Savory Spinach Brownies

spinach brownies 2 This recipe is a little late getting out.  I intended to release this about 3 weeks ago, but ran into a snag and almost scrubbed the recipe altogether.  The first time I made them they were gross looking and I was ready to throw them out.  But then I tasted them–the texture wasn’t quite right the way I made them the first time, but the flavor was tasty enough.  Then something strange happened.  Tasty enough turned into addictive!  Even though the texture was off and they looked awful, I started craving them and they were all gone in 2 days.   Well, that’s enough for me to take a second look at revising the recipe.  And here is the phenomenal results!  These veggie brownies are inspiring!  And as I’m writing this, I’m craving more.

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

Ingredients:

10 package of frozen Spinach (I tried fresh the first time, and it took a spinach brownies 1long time and didn’t work well)

~5 oz sliced white Mushrooms

1 Onion

1 cup all-purpose Flour

1/2 teaspoon Salt

1 teaspoon Baking Powder

1/4 teaspoon Nutmeg

1 cup 2% Milk

2 Eggs

1/4 cup Butter, partially melted

8 oz Mozzarella Cheese (part-skim)

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 375 and lightly oil a 13″ X 9″ pan.

Chop onion and rinse sliced Mushrooms.

Boil up the frozen Spinach, then put it through a strainer when done and then use a spoon or wooden spatula to push as much water out of the spinach as possible (this is key).

Mix the Flour, Baking Powder, Salt and Nutmeg.  Add the Milk, Eggs and Butter and mix well.

Add Mozzarella Cheese and lightly mix.

Finally, add the mushrooms and fork apart the smooshed spinach into the mixture.

Mix everything up well and spread into the pan.

Cook for 30-35 minutes at 375, or until the top and edges are golden brown. Let them cool and then cut into brownie squares.

These are great as a party appetizer or for a pot luck dinner according to the multiple websites that have Spinach Brownie recipes.

Review:

I can’t say enough for this recipe.  Once I adjusted some things, this was spectacular.  I will be making this repeatedly in the future.  Some people online wanted to call these crustless quiche squares, but being someone who absolutely dislikes quiche, I can tell you they are not quiche.  Quiche has far more egg in it, and the texture is completely different.     This recipe is altered from the other online recipes.  Two things that people were reviewing negatively were that these brownies (the original recipes) were way too salty, greasy and didn’t have much flavor.   I’ve altered the original recipe to adjust this and hopefully made them better.  If you prefer more flavor, some people have added red pepper flakes and other spices to this, but I would recommend trying the nutmeg.  It adds something while not overpowering the other flavors. I wouldn’t be making this after work during the week, but the beauty of these is that I can make them on the weekend, and eat them during the week.  Just remember to refrigerate because of the dairy products–in that way these are not like other brownies.

Cleanup: Cleanup was about as much as making any sweet brownies:  Bowl, spatula, pan, etc.  I can handle that.

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Sunday Brunch: Mushroom and Red Bell Pepper with Fried Egg

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Every Spring It’s the same.  As the snows recede and the crocus and tulip bulbs pop through, I see potential for this year’s garden.  What flowers and veggies should I choose with my limited yard space?  I mix annuals and perennials for the flowers, but the veggies are always a guess.  If it’s a hot summer, tomatoes, peppers and eggplant do well.  If it’s cool, snow peas and root veggies are a better option.  But who’s to know what this summer will bring?

Whatever may come, I look forward to incorporating the vegme52 challenge into my garden!

Prep Time:   5 Minutes

Cook Time:   30 Minutes

Ingredients:

1 Red Bell Pepper

8 oz Whole White Button Mushrooms

1/2 Medium Red Onion

2 teaspoons Chopped Garlic (from the bottle)

1 Medium Red Potato

4 teaspoons Olive Oil

Salt and pepper to taste

Recipe:

Rinse everything then chop the potato into about 1″ chunks, pop out the stem from the mushrooms and quarter them, chop the onion and cut the pepper into about 1″ chunks, too.

