Monday, June 24, 2013

Be true to you

We had another weekend of off-and-on rainy/cloudy weather, but we are very grateful in Saskatoon to not have flood waters affecting our homes and lives.  I often think of rainy days as snuggle up with a movie days, or more so lately - as let's get in the kitchen and cook days!  I told my husband that I wanted to cook on Saturday, and I felt like I accomplished a lot - I made muffins, soup, and a Mediterranean dish (sort of a casserole).  I then managed to feed all of the muffins and casserole to family and friends.

We enjoyed venturing out to try a new local restaurant (Bon Temps Cafe) and took in Dublin to Dehli and Ziggy Marley at the SK Jazz Fest.  With such a busy weekend, I managed to knock quite a few things off of my 101 in 1001.  I also felt that the concert was right in line with my 'why' post from last week and the idea of focusing on your happiness and being the best that you can be.

Ziggy Marley: True to Myself

The Mediterranean dish that I made is called Yigandes me Spanaki, which my sister-in-law provided to me from  I took it to a BBQ and it went over really well.

Cook Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Total Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
2 1/4 pounds of fresh spinach (or 1 1/2 pounds of frozen chopped spinach) (I used a bit of fresh and frozen because that's what I had)
1 pound of yigandes beans (or large lima beans); (or ~450g canned)
1 leek, just the white stalk, finely chopped
1 bunch of green onions, finely chopped
1 bunch of fresh dill, thick stems removed, finely chopped
1/2 pound of feta cheese, crumbled
3 medium-large ripe tomatoes, peeled and seeded, finely chopped (or a 14.5 oz can of chopped unsalted tomatoes, drained)
1/2 cup of olive oil
3/4 cup of dried bread crumbs
2 teaspoons of sea salt
1/4 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper

Step 1: If using canned lima beans, rinse, and skip step1. Soak the beans in a large bowl of water overnight. The next day, drain and transfer to a large soup pot. Cover with cold water (at least 3 times as much water as beans) and bring to a boil over high heat. When a full boil is reached, reduce heat and cook at a slow boil for 1 hour. Transfer to a colander to drain and set aside.
If using frozen spinach, defrost and skip step 2.
Step 2: Clean spinach well, trim roots, and discard any damaged leaves. Chop coarsely and put in a large bowl or plastic tub.
Step 3: Taking one handful of spinach at a time, squeeze gently but firmly over the sink to remove most excess liquid, and place spinach in a colander. When all the spinach has been squeezed, toss with salt and set aside to drain.
Step 4: Prepare remaining ingredients.
Step 5: Preheat oven to 340°F (170°C). Oil an 11X14 inch (or equivalent) roasting or baking pan (with 2 1/2 inch sides).
Step 6: In a large bowl or plastic tub, combine spinach, onions, leeks, dill, and 1/2 the feta cheese. Toss with hands to mix evenly.
Step 7: Distribute 1/2 the spinach mixture evenly over the bottom of the pan. Add the beans to make an even layer, and place the remaining spinach mixture on top. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then the chopped tomatoes. Sprinkle with pepper. Pour oil over the top, and finish with an even dusting of bread crumbs. 
Step 8: Bake at 340°F (170°C) for about 1 hour 30 minutes. Time will vary depending on the amount of liquid released by the spinach, so check early and keep checking until the bottom of the pan has just a little oil left.
Remove from oven and let sit for 20-30 minutes before serving. This dish is generally served warm or at room temperature.
Yield: serves 6-8, depending on appetites.

Are you being true to yourself?

Happy eating!
Steph Langdon, RD
something nutrishus counselling & coaching