Spinach+Scallion Savory Torte

 

savory spinace torte, torte recipe, savory tart recipe, quiche, a stack of dishes

Because I’m not always in the mood to make a traditional pastry crust, this recipe for my spinach and scallion savory torte is fantastic. 

Nothing beats the flakey rich taste of a traditional pastry crust, but sometimes, the fact is that I don’t always enjoy de-misting the fine layer of flour dust off my black counters. Not only that, but these days I try to shy away from things that are made with so much butter or fats. Using polenta as the base and layer of the torte not only is snap easy, it’s also so much more nutritionally rich than standard crust. 

I really like the dense corn-y layer of polenta, it gives this dish a little more heft, making it a perfect dish for a Sunday Brunch, a luncheon or a light supper. And look how pretty! Because it’s also made with skim milk and light goat cheese, it’s not a bad thing to make for your lunch this week and pack off to work with you. Certainly this is far more appealing than that bologna sandwich you had in mind. {go ahead, make your co-workers jealous}

 

savory tart, savory torte, savory tart recipe, spinach, eggs, a stack of dishes

 

 

 

I don’t have any co-workers since I toil in solitude most days- but that’s about to change. I am juuuuuuuust about finished with all my school work, and just now tidying up all the loose ends for my graduation in May. These last 3 months have been nose to the grindstone (more like eyes squinting at my computer screen), and now I can finally start to ease up on the gas. My dear ol’ pal, Canon 5D, is back from the shop, better than ever. Soon I will be purchasing myself a delicious graduation gift- the new Canon 6D. 

The new camera will have some bells and whistles that I am looking forward to playing with, but I also am looking forward to creating some videos in the near future. My older camera with be “Camera B”, and together I think my two babies and I can do some quick spots for you that I hope you’ll enjoy. So you see, I NEED both cameras. Anyway, fun stuff coming up, so stay tuned for that.

polenta tart, savory tart, savory tart recipe, quiche

Spinach+Scallion Torte
This polenta lined torte is quick and easy to make and much healthier for you. This dish reheats beautifully making it great for getting a jump on a party, or for having on hand in your fridge to take off slices for your lunch or supper. Serves 8
Print
145 calories
15 g
143 g
6 g
9 g
2 g
215 g
424 g
1 g
0 g
3 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
215g
Servings
8
Amount Per Serving
Calories 145
Calories from Fat 52
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
9%
Saturated Fat 2g
12%
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 143mg
48%
Sodium 424mg
18%
Total Carbohydrates 15g
5%
Dietary Fiber 2g
9%
Sugars 1g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
88%
Vitamin C
22%
Calcium
10%
Iron
14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
Ingredients
  1. 1 cup polenta or fine corn meal
  2. 3 cups of water
  3. .5 teaspoon salt
  4. 1 large bunch of fresh spinach leaves, about 6oz, washed
  5. 4 scallions, greens and whites, sliced thin
  6. 6 large eggs
  7. .5 cup skim milk
  8. .5 teaspoon salt
  9. .25 teaspoon pepper
  10. 2 ounces reduced fat goat cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees, and prepare an 8" springform pan with cooking spray.
  2. In a large pot bring 3 cups of water to the boil. Stir water with a whisk to create a whirlpool and slowly stream in the polenta. Keep stirring as the polenta thickens for another 2-3 minutes.
  3. When the polenta is thick and starts to pull away from the pan, pour into the prepared springform pan.
  4. Using a spoon, spread the polenta evenly along the bottom and up the sides of the pan to the top. This will create the shell for the custard filling to rest in.
  5. Arrange the spinach leaves evenly, but without too much fuss, on the top of the polenta.
  6. In a medium sized bowl combine the milk, eggs, salt and pepper and whisk to thoroughly combine. Pour over the spinach, then sprinkle the scallions on top.
  7. Lastly, crumble the goat cheese in large chucks evenly over the top.
  8. Place the torte in the middle of the oven and bake until the center is set and springy to the touch. Mine took about 40 minutes.
  9. Allow to cool for about 10 minutes before removing from the pan and serving.
  10. Enjoy!
Adapted from from Donna Hay
beta
calories
145
fat
6g
protein
9g
carbs
15g
more
Adapted from from Donna Hay
A Stack of Dishes http://www.astackofdishes.com/

Healthy Hash- Smoked Trout and Perfectly Poached Eggs

Personally I find breakfast the most awkward meal of the day. We all know a healthy start is the best thing we can do for ourselves, but man it is so much easier to grab a bagel or be tempted by the mounds of calorie bomb muffins or sweet rolls on every corner. I’ve never been a cold cereal fan really, and as much as I love sweets (and DO I!), I don’t prefer sweet for breakfast. Aside from making me feel edgy early in the day, I just don’t like the idea of being in the nutritional hole right off the bat.

But preparing breakfast takes time. A commodity most of us have less and less of. Who wants to make a mess of the kitchen, or add 20 minutes to the morning rush? But maybe that is the problem right there. Why the rush? Why do we drag ourselves through late night TV so that we feel we must squeeze out every minute of sleep, and then power push through our morning routine to get out the door? How civilized would it be to actually awake with grace, rouse with ease, and start the day with a sense of calm and well being? 20 minutes. Really, that’s all it takes.

