easiest spinach pie

I’ve been making this spinach pie for years for my daughter and my grandkids.  During dinner tonight at my daughter’s house, my grandson Ezra said, “Safta, this is my favorite dinner!”  Noah chimed in his agreement.   They each had at least 4 or 5 pieces.  My daughter said, “This is the perfect comfort food.”  She commented that  it’s her favorite meal too.  She wasn’t too happy when I set aside a piece to bring home to my son Benji.  When I got home, Benji wasn’t too happy that I only brought one piece home for him.

  • 1 box Pepperidge Farm puff pastry sheets
  • 2 10 oz. boxes frozen organic chopped spinach, defrosted and drained and squeezed pretty dry
  • 2 extra large eggs
  • 8 oz. shredded mozzarella cheese
  • about 8 oz. chunk feta
  • about 1/4 cup parmesan
  • about 1/2 tablespoon Litehouse dill
  • about 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • pinch salt

Place frozen puff pastry in refrigerator to defrost.

In mixing bowl, put mostly dry, drained spinach, eggs, mozzarella cheese, parmesan cheese.  Break apart the feta into smallish pieces and add to mixture.  Add the dill, pepper, and salt.  Mix gently with a rubber spatula until all ingredients are incorporated.

Grease aluminum pan that’s about 9 x 13 in. (sides are less than 1 inch deep).  Place pharmacy online parchment paper that’s a little longer and wider than the bottom of the pan, pressing it down into the corners.

Take 1 sheet of the puff pastry out of fridge and roll it out so that the size matches the bottom of your baking pan (about 9 by 13.  Sprinkle flour on the counter as necessary to roll out the pastry.  Transfer to parchment lined pan.  Spread entire filling evenly over pastry, almost to the edges of the pastry.  Then roll out second sheet of pastry.  Place it over the filling, and turn the edges of the pastry over the filling and crimp it with the bottom layer of pastry.  Then make an egg wash of 1 egg with buy modafinil 1 teaspoon of water, and brush it generously over top of pie.

I usually stick it in the canadian pharmacy freezer for about 30 min.  Then I cover it with foil and put back in freezer till I’m ready to bake it.

Bake about 45-50 min. at 400 degrees till puffy and brown.  Serve immediately.

Greek Pasta Salad

I took my homemade dressing which has a Greek vinaigrette taste, and I added some pasta, and some veggies to create a pasta salad that tastes similar to a Greek salad.

It’s a little heartier than just a salad, and it makes a great leftover lunch.

For the dressing:

  • juice from 1 large lemon (about ¼ cup)
  • ½ cup olive oil (I use a combination of light and extra virgin)
  • 1 ½ teaspoons dried oregano
  • 2-3 large garlic cloves, crushed
  • ¾ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¼ teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon sun dried tomatoes (in oil) minced (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest, grated

In a mixing bowl, whisk the lemon juice, the oregano, the salt, the pepper, the red pepper flakes, the optional sun-dried tomatoes, the lemon zest, and the garlic. Then add the oil slowly as you continue to whisk. You can make this earlier in the day, and put it in a plastic container with a tight fitting lid. Then when you are ready to use it, give it a few good shakes, and pour it over the salad right before you serve the salad.

for the pasta salad:

12 oz. rotelle or penne

1 1/2 greenhouse cucumbers, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

about 12 kalamata pitted olives, cut in half

a few slices of red onion, diced

1-2 red bell peppers, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

1 pint of grape tomatoes, cut in half

about 1 lb. of good feta, cut into 1/2 in. chunks

Cook the pasta till al dente.  Run under cool water.  Place in large serving bowl, and add all the veggies.  Then pour vinaigrette over salad and mix.  Put in fridge until ready to serve.

