Thursday, September 13, 2012

Mom's Spinach Casserole


My most favorite meal my Mom would make us when we were growing up was this spinach casserole.  I have to admit, at first, I thought it was a super gross pile of green mess.  Sorry Mom.  Once I got over the fact that this dish was called a casserole (which in my kid mind meant goopy mess) and that it was green (my how times have changed), I realized that it was really tasty and couldn’t get enough of it.  As in… if Mom didn't hurry, she wasn’t getting more than a spoonful or two with all of us kids going to town.  Mom almost always made baked potatoes to accompany this dish topped with butter, sour cream, salt and pepper.  This casserole hails from a church cookbook called 53 Sabbath Menus, written in 1969.  Oldie, but goodie.  To update this recipe a bit, I slightly reduced the amount of butter (it could probably be reduced to 2 tablespoons even), upped the amount of spinach to one pound, used nonfat cottage cheese and whole wheat flour.  With six ingredients you probably have on hand, you too can enjoy this high protein, low carb deliciousness that reminds me of my childhood.  You literally mix all the ingredients and bake.  That’s it.  I have even tried freezing the recipe with pretty good results.  I would definitely prefer to eat it right out of the oven, but freezing does work.  It can also be made a day ahead of time if you’re in a pinch and reheated in the microwave.  Also, I haven’t ever tested it out, but have been thinking about adding brown rice or quinoa to incorporate some whole grains to round out the micro-nutrients.  This casserole is best served out of an authentic 1970’s casserole dish, but any kind will do.  






What You Need



2 cups cottage cheese (I used nonfat)
3 eggs, lightly beaten
3 Tbs flour (I used whole wheat pastry flour)
3 Tbs cold butter, cut into small cubes (I used unsalted)
¼ lb extra sharp cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1lb frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed of liquid




What to Do

Preheat oven to 350* and combine all ingredients and mix well.









Pour into a casserole dish (sprayed with cooking spray).  










Bake for 1 hour or until golden brown.













**Edited to add: This recipe makes 4 generous servings.  Here are the nutritional stats for 1 serving.**



















Bon Appetite!
Mary

38 comments:

Pam said...

I love spinach so I am sure I would really love this dish.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Pam: It really is tasty ! I have made this two weeks in a row. Just can't get enough.

Julia said...

Great story about your childhood dish. And it looks very appetizing!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Julia: Thank you!

Tania said...

Looks delicious! About how many servings does this make?

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Tania: Hi and thank you! This makes 4 servings.

herbivoresheaven said...

That sounds so tasty and delicious! I love spinach.

Shumaila said...

Looks like something I would enjoy. Pinning it! Thanks for the recipe:)

Rand said...

Any suggestions for non-egg eating cooks? Do you think a "flax egg" would work?

Julia {the roasted root} said...

Your mom makes one delicious casserole! You're lucky to grow up with a mom who presents vegetables in such an inviting way! I could easily make a batch of this and eat it for breakfast, lunch and dinner! Looks delicious!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ herbivoresheavan: It really is! This'll my 3rd week in a row making it. Addicted.

@Shumaila: Glad you like it. You're welcome! Let me know if you try it ?

@ Rand: You know, I've never tried making it with anything other than whole eggs. I do feel like the "flax egg" would work as I've used it in various recipes calling for eggs with success. ...but don't quote me on that... Let me know if you try it out with the modification?

@ Julia: I agree! It took some getting used to, but it became one of the dishes we always got excited about eating.

Anonymous said...

Saw this recipe and could not wait to try it. It's in the oven now, can't wait. True to form, I could not resist making a few tweaks. I added sundried tomatoes, red pepper flakes, garlic powder and onion powder. Stay tuned for the results.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@anon: Your additions sound tasty!! Definitely let me know how yours turns out. Hope you like it!

justbakedbyme said...

This looks similar to the spinach casserole that I grew up on. I think the only difference is that my mom's recipe calls for Velveeta, gasp! :D I will have to try making it with real cheese!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ justbakedbyme: Ha! That's too funny. Nothing wrong with a little Velveeta in your life. ...but I do really like the way the extra sharp cheese stands out. Let me know what you think if you end up making it.

Christina said...

Love this recipe!! It is so yummy! Second week in a row I'm making this for hubby and I.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ anon: Thank you!

@ Christina: I'm so so glad you and your husband like it !! :0)

Anonymous said...

It looks delicious! Can this is made without eggs?

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ anon: Thank you! You know, I've never tried to make this recipe without eggs, but I think that perhaps a "flax egg" (1 Tbs flax meal + 3 Tbs water) would work. Do let me know if you try it out. The flax is going to have a nutty flavor, so if you may want to try chia seeds with the same proportions if you'd like something a more neutral flavor. Be sure to let the flax/ chia absorb the water before using. This takes about 15 minutes.

Steph said...

This was really yummy and sooo simple to make! It sort of reminds me of an artichoke dip...I actually might try adding some artichokes next time :) Also, I used the full amount of butter with reduced fat cheddar, but agree with you that 2T of butter might even be enough!

Thank you for sharing this healthier version of your mom's recipe. It's definitely a keeper and I know I'll be playing around with different variations for many dinners to come :)

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Steph: I'm so glad you liked it! There are definitely a million variations of this dish and adding artichokes sounds yummy.

Cass said...

How big is the casserole dish you used?

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ Cass: The dish I use holds 1.5 quarts, but any small casserole dish should work.

RitaB said...

Looks good, but I think it needs garlic :)

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ RitaB: Believe it or not, I've never added garlic. I have a feeling that would be an excellent addition!

dragyonfly said...

what about substituting ricotta for the cottage cheese?

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@ dragyonfly: I have never tried that, so I'm not totally sure it would work. Let me know if you try it out. I'm curious now.

Zac said...

Made this and added bacon, I am very happy with my decision. Thanks for the recipe!

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@Zac: Oh yum! Adding bacon sounds pretty darn good. May have to try that.

Sharon Rasmussen said...

Can you substitute all purpose or self rising white flour? I don't want to buy a special pastry flour for one recipe. Thanks

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@Sharon: all purpose flour would work well. I've never tried this recipe with self rising flour though, so not sure about that. Thanks for stopping by! Hope you enjoy.

Megan Hauber said...

hi, i love this recipe and have made it several times just as you've written. but i'm wondering if i could substitute fresh spinach for frozen? i have a ton of fresh coming in from my csa delivery and i'd like to put it to yummy use:-) thanks!

Anonymous said...

This sounds yummy. I will make this for potluck on Sabbath.

Mikki said...

I have a case of canned spinach. Been looking for a way to fix it. Do you think it would work?

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@mikki - I've never tried it with canned spinach, so I couldn't say for sure, but if you try it, you'll definitely want to remove as much liquid as you can. Let me know if it works!

Anonymous said...

Have you tried with fresh spinach (or silverbeet)? Wondering how much to use and would have to steam it first.

What's Cookin' with Mary? said...

@anon - I haven't, but it sounds like a great way to make this meal a bit less processed. You would definitely want to steam the spinach before hand. Let me know how it goes if you try it. I'm curious now also!

jennifer payne said...

Thank you so much for this idea. I have changed it a bit to make it to my taste, and as I was making I thought of additional things I could add (shaved carrot or diced mushrooms, for example), but for now what I did was double the spinach, same amount of cottage cheese, 0.5 the amount of cheddar (I actually used about an oz. of sharp cheddar and an oz of pepper jack), probably about 0.5 the amount of butter. I really love spinach so I didn't think I would need as much cheese for this to taste delicious and I am trying to eat better, so those are the changes I made. It's in the oven now!