Heat up about 2 teaspoons of olive oil in non-stick frying pan on high.  Add garlic and chopped potatoes.  Let potatoes brown just a bit, then reduce heat to low, cover the pan, and let saute for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t stick.  When done, remove the potatoes to a covered dish to keep them warm.

Now add your onions, peppers, and mushrooms to the pan and add another teaspoon or two of olive oil, along with about an 1/8th of a teaspoon of salt.  Cover pan and let saute on low for 10 minutes.

At this point the veggies are soft and the onions are translucent, but there is a lot of liquid on the bottom of the pan.  This is when you turn up the heat to medium-high and reduce the liquid.  And, while you’re reducing the liquid, add your potatoes back into the pan to reheat them.

Divide the veggies in half and toss them onto 2 plates.  Next, cook up two sunny side up eggs till the whites are cooked but the yolk is still runny.  I do this by keeping the heat high and putting a cover on the pan, and just keep checking it till it looks right to me.  You could add some cheese to the top before you add the egg (so it will melt some), but I liked this plain.

 Review:

A delightful Sunday Brunch!  Veggies are not my normal Sunday Breakfast item, but I could get used to this.

Cleanup:

Cleaning was great.  One pan, cutting knife, cutting board, wooden spoon and the fork and plate.

And, in honor of spring, here are a few pictures of my past gardening adventures:

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  Happy Spring to Everyone!

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Roasted Brussels Sprouts

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I went into this week’s challenge with great trepidation.  I have had brussels sprouts only a handful of times in my life and never liked them much.  They are up there on the dislike list next to broccoli.  In my entire life I’ve known only one person who actually truly liked them.

Well, here goes nothing!

I found a few recipes that seemed to get high marks.  Supposedly roasting brings out a sweeter tone to brussels sprouts, and lemon takes the bitter edge off.  Salt, is important here too for flavoring.  The recipes I saw all say don’t skimp on the salt.

 

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 30-35 minutes

 

Ingredients:

1 pound Brussels Sprouts

1/8th cup of Olive Oil

1 Tablespoon Chopped Garlic

1 Tablespoon fresh squeezed Lemon juice

Salt

White Pepper

1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese (optional, but highly recommended)

 

Recipe:

Preheat oven to 350°F and line a cookie sheet with non-stick foil.

Wash your sprouts and chop off the ends and pull off old leaves on the lower parts if they don’t look fresh.  Then slice them in half lengthwise.

Put them in a large tupperware bowl and pour in the olive oil, garlic, and lemon.  Salt generously, pepper lightly.

Cover the container and toss the ingredients till everything is coated well.

Dump everything onto the cookie sheet, and face all the cut sides down on the sheet.

Roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes.  They should be browned both above and below.  If not let them roast longer, checking every 5 minutes to make sure they don’t burn.

When they are browned, sprinkle on the Parmesan cheese and bake for about 5 more minutes.

Serve (salt more if necessary)

 

Review:

Well, they’re right, the roasting does bring out a certain sweetness.  It’s still not my favorite vegetable, but I was able to eat  it without totally hating the experience.  The cheese definitely helped.  And though I’m not a real lemon lover, the lemon did a good job in controlling the bitterness.

However, I’ve got to be truthful here, my first bite wasn’t the greatest.  But in the interest of really giving this a shot, I ate a few more pieces and found that once I got past the initial bite, it got better.  And after finishing my portion, my sensitive stomach actually felt soothed.  That’s enough for me to try this again (very few food items actually soothe my stomach).  Next time I may bite the bullet and make this in the cast iron pan they recommened (I didn’t do it because, as you know, I hate doing dishes, and foil is a whole lot easier to clean up.)

Clean up:

The way I made it this time was a breeze to clean, just a tupperware container, measuring cup and measuring spoon, cutting knife and cutting board, and the spatula to get the brussels sprouts off the cookie sheet, and of course the plate and fork for eating.