Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Let Them Eat Spinach Cakes

Spinach soufflé, frozen from Stouffer’s, is one of my secret pleasures. Does that make it an indulgence? I can eat a whole box by myself, and believe me, I have. If I knew that I’d be alone for an evening – “Oh, you have a meeting tonight? Won’t be home for dinner? That's too bad.” – I’d be smiling on the inside knowing I’d be digging into the freezer later for one of those orange boxes and baking one right up, just for me. I think the box says it has “about 3 servings.” Nope. I would eat the whole thing, happily, joyfully, no regrets.

Other people, alone for an evening, might dig into a carton of ice cream with a spoon, or open a cold can of baked beans, but I'd go for that smooth and creamy Stouffer's spinach souffle every time. 

I love spinach any ol' which way – fresh in a salad or on a sandwich, added to soups or pasta dishes, creamed alongside a steak. Growing up, spinach was a staple at the dinner table, but my mother always served it the same way – topped with hard-boiled egg and drizzled with vinegar. Although I still like it that way, I love creamed spinach.

My husband (he wants me to come up with a special name for him when I talk about him here; I’m thinking about it) doesn’t like the creamed or soufflé versions as much as I do, so I began to make mini soufflés in muffin cups and freezing them so I could easily have one for breakfast or lunch. When I go teach a day at school, they’re great for a quick reheat in the microwave.

I started making these after reading a South Beach Diet cookbook and then began fooling around with them a bit to suit me a little better (not just to make them more fattening!)

So here’s my new secret pleasure . . . Spinach Cakes. But it's not a secret anymore.

Spinach Cakes
adapted from South Beach Diet
12 ounces fresh spinach
¼  cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup Greek yogurt, plain*
2 large eggs, beaten
1 clove garlic minced
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (or about 5 scrapes of a whole nutmeg on a grater)
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook the spinach in a non-stick skillet until wilted; cool slightly and chop finely. (Or use ½ 10-ounce block of frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry. Or use a whole block and double the rest of the ingredients.)

Blend all together in a bowl and fill 8 paper-lined muffin cup (or grease them well.) Bake 20 minutes. Let stand a few minutes before eating.

Makes 4 servings, 2 spinach cakes a serving (about 140 calories a serving)

*Sometimes, I can't find Greek-style yogurt and it is more expensive.  So I've been buying non-fat plain yogurt and letting it sit in a strainer in the refrigerator for a few hours, or overnight, and I have thicker yogurt.)

(I just added the mushrooms in the picture to make the spinach cups a little prettier, ready for their close-up, Mr. DeMille.)


  1. This looks delicious and reminds me of a spinach balls recipe I used to make quite often. I like your addition of the mushrooms :)

  2. The mushrooms made me smile, too, Mary -- I ate the fourth cake!

  3. I love spinach! (and have polished up some Stouffers spinach souffles in my time). I will definitely do thias - and put the smiling mushrooms in the middle.

  4. Yes, I'd almost go for spinach over icecream too. Liking your flavour combos - nutmeg is fantastic with spinach.

  5. OMG, I have to make these. They look awesome, and I would have never thought to make anything like this.

  6. Smile. It is always so much fun to read about the little things that bring joy into our days...the foods that aren't the most glamorous but always make us feel safe and warm. And I loved this great recipe you shared with us. I'm a huge fan of spinach too, so I'm eager to give this a try. Thank you for sharing all of this yumminess. I hope you have a great Friday. The weekend approaches!

  7. Rosemary-Your spinach cakes are a vegetarian's dream...not that I am, but my son, and his wife are, and they are always asking me to make something good with spinach, when I cook for them. This is it! pretty, and over the top delicious!
    Also, in your previous post, I am drooling over your bread pudding with the vanilla sauce. Yumm!
    Thanks for sharing your amazing dishes, and desserts...have a wonderful weekend!

  8. Brilliant idea! They are so easy that I could make a few of these next time the oven is on and take them with me at lunch time. Thanks.


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