Jo’s Spinach and Artichoke Dip

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This is going right to the top of my hors d’oeuvres list. This dip contains no mayo and the cheese is feta (which I can eat, I discovered as it is sheep’s milk not cow’s milk) and I serve it with spinach and kale corn chips (the Better Chip brand – all sorts of lovely veggie chips)

10 oz. baby spinach – wilted and water squeezed out

10 oz. artichoke hearts – drained

7 oz. feta cheese – crumbled not too finely

1/3 cup veg. broth/stock

pinch or 2 red pepper flakes – depending on how spicy you like things

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place spinach and artichoke hearts in food processor and blend

Melt feta in broth in a pan placed over a larger pan of boiling water

Add melted feta, red pepper flakes and salt and pepper to food processor and process for a few seconds.

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Jo’s Saag (4)

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My favorite curry dish is Saag Gosht – lamb with a tomato spinach sauce. This recipe is just the saag part so is perfect as a vegetarian mean or as a side dish. When you see the amount of spinach used you may wonder how it will all fit in a casserole dish – you just have to add a bit at a time as the spinach wilts.

1 tbsp. olive oil

1 large onion – chopped

2 large cloves garlic – minced

1 tbsp. grated ginger

1 tbsp. cumin, ground coriander and garam masala

1 tsp. turmeric

20 oz. spinach

1 cup of lite coconut milk

2 cups passata (strained tomatoes)

Heat oil in a cast iron casserole dish and when sizzling add onion, turn heat down and let soften for a couple of minutes.

Add garlic and cook for a few minutes, then add ginger and cook for a few more minutes.

Add all the spices and stir and cook until you can smell them.

Pour in coconut milk and passata and then start adding the spinach and cook for 20 minutes (put lid on casserole dish in between adding spinach)

 

Mustard Chicken with Spinach Crust (4)

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I was thinking of my spinach roulade for some reason and it occurred to me that it might work as a topping instead of, say, mashed potatoes. What would it go with? Chicken, perhaps? Then, what to do with the chicken? How about lentils? Would it be bland? How about a mustard sauce? This is the thought process I go through as I develop my recipes.

SPINACH CRUST

10 oz. baby spinach – rinsed

4 eggs – separated

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Place rinsed spinach in a skillet/frying pan and cook until nicely wilted, then drain and wrap in a clean T-towel to get rid of excess moisture.

When spinach is cool whizz it in a food processor along with the egg yolks and seasoning

Whisk egg whites until stiff then fold into the spinach mixture one large spoonful at a time.

Line a baking tray with waxed paper greased with a little oil, place spinach mixture on top and cook for about 20 minutes or so until mixture is firm

CHICKEN

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 onion – finely chopped

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 pound of chicken – cut into small bite size pieces

2 cups of cooked lentils

1 cup chicken broth/stock

2 tbsp. Dijon mustard

Heat oil in skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add onion and let soften a bit then add garlic and cook until onion is a little browned.

Add chicken and sear till browned on all sides, then add lentils.

Stir the mustard into the broth and pour mixture over chicken. Bring to boil, turn down heat and simmer for 20 minutes.

Place chicken and lentils in an oven proof dish, remove warm spinach mixture carefully from waxed paper and place on top of  chicken mixture. Serve immediately.

Fried Chickpeas on Bed of Spinach (2)

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A vegetarian/vegan delight full of goodness and iron with a sprinkle of cayenne pepper. Couldn’t be simpler.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

2 large cloves of garlic – grated

1 can chickpeas – drained and rinsed

10 oz. baby spinach – rinsed

Pinch of two of cayenne pepper

Heat oil in skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add garlic – let cook for a few seconds, then add chickpeas and cook until golden brown.

Remove chickpeas from pan and add rinsed spinach (there should be enough water left on leaves to wilt the spinach). When spinach is cooked wrap in a clean T-towel to get rid of excess water.

Place spinach in a serving dish, top with chickpeas and sprinkle with cayenne pepper.

 

 

Jo’s ‘Pizzette’ (4 or more if for Tapas)

 

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This little invention of mine, ‘pizzette’, is a cross between the Italian pizza and the Spanish omelette. Basically it is an omelette topped with things you might (or might not) find on a pizza and you can vary the toppings endlessly – today I used harissa paste, spinach and sliced new potatoes. You can serve it hot or cold; you can serve it as a meal, or you can cut it up into slices/pieces and serve as tapas/hors d’oeuvres.

1 tbsp. olive oil seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 eggs

a spoonful or two of harissa paste (depending on how hot you like things) plus a bit extra to put on each slice of potato

5 oz. spinach – rinsed then wilted in a small skillet/frying pan

4 – 6 new potatoes – boiled and sliced

When omelette is cooked (tricky part is turning it over) place it on a plate and smear all over with harissa paste.

Place spinach on top and then slices of potato on top of spinach.

Pop a small blob of harissa paste on each slice of potato.

 

Fish Curry (4)

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Have only eaten a prawn/shrimp curry but never a fish curry. This curry has a blend of Asian/Indian flavors and is medium spicy. I think this might also make a good fish pie mixture topped with mashed potato.

1 tbsp. olive oil, seasoned with salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 medium onion – finely chopped

2 cloves of garlic – grated

Thumb-sized piece of ginger – grated

2 tsp. garam masala and 2 tsp. curry powder – mixed together

1 can lite coconut milk

10 oz. cod – cut into bite size pieces

5 oz. spinach

1 tbsp. mango chutney

Place oil in a skillet/frying pan and when sizzling add onion and garlic. Turn heat down and let soften.

Add ginger and half the spices and cook until you can smell the spices.

Pour in can of coconut milk.

Toss fish in the other half of the spices.

When coconut milk is bubbling add fish, spinach and chutney, turn down heat, cover skillet with a lid and cook for around 8 minutes until fish is nicely cooked through.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chicken, Chickpea and Spinach Curry (4)

Great one-pot dish. I made it quite mild but you could add more of the spices. The new potatoes were added part way through the cooking otherwise they become mushy and the spinach was added near the end. If you omit the chicken, it’s great for vegans/vegetarians.

1 tbsp. extra virgin olive oil

1 onion – chopped

2 x chicken breasts – cut into bite size pieces

1 tsp. curry powder

1 tsp. garam masala

Pinch of turmeric (optional)

1 can of chickpeas

1 can of lite coconut milk

2 cups veg. broth/stock

10 new potatoes (smallish) cut in 1/2 or 1/4’s

5 oz. baby spinach

Place oil in cast iron casserole dish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

When sizzling add onion and let cook for a minute or two, then add spices and stir.

When spices are fragrant add chicken and sear on all sides.

Add chickpeas, coconut milk and veg. broth.

Bring to boil, then simmer for half an hour, adding potatoes after 15 minutes and spinach after 25 minutes, stirring as you add them.