Lentil Soup

My son Benji spent a few months in Greece and Turkey as part of his college study program.  He came home a huge fan of the cuisines of those countries and especially of lentil soup.  I made the following recipe which he really enjoyed.  I’ve been making lots of it for myself –  a bowl of this soup makes a great dinner for me when I get home late from work.

for the soup:

  • half of one very large onion, diced
  • about 3 carrots, organic if possible, cut lengthwise and then sliced very thinly
  • about 3-4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 28 oz. can peeled plum tomatoes, chopped fine -organic if possible (reserve the juice)
  • 1 small can tomato paste, organic preferably
  • 1/2 cup olive oil, extra virgin or light
  • 2 1/2 quarts of water
  • 1 1 lb. bag of brown green lentils (I’ve used Goya and Stop and Shop brand)
  • kosher salt and black pepper to taste (about 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper to start)

Rinse well the lentils in collander.  Put into a medium-large pot.  Cover with cold water.  Cover, and bring to a boil over high flame.  When water is boiling, take off lid, and boil over medium flame for about 6-7 minutes.  Drain in collander (do not rinse lentils with water).

At the same time you are starting the process bringing lentils in the pot with the water, get your soup pot going.  In large pot saute onions, garlic, and carrots in olive oil (sprinkle with salt and pepper), till soft (I cover the pot to expedite).  Then, pour the drained lentils from the collander into the pot.  Add the chopped tomatoes, the tomato paste, and the water.  Add the reserved juice from the tomatoes.  Bring to a boil.  Cover, lower flame – soup should be simmering, adding more salt and pepper as necessary.  Cook about an hour.  I freeze the leftovers in quart containers.

Greek Beans with Tomatoes, Celery, And Carrots

After my daughter Randi and her husband came back from their vacation in Greece,  I bacame inspired to find some Greek dishes to make for them.  I came up with this recipe, and Randi and Dan really like it.  It is healthy, tasty, and economical.

  • 1 lb. bag of dried cannelini beans (or fasolia gigantes or similar large dried white beans)
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup of extra virgin, regular, or light olive oil
  • 2-3 onions, about 11 oz, chopped (rough chop)
  • 3 celery sticks, chopped medium
  • 4 carrots, peeled and chopped medium
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspooon dried oregano or thyme, or mixture of both (I used fresh thyme leaves, about 1 tablespoon, and dried oregano)
  • 1 28 oz. canned plum tomatoes (do not use juice), rough chop
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste diluted in 8 oz. water
  • 1/2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp finely chopped flat leaf parsley (optional)
  • kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • crushed red pepper to taste (I used about 1 tsp, but that made the end result a little hot)

1.  Place the beans in a large bowl, cover with plenty of cold water, then let soak overnight in the refrigerator.  The next day, drain the beans, then rinse them under cold water in a collander, and drain.
2.  Pour the beans into a large saucepan, pour plenty of cold water to cover, then bring to a boil.  Cover the pan, and cook the beans at a simmer until they are almost tender, about 50-60 minute.  Giantes will cook more quickly, so keep testing them after they have been cooking for 30 to 40 minutes.  The beans should be soft, but not disintegrating through overcooking.  If the beans are starting to break in half, they are totally cooked.
3.  While the beans are cooking, heat the olive oil a clean saute pan ( I didn’t use a nonstick pan for this), add the chopped onions, crushed red pepper, salt, and pepper to taste,  and saute until light golden.  Add the celery, carrots, garlic, herbs, and stir with a wooden spoon until the garlic becomes aromatic and the vegetables are softish.  Stir in the tomatoes, cover, and cook for 10 minutes.  (covering is not essential)  Pour in the diluted tomato paste with water, then return the cooked drained beans to the vegetable mixture, add the sugar the parsley, and any additional salt and pepper.  Mix gently.  Pour into a large 9 x 13 baking dish.  Bake covered for about 30 minutes at 350 degrees and serve.
If you want the dish to have more sauce, bake it covered in the oven.  If you would like the liquid to evaporate more so that the surface of the beans and vegetables become a little candied, then bake it uncovered.  If you are baking the dish uncovered, check the beans once or twice during the 30 minutes, and add more hot water if the beans look dry.
Note:
You can make the vegetable mixture while the beans are soaking, and refigerate until after you cook the beans.
You can probably substitute cooked beans, but you may lose a little of the texture or the authentic taste of the dish.

Greek-Style Couscous With Spinach, Garlic, Feta, And Pine Nuts

I made this recipe for my daughter Randi and her husband Dan last night as a side dish, and they loved it!  It is healthy, easy to make, and much more tasty than the average couscous recipe.  The whole wheat couscous tastes just as good as the regular, so if you can find it, I recommend using it as it is healthier. This recipe serves about 3-4 people, double this recipe for 5-8 people.

