It would be difficult to find anything bad to say about spinach. (Yes, we all remember the E-coli break-out that was traced back to packaged spinach from a specific source in California.)

The fact is that bacteria can get into any food it wasn't the spinach's fault! Calorie for calorie, leafy greens like spinach provide more nutrients than many other vegetables.

Spinach contains vitamin K, which is critically important for building strong bones. It is a great source of vitamins A and C. What's more, some studies suggest that spinach also helps fight both prostate and colon cancers.

While the fresh version can be substituted for frozen in this recipe, spinach is one of the vegetables that takes particularly well to freezing, in that it loses very little of its natural good flavor. It is also easier to calculate the amount of spinach needed when using frozen, as it takes huge amounts of fresh leaves to cook down to 10 ounces.

Dill is the other main flavor in this dish, which calls for one-fourth cup of the herb. While the recipe gives the option of dried dill, try to use the real thing the flavor does not translate well in its dried form.

It's always good to have versatile recipes in your recipe file that can be used in different ways. This Spinach Pie can be served sliced in small pieces as an hors d'oeuvre, as a side dish that is part of a brunch or lunch menu, or as the vegetable accompanying a meat entre for dinner. Calories are kept to a minimum with this crust-free pie.

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EASY SPINACH PIE

Yield: Makes 6 servings.

Ingredients

  • Canola cooking oil spray
  • 3 packages (10 oz. each) frozen spinach
  • 1 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 large egg whites at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup (1 oz.) crumbled reduced-fat feta cheese
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill or 4 tsp.crumbled dried), or to taste

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat an 8-inch spring-form pan with spray. Set aside.
  2. Cook spinach according to package directions. When cool enough to handle, squeeze spinach out to remove most of the water. Coarsely chop spinach. Transfer to a bowl and toss with olive oil.
  3. In medium bowl, whisk egg whites until foamy. Mix in feta cheese, flour, salt and pepper to make a sticky dough. Stir in chicken broth and dill. Add spinach and mix well to combine. Spread mixture in prepared pan into an even layer.
  4. Bake 15 minutes, until set. Cool in pan. Release spring-lock and carefully remove sides of pan. Cut into 8 slices. With wide metal spatula, transfer slices to serving plate, arranging them in a circular pattern, pointed ends facing inward.
  5. Serve warm or at room temperature. If desired, pie can be stored up to 24 hours by covering with foil or plastic wrap and refrigerating. Bring to room temperature before serving, or reheat in oven or microwave.

Nutritional Information Per Serving:
84 calories
2 g. total fat
less than 1 g. saturated fat
10 g. carbohydrate
8 g. protein
5 g. dietary fiber
209 mg. sodium

Diabetic Exchanges: 1 Low-Fat Meat, 1/2 Reduced-Fat Milk, 1 Vegetable


AICR