Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

  1. pizza with vegan mozzarella

    April 21, 2013 by Angie

    We had a pizza party last night! I made my usual whole wheat crust and topped with our favorite toppings: spinach, artichoke hearts, garlic, tomato, and basil (from my window sill basil plant – I felt fancy about that). The big difference this time was homemade vegan mozzarella cheese! I tried this new vegan mozzarella recipe I saw on Reddit. It was fantastic!

    pretty pretty pizza

    I’m an admitted dairy cheese addict and thus very skeptical of “fake” cheese. The cashew queso recipe from Post Punk Kitchen is my one exception. I’m big time in love with that fake cheese so when I came across this recipe for fresh margherita style mozzarella made with cashews I wanted to give it a try. It’s also great! Cashews are magic! I think this stuff is so much better than Daiya. It’s a lot less labor intensive than the cashew queso and really comes together pretty quickly. Here’s a photo of the leftover cheese after I topped the pizza.

    vegan mozzarella

    And one more photo of the pizza because I think it’s pretty.

    vegan mozzarella pizza

  2. tempeh quesadillas

    January 24, 2013 by Angie

    This is my quesadilla version of Cooking Light’s tempeh fajitas. The marinade and fajita style onions and peppers are delicious but Robbie didn’t like how the fajita always fell apart on him. I’m an admitted cheese addict and I like to throw in some spinach wherever I can so I prefer the quesadilla way too.

    Tempeh Quesadilla


    1 cup pineapple juice
    1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce
    2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
    2 teaspoons ground cumin
    2 teaspoons vegetable oil
    2 teaspoons minced garlic
    ground black pepper
    1 package of tempeh
    olive oil
    green bell pepper
    yellow onion
    reduced fat shredded Mexican mix cheese or cheddar cheese
    your favorite salsa


    In a small saucepan, combine the first seven ingredients and bring to a boil.

    While you’re waiting for the marinade to boil, prepare the tempeh. Cut it in half horizontally then cut each half into six pieces lengthwise. Place the tempeh in a dish that won’t melt. I used a glass brownie pan.

    Pour the hot marinade over the tempeh and let it marinate for at least an hour in the fridge.

    While the tempeh is marinating, cut the onion and green bell pepper into strips, fajita-style.

    Once your tempeh has completed its marinating you can begin cooking up your onion and pepper strips. Spray a skillet with some olive oil and heat it to medium heat. Add the onion and pepper strips and cook until they start to brown but are still crisp.

    Onion & pepper strips

    Set the onion and pepper strips aside and use the same skillet to brown the tempeh in vegetable oil. I cook it for about 6 minutes on each side while periodically drizzling more marinade on the upturned side. Flip over and repeat with the other side.

    Cooking the tempeh strips

    While you’re waiting on the tempeh to brown you can begin to construct the quesadillas by putting a tortilla on a plate for each person eating. Spread shredded cheese on the bottom half of each tortilla.

    When the tempeh is ready, remove it from the heat. Arrange 3-4 tempeh strips on top of the cheese section of each tortilla. Top with a generous amount of grilled pepper and onion strips. Next, place spinach leaves on top and sprinkle some more cheese on top of that.

    assembling the quesadilla

    Fold the quesadillas over and cook them in olive oil in the same pan you’ve been using. Flip over once the first side is starting to brown. Cut into quarters and top with your favorite salsa.

    Quesadilla assembly line

    I only got three quesadillas out of this because I ran out of tempeh. There was enough of everything else to make more so add in another package of tempeh to get 4-6 quesadillas.

  3. Thanksgiving 2012

    November 28, 2012 by Angie

    People tend to be curious about what vegetarians eat for Thanksgiving so here’s a quick rundown of what we had at Thanksgiving Part 1 at my parents’ house. That’s right, there was a Thanksgiving Part 2. We are very committed to this holiday but there was wine at Part 2 in SoFlo and thus I kinda forgot to take photos.

    We started off with baked Brie served on Triscuits or lentil chips topped with chardonnay wine jelly from the best cheese shop this side of France, Cheese Please. I didn’t get a photo of that either – wahhh. We also had some spinach phyllo triangles to start.