  • 1 box Near East whole wheat couscous- box says plain
  • 2-4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup pine nuts
  • about 3 1/2 -4 ounces of prewashed baby spinach
  • 1/4 cup crumbled Feta cheese
  • about 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest, grated on microplane
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Note:  If you do not like feta cheese, or you’d like the dish to be even less fattening, eliminate the feta cheese.

In large skillet, toast pine nuts till lightly browned.  Then add 2 tablespoons olive oil and 2 very large ( or 4 small) minced garlic cloves and put flame on medium.  Saute until garlic is translucent.  Add spinach over low flame, just until spinach is wilted.  Add salt and pepper.  Add lemon juice and zest.  Take off heat.  (You can do this part in advance if you wish.) 

A few minutes before you are ready to serve, follow directions and recipe on box for couscous- follow exactly.  When couscous is ready, add it to warmed spinach mixture in large skillet and mix.  Spoon into serving bowl, sprinkle feta cheese over, mix gently, and serve.

Greek-Style Shrimp Scampi

This Dish Is A Treat For Your Tastebuds!

This is a wonderful dish that I concocted and cooked for my daughter Randi and her husband Dan last summer.  They are both huge aficionados of Greek food and they were getting ready to go on a trip to Greece.  They wanted to get into the spirit of things, so I cooked them a shrimp dish with a distinctive Greek flavor.  They both went crazy for this dish!  

  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5-6 garlic cloves minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 pint of grape or cherry tomatoes, halved if you are using larger cherry tomatoes
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 pound of raw extra large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1/2 cup of fresh Italian parsley, chopped and divided 1/4 cup and 1/4 cup
  • 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 pound of spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (use a little of the grated rind if you like a more intense lemony flavor) 
  • a few grinds of freshly cracked pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Heat the olive oil in a large skillet.  Add the red pepper flakes and the minced garlic.  Saute 1 minute over low flame.  Add the tomatoes.  Sprinkle the tomatoes with the salt and 1/4 cup of the parsley.  Saute over medium flame until the tomatoes start to look soft or cracked- about 3-4 minutes.  Add the shrimp, and cook for about 3-4 minutes just until the shrimp are starting to not look raw.  Take off stove.  Put into casserole dish.  Sprinkle crumbled feta on top and bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 10 minutes. Take out of oven and sprinkle shrimp with reserved 1/4 cup chopped parsley and 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice and a little freshly cracked black pepper.   

Cook spaghetti while shrimp is in the oven.   When you are ready to serve, put a portion of spaghetti on each dinner plate, and then a portion of the shrimp on top of the spaghetti.

Notes: 

1.  You can serve over rice instead of over spaghetti.

2.  You can prepare the dish ahead up until the point where you put the shrimp in the casserole dish, cover it and then refrigerate it.  About a half hour before you put it in the 400 degree oven, take it out of the fridge and let it come up to room temperature.  Then bake in the 400 degree oven for 10 minutes.

Passover Spinach Pie Or Passover Spanikopita

This Is The Best Recipe For Passover Spinach Pie Or Passover Spanikopita!

Last year, our wonderful friends, the Slotnicks, invited us over for a Passover Seder.  I wanted to bring a main course dish that my daughter and her husband, who are both vegetarians, would enjoy.  My daughter loves the Greek dish called spanikopita or spinach pie, so I decided to create my own Passover version of it.  It turned out delicious!  And it only took about 30 minutes to prepare.  We’re getting very close to Passover, and I definitely plan to make this Passover spanikopita for Seder or just for a light dinner this year!

  • about 6 matza boards
  • 5 extra large or jumbo eggs (3 for filling, 2 for pouring over the top)
  • 1-10 ounce box of frozen spinach, defrosted and drained well
  • 8 ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
  • 1/2 of a medium onion, chopped finely
  • about 1/2 teaspoon of fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon of dried dill or 2 tablespoons of fresh chopped dill
  • about 2-3 tablespoons of butter or margarine, plus extra for greasing the pan

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Grease sides and bottom of  a 9 x 13 pyrex or ceramic baking dish well with butter or margarine.

