Skinny Spanakopita

10 oz fresh (or frozen) spinach
5 scallions (white end of green onion), minced
2 green onion stalks, chopped
1 c part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 c fat-free feta cheese crumbles
1 egg, beaten
1/4 t salt
1/2 T lemon juice
10 sheets frozen phyllo dough, thawed

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

In a large frying pan, add half of the fresh spinach and cook on low heat for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Push spinach to one side of the pan and add remaining spinach. Stir occasionally for an additional 5 minutes.

Spray a 9 1/2 inch pie pan with non-stick cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine ricotta cheese, feta, dill, egg, scallions, green onions, lemon juice and salt. Mix well. Add spinach and stir again.

When working with phyllo pastry, keep the sheets that aren’t being used in a damp paper towel. This will prevent the pastry from drying out and crumbling. Lay 1 sheet of phyllo in prepared pie pan and allow it to extend over the rim. Lightly coat with spray.

Repeat with 4 more sheets of phyllo, placing corners at different angles and lightly coating each sheet with spray.

Press down on the dough to form the shape of the pan. Start in the center and work your way out. Next, fold the edges in to form a 1 1/2 inch-high rim.

Spread spinach mixture over the dough.

Lightly coat 1 of the remaining sheets with spray, crumple loosely and cover one section of the spinach mixture.

Repeat with remaining sheets.

Bake until golden brown, about 30 minutes.

Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.


Pumpkin No-Bake Energy Bites

8 oz. (about 1 packed cup) chopped dates (or cranberries)
¼ c honey
¼ c pumpkin puree
1 T chia seeds or flax seeds
1 t ground cinnamon
½ t ground ginger
¼ t ground nutmeg
pinch of salt
1 c old-fashioned oats (dry, not cooked)
1 c toasted coconut flakes
1 c toasted pepitas

Combine the dates, honey, pumpkin puree, chia (or flax) seeds, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg and salt in a food processor, and pulse until smooth and combined.

Transfer the mixture to a large bowl, and stir in the oats, coconut flakes and pepitas until evenly combined. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Once the mixture is cool (and easier to work with), use a spoon or cookie scoop to shape it into your desired size of energy balls. (Mine were about 1-inch in diameter.) Alternately, you can line a small baking pan with parchment paper, and press the mixture evenly into the pan, let it cool, and then cut into bars.

Store covered in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. (Storing them in the refrigerator especially helps the energy bites hold their shape.)


Spinach Lasagna Rolls

9 lasagna noodles, cooked
10 oz frozen chopped spinach, thawed and completely drained
15 oz fat free ricotta cheese
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg
salt and fresh pepper
32 oz tomato sauce
9 tbsp (about 3 oz) part skim mozzarella cheese, shredded

Preheat oven to 350°. Combine spinach, ricotta, Parmesan, egg, salt and pepper in a medium bowl. Ladle about 1 cup sauce on the bottom of a 9 x 12 baking dish.

Place a piece of wax paper on the counter and lay out lasagna noodles. Make sure noodles are dry. Take 1/3 cup of ricotta mixture and spread evenly over noodle. Roll carefully and place seam side down onto the baking dish. Repeat with remaining noodles.

Ladle sauce over the noodles in the baking dish and top each one with 1 tbsp mozzarella cheese. Put foil over baking dish and bake for 40 minutes, or until cheese melts. Makes 9 rolls.

To serve, ladle a little sauce on the plate and top with lasagna roll.