    On the plate here is corn on the cob (obviously), tofu vegetable pot pie, apple and onion stuffing a la Rachel Ray, Mom’s wonderful sweet potato casserole, and homemade cranberry sauce.


    Tofu veggie pot pie with a puff pastry crust

    Apple & onion stuffing and Mom’s sweet potato casserole

    It wasn’t even a week ago and I’m ready to do it again! My wish is for never-ending Thanksgiving leftovers and a lightning fast metabolism.

  4. spinach phyllo triangles

    November 28, 2012 by Angie

    These take some time to make but they’re really popular and tasty appetizers. I make them a few days before, freeze them, and bring them to Thanksgiving every year. The phyllo dough is finicky but if you keep it covered while you work it’s not so bad.

    Makes about 36 spinach phyllo triangles.


    1/2 package (one sleeve) of phyllo dough, thawed
    olive oil
    1 cup onion, diced
    1 tablespoon minced garlic
    2 10 oz packages of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
    2 tsp oregano
    8 oz crumbled feta cheese
    2 oz shredded parmesan cheese
    freshly ground pepper
    around 4-6 tbsp melted butter (I use Smart Balance.)


    1. Take the phyllo dough and frozen spinach out of the freezer to thaw. You’ll almost definitely have to defrost the spinach in the microwave because it’s an ice block.

    2. Squeeze as much liquid as you can from the spinach.

    3. Dice an onion.

    4. In a deep frying pan, heat the olive oil. Saute the diced onion and minced garlic. When that looks good add in the spinach and oregano and cook until the spinach is warm. Add ground pepper to taste.

    5. Remove the spinach mixture from the heat. Stir the cheeses into it.

    6. Now the filling is ready and it’s time to set up your phyllo triangle assembly station. Melt some butter in the microwave – you can start with 2 or 3 tablespoons.

    7. Put a layer of damp paper towels down on your work surface, I use a cutting board. On top of that place a layer of plastic wrap then your sheets of phyllo dough. Cover them with another plastic wrap/damp paper towel situation to keep the phyllo dough from drying out while you’re working.

    8. Take one sheet of phyllo dough out and brush it with melted butter. Repeat by stacking two more sheets of phyllo dough with butter brushed on top of each. Cut through all three layers longways to make five or six long, thin strips.

    9. Spoon a small amount of spinach mixture at the bottom of each of the thin strips. Fold it over like a flag to make a triangle shape enclosing the spinach mixture inside. Brush with melted better and place it on a prepared cookie sheet.

    10. Once you’ve constructed all of your triangles you can freeze them if you want to have them on hand for the holidays or you can bake them up right away. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 375.

    I got 36 triangles from this recipe and stacked them between parchment paper in this Tupperware.


  5. black bean & spinach quesadillas

    August 24, 2012 by Angie

    This tasty quesadilla has been a staple in my weekday cooking repertoire, in one incarnation or another, for about six years now. It comes together really quickly with canned beans (we have a very strong allegiance to El Ebro brand) and is pretty healthy packed with vegetables and beans and using reduced fat cheese and just one tortilla per quesadilla.


    olive oil
    minced garlic
    yellow onion, diced
    bell pepper, diced
    tomato, diced
    2 cans of black beans, drained
    spices: chili powder, garlic powder, salt, freshly ground pepper
    one tortilla per quesadilla (I can usually make 4 or 5 with the black bean filling.)
    reduced fat shredded Mexican cheese
    fresh spinach


    1. Dice the onion, bell pepper, and tomato.

    2. Heat a small amount of olive oil in a pot. Add minced garlic, onion, and bell pepper. Cook for a few minutes while draining the black beans.

    3. Add the black beans and diced tomato to the pot. Cook until everything is hot adding chili powder, garlic powder, salt, and pepper to taste.

    4. While the bean mixture is cooking you can begin to assemble the quesadillas. Put one tortilla on a plate for each person. Sprinkle a small handful of shredded cheese on the bottom half of the tortilla so that it covers it with a thin layer. Keep a little room around the bottom edge without cheese so it doesn’t leak out later.

