Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Spinach Puff

This is one of those recipes that have been around a long, long time. A spinach puff makes a great side dish, especially with beef or lamb, and it combines the vegetable and the starch together. Another plus is that it works great with frozen spinach and the recipe calls for a standard 10 ounce box of frozen chopped spinach.

This can also be used as a vegetarian main dish (just double the recipe) – perfect for a Lenten Friday dinner or for those who prefer meatless options. The recipe contains eggs, so it delivers protein in addition to the healthy spinach. It also allows you to be creative with the seasonings if you wanted to give the dish more of a Greek or Italian personality. 

If you are a fan of spinach then you’re going to like this one!

Spinach Puff

10oz box frozen chopped spinach
2 eggs separated
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
¼ tsp dry mustard
1 TBSP dried minced onion
1 cup cooked rice (white or brown)
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a medium saucepan with a lid, bring ½ cup of water to a boil. Remove spinach from box and put in boiling water. Cook covered for 5 to 6 minutes, breaking up block of spinach with fork as it cooks. Remove from heat and drain into a colander. Press spinach to remove as much of the water as possible and set aside to cool.

Using two mixing bowls, separate eggs. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form (use your preferred tool here – hand mixer, rotary mixer or whisk). To the egg yolks, add the cooked rice, dried onion, salt, pepper and mustard powder. Combine. If you want, you could sauté ¼ cup of onions in butter until soft and slightly golden and add those instead of the dried onion. Finally, add the cooked spinach to the rice mixture and combine.

Gently fold the rice and spinach mixture into the beaten egg whites until everything is incorporated. Grease a 1 ½ quart casserole dish with non-stick spray. Add mixture and bake for 30 minutes at 350 degrees. If desired, spread top with shredded Parmesan cheese as soon as it comes out of the oven. Serve immediately.

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