For this breakfast I used leftover potatoes from dinner and pre-chopped my orange peppers and spinach the night before. Then it’s just a matter of boiling water, warming some oil in a pan and quick cooking off the smoked trout hash. Easy, fresh, and you’ve gotten a healthy serving of vegetables and quality protein to really start your day off well.

Those who know me know that I am a big fan of eggs. The poor egg has been so harshly maligned that it almost strikes terror in some folks. Yes- eggs have a large dose of cholesterol, and saturated fat, so you would want to balance that out with the rest of your day- but they are also power packed with vitamins and minerals that are hard to get in other places. The AND (previously ADA) now says that one egg a day is fine and I agree. I’m not suggesting that you go hog wild here, I just want to quell some concerns and allow you to feel good about eating eggs from time to time.

Poaching is a great way to prepare eggs, both in terms of nutrition but also when it comes to clean up. The trick to poaching is there is no big trick. Fear not. Simply simmer some water in an adequate sized pan and add a Tablespoon or two of white vinegar. The vinegar helps bind the proteins in the white so that it contains itself and makes a pretty egg. Then gently crack and add an egg into the water and just let it gently simmer for  4-6 minutes, depending on how cooked you like your yolks, and then scoop them out. That’s all there is to it.

Beautiful, easy, delicious and healthy- just the way I want you to start every day.

Smoked Trout “Hash” with Perfectly Poached Eggs
preparing the vegetables while making dinner the night before is a big help. 
serves 2
 
1.5 c diced and boiled potatoes- leftovers are perfect
.5 c diced orange peppers
1c chopped fresh spinach
3oz smoked trout- or smoked salmon- in small pieces
1 clove garlic
1T olive oil
S&P
4 large eggs
 
Set a 5 qt pan on the stove half filled with water and bring to a simmer. Add 2T of white vinegar.
 
Carefully crack eggs into the water and bring back to the simmer. Cook for 4-6 minutes or until desired doneness. Remove with a slotted spoon and blot on a tea towel.
 
Meanwhile heat a medium frying pan on medium heat and add the oil. Add the garlic and sautee for 2 minutes. Add the potatoes and cook until you get a crisp to the edge. Then add the peppers and cook for 1 minute, toss in the spinach and trout and cook another minute until spinach is wilted and trout is warmed through.
 
The trout is salty, so taste before adding any extra- or just salt the eggs. Top off with some freshly ground pepper.
 
 

Grilled Baby Zucchini and Potato Tart

As many of you know, I am working through the final semesters of my Master’s degree. I am a proud student at Teachers College, Columbia University-and will graduate with a Masters in Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. It’s been a ridiculously long road (6 years already?), but one I truly enjoy. I am a bit of a science geek, so the combination of food and science is a natural pairing. I will share with you though, when I was interviewing for acceptance into the program, I asked if they might tar and feather me. At the time I was a full time wedding cake baker and a certified Sommelier. Thankfully they have not, and I do like to believe that my love of food and cooking adds another dimension to my studies.

We now have come to the end of the semester and this week is finals week. All projects are coming due, and just like I did during my undergraduate work, I find myself in the classic mode: sweats, plates and cups stacked on my desk, coffee but no milk, and a vague recollection of what fresh air and sun are like.

After an hour or two of compiling research, my brain starts to get sluggish. So, I naturally up myself from my desk and toddle into the kitchen. This was a little beauty I came up with during one such refresher moments, a healthy and hearty frittata like tart.
A layer of reduced fat cheddar and potatoes, grilled zucchini and grilled onions all coddled in a eggy mix. I adjusted the egg ratio to include more egg whites, which, in addition to boosting the protein, was the surprising bonus of a fluffier than usual tart. What’s also fantastic about this dish is it reheats beautifully- so one dish, many meals. I just add a green salad on the side, and my life is complete, and now, so is my semester.
Grilled Zucchini and Potato Tart
serves 6
 
3 medium/small potatoes, peeled and sliced into .25″ rounds
7-8 baby zucchini, sliced longways
4 slices of red onion
4 large eggs
3 egg whites
1c reduced fat milk
2c grated reduced fat sharp cheddar, grated
2 cloves garlic
1 small yellow onion, minced
small bunch of fresh oregano
 
Preheat oven to 350˚ and grease a  7″x12″ baking dish, or something comparable.
 
In a mixing bowl beat together the eggs and the milk. Add the garlic and let set it aside.
 
Using a stovetop grill pan, cook the zucchini for a minute or two, just to get a little char and grill marks on them. This adds a little umami accept and makes the dish so pretty.
 
Start layering the dish by first placing the potatoes as evenly as possible. Then sprinkle on the cheese and the oregano. I tossed on a pinch of salt and pepper here too.
 
Then carefully pour the eggy mixture over the top. Arrange the zucchini and the onions as you like. Place the dish onto a baking sheet and into the oven she goes.
 
Test after 45 minutes for doneness, but it should take closer to an hour. The eggs should be set and the dish a pretty golden brown.