    5. Get your spinach leaves out and break off any obnoxiously long stems.

    6. Once the bean mixture seems ready to go, start heating a shallow pan with some olive oil in it. Spoon the bean mixture over the cheese-covered area of the tortillas. Cover the bean mixture with a layer of fresh spinach leaves followed by a little more cheese (it acts as glue here). Fold the tortilla over and place it in the hot pan. When the cheese is melty and the tortilla is starting to brown, flip it over to do the other side.

    7. Serve immediately with salsa. The bean mixture holds up great in the fridge or a couple days so save any leftovers to make a quesadilla for lunch tomorrow.

  6. mini tofu quiches

    July 28, 2012 by Angie

    My love for FatFree Vegan Kitchen grows even stronger after trying this recipe for mini crustless tofu quiches. These vegetable-filled quiches really have an egg-like taste and texture. I had never used Mori-Nu silken tofu before and I always dread dragging out the food processor but this recipe wasn’t scary or all that labor-intensive after all.

    I used green onion, garlic, and spinach for the vegetables. We ate all twelve of them (they’re little) with a salad for dinner last night.

  7. sweet and sour tofu

    May 24, 2012 by Angie

    Sweet and sour tofu is my go-to order at most Asian restaurants (unless there’s massaman curry to be had).  I love the combination of the slightly sweet and very tangy flavors and with all those vegetables it still feels healthy!


    1 package of extra firm tofu (I freeze mine just for a few hours then move it to the fridge until I’m ready to use it.  It gives it a great texture.)
    1 tbsp cornstarch (plus about 3 tbsp for coating the tofu)
    3/4 cup vegetable broth
    3 tbsp rice wine vinegar
    1 tbsp sugar
    1 tbsp ketchup
    2 tbsp soy sauce
    1/2 tsp ground ginger
    1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (I use a bit less because we are wimps.)
    2 tbsp Smart Balance oil
    2 cloves garlic, minced
    vegetables for stir fry: onion, bell pepper, carrots, mushrooms, pineapple, and tomato are more traditional.  I used: 1/2 green bell pepper, a zucchini, some baby spinach, and a pre-cut, pre-washed 12 oz bag of broccoli, cauliflower, and carrots.


    1.  Drain and press the tofu.  Cut it into one inch squares.

    Super high-tech tofu pressing device.

    2.  Make the sweet and sour sauce by mixing together the ingredients from 1 tbsp of cornstarch through the cayenne pepper.  Place the tofu squares in the marinade, cover, and refrigerate while you complete the next step.  If you have time it’s good to do this thirty minutes to an hour before you’re ready to stir fry the vegetables so that the tofu can absorb the marinade.

    3.  Wash and cut the vegetables.

    4.  Heat a medium-sized skillet with Smart Balance oil on medium heat.  Pour about 3 tbsp of corn starch into a small bowl.  Using a slotted spoon, lift the tofu squares out of the marinade and shake gently to drip excess marinade back into the bowl.  Transfer the tofu squares in batches to the bowl of corn starch.  Turn to coat the tofu with corn starch.  Move the tofu to the hot skillet and cook until browned on all sides.  Keep the bowl of sweet and sour marinade and set aside.

    5.  Meanwhile, in a larger pan heat some more oil.  Add the garlic and then the rest of the vegetables.  Stir fry until just cooked.  Pour the remaining sweet and sour sauce over the vegetables and stir.

    6.  Serve the tofu and vegetables over rice or noodles.  We like to eat it just the way it is by itself.


  8. tempeh BLT & a strawberry salad

    May 10, 2012 by Angie

    Cute Husband loves BLT sandwiches.  I made this vegan version with marinated, baked tempeh.  I followed this recipe for tempeh bacon from Vegetarian Times.  While the bacon was baking, I toasted two slices of whole wheat bread for each sandwich.  To construct a sandwich, put a little Vegenaise on one slice of bread then top with fresh spinach leaves (you can use lettuce if you’re a purist) and slices of tomato followed by a heaping helping of tempeh bacon and the second piece of bread.