In a medium mixing bowl, gently mix the drained spinach with the crumbled feta, the chopped raw onion, 3 eggs the pepper, and the dill; set aside.

Soak about 3 matzas in warm water in another 9 x 13 baking dish.  When the matza starts to soften, gently squeeze the water out, very carefully, so that you don’t crumble the matza.  Then place the matzas in the bottom of the pan to cover it.  Do not overlap the matza; just lay it side by side covering the bottom of the pan the way you would if you were making lasagna.

Spread the entire spinach mixture evenly over the matza, covering the matza completely.  Then soak another 3 matzas in warm water, gently squeeze out excess water, and place the matza over the top of the spinach, covering the spinach completely.  Beat the remaining 2 eggs and pour over the matza.  Dot with butter or margarine.  Bake covered for about 30 minutes till hot and bubbly.

Note #1:  You can prepare this in advance and refrigerate this up until the step where you pour the 2 beaten eggs over the matza.  Then when you wish to bake it, let it come to room temperature for about 30 minutes, pour the 2 beaten eggs over it, dot it with butter or margarine and bake covered, for about 30 minutes or until hot and bubbly.

Note #2:  You may substitute 1 pound of fresh spinach for the frozen, but you will need to saute it (very briefly) in a little oil, butter or margarine, just until it wilts and turns a dark green before you mix it with the feta, egg, onion, pepper, and dill. I like to use the frozen spinach, because 1-16 ounce box of frozen spinach is equivalent to much more than 1 pound of fresh spinach.

Shrimp with Feta Cheese and Pan-Roasted Cherry Tomatoes

Learn To Make This Amazing Shrimp With Feta Cheese And Pan-Roasted Tomatoes Tastes Wonderful And Looks As Pretty As A Picture!

My daughter Randi and her husband Dan are healthy eaters. They use as many organic products as possible in their cooking and they are vegetarians. They do eat seafood and fish, though. One day last summer, Randi asked me to come over and cook with her. She wanted to prepare something new and special for her husband Dan. She also wanted to make something with a Greek flavor to it, since she and Dan were gearing up for a trip to Greece. Randi and I came up with our own amazing recipe using shrimp, tomatoes, and feta cheese. It turned out fabulous, and Dan loved it. He said it was the best shrimp dish he had eaten. It is fresh tasting, and very satisfying.

  • 1 pound extra large fresh or frozen raw shrimp
  • 1 pint whole grape tomatoes or cherry tomatoes
  • 2-4 ounces of good feta cheese, which you break into small pieces
  • 5-6 garlic cloves, minced (sliced very thinly)
  • 1 fresh lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • fresh parsley (chop 1/2 cup – 1/4 cup + 1/4 cup and set aside)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • light or extra virgin olive oil, depending upon your preference
  • 1/2 pound spaghetti or penne for serving (rice can be substitued)

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Heat 3 tablespoons of olive oil in a large skillet. Add minced garlic cloves

and 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes, and saute over a medium flame

just for 1 minute. Add tomatoes. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon kosher salt

and a few grinds of black pepper. Sprinkle with 1/4 cup chopped fresh

parsley. Saute until tomatoes just start to look soft and are beginning to

crack- about 3-4 minutes. Then, add shrimp and cook over a medium to

high heat for 5 minutes just until shrimp are starting to NOT look raw.

Take off stove. Pour everything in pan into an oven proof casserole dish.

Then sprinkle the 2-4 ounces of feta cheese, depending upon how much

cheese you want in the dish, on top. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out of oven

and sprinkle with another 1/4 cup of fresh chopped parsley, 2 tablespoons

of fresh lemon juice and some additional cracked pepper.

Serve over pasta or rice.

Note: I recommend that you serve this over spaghetti or rice. The presentation looks best when you place a portion of spaghetti or penne on each dinner plate, and then spoon one portion of shrimp with tomatoes and feta on top of the pasta. I do not recommend that you mix the spaghetti all together with the shrimp. If you want to serve this family style, then put all the spaghetti, penne, or rice on the bottom of a serving platter, and then carefully spoon the contents of the baking dish on top. Mixing all the ingredients together will take away from the eye appeal of the dish.