Zucchini Spinach Tart- Light, Quick and Easy


Zucchini Tart- A Stack of Dishes

If you’ve been following me for awhile (and thank you to those of you who do!), I usually post a one pan dish that you can make for pre-holiday breakfasts. When you love your family, but you just need them pretty much out of the kitchen while you make your magic, this super easy Zucchini Spinach Tart is your friend. It takes just 10 minutes to pull this all together- or you can make this the night before and gently reheat.

Those holiday morning breakfasts can really be tricky. It’s going to be a long day before that Thanksgiving Turkey hits the table, and it’s just torturous to smell all that amazing food with a grumbling tummy. But who wants a big meal? And no one wants pots, pans, and multiple bowls cluttering things up. So it has to be something nourishing, satisfying, and something filling that won’t make you feel like you’re done in so early in the day. [Read more…]

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
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
Amount Per Serving
Calories 145
Calories from Fat 52
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 6g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 2g
Cholesterol 143mg
Sodium 424mg
Total Carbohydrates 15g
Dietary Fiber 2g
Sugars 1g
Protein 9g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  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
  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
Adapted from from Donna Hay
A Stack of Dishes http://www.astackofdishes.com/

Spinach Lamb Hand pies- Comforting Food

Ready to eat lamb hand pie.

I have weathered Sandy here in NYC without a single scratch- except for the emotional impact that I have for my fellow citizens. There is a very familiar similarity in my state this week compared to post 9/11. The same sadness, weariness and struggle to wrap my brain around so much devastation. I expected plenty of wreckage- but I am just so overwhelmed by the total losses. I’ve stopped watching the news updates and have turned instead towards putting my energy towards sending good thoughts and positive energy for our wounded city.

As the recovery unfolds I will no doubt find some way to help. I have a bag of clothes to donate sitting by the door, and I can certainly cook. There will be plenty of opportunity and I will be ready for it.

Ready to be folded

The mayor is presently on the TV saying that they need money, not food- or at least not right now. We’ll see about that as time goes on. NYer’s are a gathering of some of the most resilient folks around- but the future is long and the recovery is great.

So my pretty little lamb hand pies- what jewels to behold in the midst of this. I had made a fairly large roast the other day and ate all I could for a day or two. I live in a Hispanic neighborhood and in the freezer section of the markets are several brands of pre-made empanada dough. The one I found here is low in saturated fat and quite delicious. I usually make my own dough- the recipe for which you can find HERE– but this was a great alternative, and I’m not ashamed to say that for something simple like this, it was well worth it.

I quickly made up about 20 of them in no time flat. Some I have stashed in the freezer, the others I handed out to neighbors and friends. I had one the other day as a quick snack while studying. I only had to warm it up and I was good to go. Years ago I used to eat Cornish Pasties when I was a photo intern at the Catskill Center for Photography in Woodstock, NY. They are a delight. Comforting and wholesome- real stick to your ribs sort of food.

My heart goes out to any of my readers that have been negatively touched by Sandy.  Know that I am thinking of you.

Spinach and Mushroom Lamb Hand Pie
makes 20
You can make them and freeze them unbaked, or as I did, bake them off first. I like the latter for quick snacking or a rushed meal- both work equally well.
8-10 oz pre-cooked lamb- leftovers are fantastic, cut into small cubes
8 handfuls of fresh spinach, or one frozen package squeezed dry
1# white mushrooms
2 cloves garlic, smashed and minced
.5 yellow onion, diced
2T fresh minced Rosemary
2 packages of pre-made empanada dough, thawed or homemade
egg wash for sealing and finishing (1 egg + 3T water)
In a large frying pan, sautee the garlic and onion over medium heat until onions become slightly translucent. 
Add the mushrooms and sautee 2-3 minutes until they release their juice.
Add the spinach and sautee until fresh spinach is wilted or the frozen is well heated through
Add the rosemary and S&P to taste.
Allow the mixture to cool as you prepare the dough. Allow the frozen dough to thaw but not fully room temperature- keep cool.
Fill each wrapper on one half side of the circle. I like to be generous with mine. I know it may seem that you won’t get them closed shut, but they will, promise.
Fold over the dough and paint edge with egg wash (or plain water if you prefer). Then pinch and crimp the edge together to seal tightly. 
Paint finished hand pies with egg wash and place on a lined baking tray.
Preheat oven to 375˚ and back until golden brown. The insides are pre-cooked, so they are done as soon as they look tempting.
Be patient and allow them to cook a few minutes before eating. The filling can get mighty hot.