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Archive for the tag “Feta”

Spinach Cheesecake

Mention the word “spinach”, and most people wince and make a face which suggests disgust and repulsion.
Spinach Cheesecake
What is it about “green” vegetables that send most people over the edge? I do believe the majority of people’s negative response to these vegetables and others lies in their experience of tasting badly prepared, overcooked, unseasoned, watery vegetables. I would also gag while running a mile. Vegetables if prepared well and used in baked dishes correctly as well as paired suitably with other types of food can be a mind altering experience. To give you a small example, I’m using the infamous little gem which most people hate which is Brussel Sprouts. These delightful looking veggies which resemble miniature cabbage are very bland and honestly quite aweful on their own, however, sauté them in butter with garlic and crispy bacon pieces and the entire dynamics of boring Brussel Sprouts become absolutely delicious and full of flavour. You understand the point I’m trying to make? Similarly, spinach is exactly that, boring on its own, but pair it with garlic, butter and feta and you’ve got an amazing tasting vegetable dish.
Spinach Cheesecake
When I first saw this recipe, I was hesitant because of the word “cheesecake”. To me a cheesecake is a sweet dish and positively NOT for vegetables. However, after reading the entire recipe I got a clearer understanding that it was a savoury cheesecake and not a sweet cheesecake. How could I be so ignorant!
I am so glad I tried this recipe, which I got out of the 4th Edition of the YOU Let’s Cook. Please try it and let me know what you think. I personally will be making this dish regularly, not only because it’s easy, but it’s a great “light lunch” to serve over the weekend with salads.

For the crust you will need:
70ml butter, melted
1 packet of Bacon Kips (savoury biscuits) crushed

For the filling you will need:
2 bunches of spinach, cleaned, shredded and steamed (I bought already prepared shredded spinach from Woolworths)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
250g cream cheese
250g sour cream
4 large eggs
1 round of plain feta cheese, crumbled
Cooks tip: You can add crispy bacon pieces if you wish for extra flavour

Instructions:
Preheat the oven to 150 degrees Celsius and grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin with spray and cook. Mix the butter and biscuit crumbs and press into the base and partway up the sides. Place in the fridge while you prepare the filling.
Drain the steamed spinach and squeeze out the excess liquid. Fry the bacon (optional), onion until soft and fragrant. Set aside. In another dish, beat the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs together. Add to the bacon and onion mixture, spinach and feta cheese and combine well. Turn the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes until firm and golden brown.
Makes 1 large spinach cheesecake. Serve warm or cold.
Spinach Cheesecake

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Spinach & Butternut Quinoa Salad

Quinoa (pronounced Keen-wa) is a pseudo-cereal and not a true cereal or grain.  It is actually a seed and can be prepared like whole grains such as rice or barley.  Of all the whole grains, quinoa has the highest protein content, so it’s perfect for vegetarians and vegans. Quinoa provides all 9 essential amino acids, making it a complete protein. It is a gluten-free and cholesterol-free whole grain, is kosher for Passover and is almost always organic http://vegetarian.about.com/od/glossary/g/whatisquinoa.htm

Quinoa is a perfect alternative to Couscous (which contains wheat and wheat contains gluten).  It can be prepared and used in the same way as you would Couscous.   Quinoa is available to purchase in most leading retail stores and Health Shops.

The great thing about Quinoa is that you can eat it on its own just tossed in a bit of Olive Oil, lemon juice and black pepper or you can add a variety of different vegetables and cheeses.  The list is endless.  It’s a wonderful meal on its own, and its filling, no wonder it is the staple diet of the Andes region and has been for the past 3000 years http://www.grain-free-gluten-free.com/quinoa.html

My Recipe is simple and all you would need is the following:
1.5 cups of Quinoa (cooked as per instructions on package)
1 Small butternut, cooked and cubed
1 bunch of Spinach, steamed and cut up
2 discs of Feta cheese, cubed
1 stick of butter
2 garlic cloves
Maldon Salt and cracked black pepper
Juice of half a lemon

Method:
In a saucepan sauté the spinach and butternut in the butter and garlic.  Add the cubes of feta cheese and add the Quinoa once cooked, drained and rinsed.  Combine gently ensuring you don’t mash the butternut.  Add the salt and pepper and juice of lemon.

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