    These were easy and tasty.  The addition of the liquid smoke to the marinade goes a long way toward achieving the bacon flavor.

    I made a strawberry salad to go with it.  The salad is mixed field greens, quartered strawberries, reduced fat feta cheese, and fat free raspberry dressing.  Yummy!

  9. vegetable lasagna

    April 27, 2012 by Angie

    A homemade lasagna is a labor of love.  The good news is that I’m getting faster at making it. This is my (relatively) lower fat and lower carb vegetable lasagna made with part skim ricotta, reduced-fat shredded Italian cheese, and Dreamfields lasagna noodles.  It’s just as cheesy and delicious as any “naughty” lasagna and packed with zucchini, spinach, and fresh tomatoes.

    You’ll need a big rectangular pan for this.  I use a 9×13 Pyrex that came with a clip-on storage lid for the top.  Three Dreamfields lasagna noodles fit perfectly side by side in there.  I sprayed the pan with olive oil before assembling the lasagna.

    Makes about six servings.


    Olive oil
    Olive oil spray for the lasagna pan
    1 box of Dreamfields lasagna noodles
    24 oz jar of spaghetti sauce (We openly profess our love for Gia Russa’s Tomato & Basil.)
    15 oz container of part skim ricotta cheese (Sorrento brand was the lowest fat option at my grocery store.)
    Reduced fat shredded parmesan (…if you can find it.)
    Reduced fat shredded Italian cheese
    3 zucchini, sliced
    4 oz of fresh spinach
    1-2 vine ripened tomatoes, chopped
    Any other vegetables you want to add – we’re striving for roughly 4 cups of vegetables total
    Minced garlic
    Dried basil
    Dried oregano
    Dried parsley
    Garlic powder


    1.  Start boiling the water to prepare the Dreamfields lasagna noodles according to the package directions.  Unlike some varieties, you do have to boil these noodles before assembling the lasagna.

    2.  While you’re waiting for the water to boil, chop up the zucchini and tomato and any other veggies you’d like to add.  Also, snap the stems of the spinach leaves if that sort of thing offends you.  In a big pan, saute the minced garlic and zucchini in olive oil.  Add in the spinach just until it’s somewhat wilted.  Don’t cook the vegetables very long.  You might be able to skip this step but I think it cuts down on the amount of water the vegetables produce inside the lasagna.

    Cooked Vegetables

    3.  The water should be boiling by now.  Go ahead and make the noodles. While you’re waiting for them to cook, pour the entire tub of ricotta cheese into a medium-sized bowl and mix in 3-4 ounces of the parmesan cheese and the dried spices.  I don’t measure the amount of basil, oregano, parsley, and garlic powder I add to the ricotta mixture and I apologize for that.  I do know that the amount I use is in the order they’re listed – I go pretty nuts with the basil and easy on the garlic powder.  You want the mixture to smell flavorful and to be able to see spices throughout.

    4.  Once the noodles are ready, drain them.  It’s time to preheat the oven to 400 degrees and assemble the lasagna.  Start with a layer of noodles side by side (three should do it).  Follow that with a third of the spaghetti sauce, a third of the ricotta mixture, a third of the vegetables, and a third of the shredded Italian cheese.  Repeat this two more times ending with the shredded Italian cheese.  Cover tightly with aluminum foil and bake for an hour.  When the hour is up, take the aluminum foil off and bake for another five minutes or so until the cheese on top is slightly browned.

    First layer: noodles, sauce, ricotta, vegetables, shredded cheese.

    Finished lasagna!

    A serving of lasagna.

    We both got seconds, wiping out half the lasagna between the two of us.  Mmmmm, mmmmm.

  10. homemade pizza with whole wheat crust

    April 25, 2012 by Angie

    Robbie tells me that the moment he realized he loved me was when I joked that it takes all of my willpower not to have pizza in my mouth at all times.  We are dedicated pizza connoisseurs and have enjoyed pizza with our favorite toppings (that’s garlic, tomatoes, spinach and sometimes basil or artichoke hearts) in every city we’ve visited together.  We even served pizza at our wedding.

