Thursday, March 1, 2012

Beating the Meatless Mundane: Spinach, Feta, & Mushroom Pockets

Whewww! Mardi Gras '12, another down for the books. You were so good!
Now, 'tis time to repent and make the ultimate sacrifice(s). Yes, folks, it's Lenten Season. And we all know what that means. In addition to giving up something we truly enjoy, us, Catholic folks, also know Fridays are filled with meatless meals & seafood-everything as our protein substitutes.

But, who wants to eat the same fried + high in fat seafood I'm pretty sure every restaurant in the city has wafted through their open doors?? Not I.
Remember? It's time to repent & start trying to get back on track as we've all managed to fall of the wagon resolutions, already.

Below I've managed to put together a healthy alternative that takes less than 45 mins to prep & cook.
Simple. Guiltless. Protein-packed. Low in fat.


      Prep time: 10 mins, Cook time: 30 mins.
      Recipe yields 12-16 servings
  • 2 cups fresh spinach
  • 8 oz. baby bella or button mushrooms
  • 1/4 cup any type of feta cheese
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • 1 shallot bulb
  • 1 brown egg white
  • 8 oz. pkg of thawed phyllo dough
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • dash of black pepper (salt optional. feta cheese is already sodium-packed component 
  • 4 tbsp of olive oil (2 tbsp for sauteing fresh ingrediwnts, 2 tbsp set to reserve to coat phyllo) 
  • Wash & prep all veggies. Mince garlic. Finely chop the shallots. Slice mushroom caps horizontally.

**Helpful Hint: Never submerge mushrooms under water when cleaning. They are porous veggies and can soak up the water like sponges. No bueno. If you don't have a veggie scrubber, prior to trimming stems dampen a paper towel and wipe off excess brine & dirt.

  • Heat skillet or frying pan with olive oil until hot. Add garlic & sweat shallots until translucent. Continue to add mushrooms and saute all three ingredients for 2 mins. Then, add spinach until wilted and turns dark green in color.
  • Also, preheat oven to  375 degrees F & prepare nonstick baking pan
  • Add red pepper flakes and black pepper to season. Remove from pan & pour contents into a mixing bowl.

  • Let contents cool after adding in the feta.
  • Roll out phyllo dough in increments of 3 layer sheets.
  •  Grab a pizza cutter and cut the triangular sheets into three square columns.
  • Spoon in a teaspoon full of filling. Brush the outer corners with the white egg wash.
  • Proceed to fold. Seal.Repeat. Coat exterior of phyllo triangles with olive oil.
  • Pop in oven for 15 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool before transporting to serving dish or plate.

Presto! No time & filling can be made ahead of time. Just make sure it's cooled to room temperature before popping into the fridge.
These also make for great, inexpensive party fare.  Feel free to add crawfish tails or shrimp for seafood lovers. Sweet red bell peppers also make for a Meditteranean kick.
Now that's a hot pocket!

Bon appetit!!

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