Spanakopita Spinach Pie Light
I love Greek food! If it’s my birthday and we’re going out I choose a Greek restaurant. The closest we’ve been to the country Greece is Turkey. Turkish food is to die for but we’ll save that for another day. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. There are many similarities in Turkish and Greek cuisine. In fact, it would be difficult to nail down exactly where yummy baklava, dolmas, lamb kabobs, and spinach pie originate.
I’m going with the Greek name, spanakopita, for this recipe since the “how to” and the whole idea of lightening up this classic was shared with me by a Christyann Andrianopoulos – yes that’s a Greek name! I coach Christyann and her son through Kurbo. It’s so awesome when parents are supportive to their kids wanting to make healthier choices. Christyann came up with a way to make a healthier version of a family favorite Greek dish, spanakopita. By eliminating the phyllo dough and using lighter versions of cheese, she was able to cut down the fat content and turn a red light dish to green and yellows. Christyann even slips in some healthy cottage cheese in there that you won’t even notice. Spanakopita Spinach Pie Light is a simple to prepare dish that works as an appetizer, as a healthy side dish, as a brunch addition, and even as a school lunch!
When I made it in pie form it was comparable to a crustless quiche – great for brunch.
I should confess that our girls shy away from eating cooked spinach. They like spinach in salads, thankfully, and even drink an occasional green smoothie made with spinach. When it comes to cooked spinach, however, they think they don’t like it. I’m determined to help them discover that they do in fact like it ;). I keep in mind the importance of introducing a new food several times. I’ve served it in several forms now. The first few times I made this spinach pie recipe I baked it in a round cake pan and cut it up in pie slices. The girls wouldn’t try it.
Next I tried making it in a muffin tin. Presenting food in smaller, muffin form creates a new appeal. I also added some low-fat mozzarella cheese knowing that anything with pizza cheese is going to be a hit with our girls. They tried it…making progress!
Lastly, I took Christyann’s suggestion and tried making little Spanakopita wraps using whole wheat or corn tortillas as a healthy substitution for the phyllo dough. My taste preference is for corn tortillas. Christyann sometimes puts the spanakopita wraps in her sons school lunch – how clever is that? I am still working on this version as mine came out a bit runny. They were super delish tho!
The simple ingredients for this recipe include spinach, green onions, cheese (mozzarella, cottage, and feta), herbs (dill), and spices.
There are easy 5 steps to making Spanakopita Spinach Pie Light
- Wilt spinach by cooking it for just a couple quick minutes in a pan with olive oil
2. Add the egg and cook on low, all the while stirring
3. Add the cheeses – cook and stir a bit more on low heat until cheeses melt and blend
4. Mix in herbs and spices
5. Cook in cake pan, muffin tins, or stuff in tortillas
- 8 oz. fresh baby spinach leaves (about a pack and a half)
- 3 green oinions, chopped
- ½ yellow onion, chopped
- 3 eggs
- ¾ cup low-fat cottage cheese
- ¼ cup lowfat feta cheese, crumbled
- ¼ cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¾ cup fresh dill or about ¼ cup dried dill
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- Spray olive oil
- Cook the green onions for a few minutes on medium low in the olive oil
- Wilt the spinach by cooking it lightly for a few minutes, all the while turning it (I use tongs)
- Reduce the heat and add the eggs
- Cook the eggs about half way while stirring
- Add the cheeses and stir until well incorporated
- Add herbs and salt
- Bake in a 350 degree oven
- For baking in a pie dish, bake about 25 to 30 minutes
- For baking in muffin tins, bake about 18-20 minutes (recipe makes about 8 muffin sized pies)
- For baking rolled in tortillas, follow these instructions:
- Fill tortilla with spinach mixture
- Wrap taquito style
- Lay folded side down
- Spray with oil
- Bake about 18 minutes