and it’s always a treat.  We loved it so much as kids and didn’t realize mom was feeding us like 4 servings of vegetables.  It’s not the easiest of recipes and it’s a little time consuming, but I PROMISE it is worth it.  Unfortunately this is something that has to be planned somewhat it advance, because the phyllo needs to thaw overnight in the fridge.

Start by making the spinach mixture.  Drain the spinach well using one of the methods explained earlier.  I use cottage cheese instead of ricotta, which reduces the calories. I also use fat free or reduced fat feta.  Set the mixture aside and begin the layering of phyllo.

First, brush the bottom of a 13×9 casserole dish with butter.  Then start the layering process.

Spinach Pie 2

 

Lay one sheet of phyllo down and lightly brush with butter. Lay another sheet on top of the buttered sheet and repeat until you use half of the phyllo dough sheets.

 

Spinach Pie 3

 

After completing the first layer of sheets spread the spinach mixture evenly on top.

 

Spinach Pie 6

 

Repeat the layering process by laying a phyllo sheet directly onto the spinach mixture. Brush with butter and continue the process of one sheet of phyllo followed by buttering until you use all the remaining dough.  Then use a sharp knife to cut through ONLY THE FIRST LAYER of phyllo before cooking.  This makes it easier to cut once done.  Precut for 8 pieces of spinach pie.
Spinach Pie 5

 

Bake at 350º for 35-45 minutes until the phyllo is nice and crispy.  Let the spinach pie sit for a couple minutes to cool off. Cut through the pre-sliced pieces all the way through the bottom layer of phyllo.

 

Spinach Pie 7

 

Serve it up with Lemon Roasted Greek Potatoes or rice and ENJOY.

 

Spinach Pie 4 with Text

 

Spinach Artichoke Stuffed Chicken

This is seriously such an easy recipe that won’t disappoint.  Everyone loves spinach artichoke dip, and this is a great way to make a meal out of it.  You can use left over homemade dip or store bought works too.

First make the pocket to stuff the dip into.  Place your hand over the top of the chicken breast, keep those fingers UP! Then make a 2-3 inch long slice that goes about 3/4th through the breast.
Spinach Stuffed Chicken 3

Then stuff the chicken with roughly 3 tablespoons of dip.  If you think you’ll slice your finger doing this, you can just put all of the dip on top of the chicken.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken 4

Rub the chicken with olive oil and season with garlic powder, salt and pepper.  If you have your favorite seasoning blend…that will work too.  Then spread some cherry tomatoes around the chicken and top with remaining dip and some mozzarella cheese.

Spinach Stuffed Chicken 1

 

Bake at 425º for about 25-30 minutes, until done.  Cook time is really going to depend on the size of your chicken breast.  Just be careful not to overcook.

 

Spinach Stuffed Chicken 2 with Text

 

 

Sorry it took so long to give you guys a new post, but these were worth the wait. Spinach can be so delicious, so I recommend trying to get more of it into your diet.  Another super easy thing to do with spinach is to sauté some.  Just heat up some olive oil, throw in a couple minced garlic cloves and throw in the spinach.  Cook for about one minute and remove from heat.  Drizzle with some balsamic and you have the quickest, easiest side dish EVER.

Have a good week, and I’ll try to get a post to everyone quicker!

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Posted on under Appetizers / Chicken / Gluten Free / Sunday Dinners / Vegetarian
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