    We also love to make our own at home with our favorite spaghetti sauce: Gia Russa’s Tomato & Basil.

    Here is the recipe for our most successful homemade pizza.  It has a whole wheat crust.  It requires some planning ahead so that the dough can rise for at least an hour but it makes two large thin crust pies so it’s worth the time commitment.  Here’s the crust recipe:

    1 cup warm water
    1 tablespoon honey
    1 packet of active dry yeast
    1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
    1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
    1 teaspoon salt
    3 tablespoons olive oil
    cornmeal for dusting the pizza pan
    extra all-purpose flour to get the consistency just right
    extra olive oil for oiling the bowl


    1. Heat a cup of water in the microwave for 20-30 seconds to warm it up.  Pour the water into a small bowl.  Stir the tablespoon of honey into the water.  Empty the entire packet of yeast into the water mixture and gently stir to mix.  Let the yeast mixture sit and gather a foamy layer on top while you move onto the next step.

    2. In a large bowl, combine the flours and salt.  Once the yeast mixture has sat for five minutes, make a well in the center of the flour and pour the yeast mixture and the three tablespoons of olive oil into the well.  Mix the ingredients together with a spoon and add more flour if needed until a dough forms and the dough can be pulled away from the bowl without sticking.

    3. Knead the dough for about eight minutes.  The bowl I use is big enough to allow me to flour my hands and knead it right in the bowl.

    4. Shape the dough into a ball.  Hold the ball in one hand while you oil the same bowl with the other hand.  Place the dough ball back in the bowl and cover it tightly with plastic wrap.  Let the dough rise for an hour.  It should double in size.

    5. When the hour is up and your dough is gigantic, knead it for a few more minutes.  Now divide the dough evenly into two balls.  If you’re only making one pizza today, wrap one of the balls in the plastic wrap and put it in the fridge.  If I make it within the next 1-2 days it tastes just as good as the first pizza.

    6. Dust a 12″ pizza pan with cornmeal.  Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Work one of the dough balls in your hands, pulling and stretching it gently to make it into a thinner, flatter disc.  Put the dough disc on the pizza pan and begin pushing it into the pan and spreading it so that it covers the pan evenly.  Brush the top of the dough with olive oil and parbake for about 5 minutes at 425 degrees.

    The crust is ready to go!  Now here are the ingredients and steps for topping the pizza.

    24 0z jar of Gia Russa brand Tomato & Basil spaghetti sauce
    minced garlic
    garlic powder
    reduced fat shredded Italian cheese
    16 oz block of part skim mozzarella (We like the Sorrento brand.)
    2-3 vine ripened tomatoes
    fresh spinach leaves (about an ounce)
    jar of artichoke hearts


    1. We pour a jar of Gia Russo Tomato & Basil sauce into a saucepan.  Add a generous scope of minced garlic and a sprinkle of garlic powder to the sauce.  Heat over low and stir occasionally while preparing the other ingredients.  This sauce is delicious but is sometimes too runny so this step thickens it up and makes it garlicky.

    2. Cut small chunks of part skim mozzarella.  I use about a quarter of the 16 oz package on one pizza.

    3. Wash the tomatoes and cut thin slices.  Select the nicest fresh spinach leaves from the bag and set them aside.  I like artichoke hearts of my half of the pizza so I take 3-5 artichoke hearts from the jar and press them in a paper towel to get some of the oil off.  Chop those into smaller pieces.

    4.  Once the sauce is ready, top the pizza with that first making sure to leave a crust around the edges. Then top with a light layer of reduced fat shredded Italian cheese.  After that I place the tomatoes followed by the artichoke hearts then the spinach.  Put a slice of mozzarella on each spinach leaf and try to space it evenly.  The mozzarella chunks spread a lot during baking.  Top with another light layer of the shredded cheese.

    5. Bake the pizza pie for about 15 minutes, or until the crust is starting to brown and the cheese is melted, at 450 degrees.