On board in the Diocesan Communications Department are a number of “faithful foodies” who enjoy preparing and sharing favorite recipes. Some of their recipes – such as a memorable pasta with breadcrumbs by Jeanne Kysela, Diocesan Director of Digital Media – have appeared in Keeping the Feast.
Some are family treasures, passed down from generation to generation. Others, including the crustless spinach pie presented in this entry, are new and so good that they are already on their way to becoming traditional offerings at the family table.
The recipe for this savory pie, a fine addition to our ongoing Lenten recipe series, was adapted by EmmaLee Italia, one of The Monitor’s much-appreciated freelancers, from her copy of the Lawrenceville West MOMS Club cookbook published in 2009 when she was a member.
EmmaLee remembers that members contributed their favorite recipes, most of which, she said, are very easy and quick to prepare and make wonderful meals.
A member of St. Paul Parish, Princeton with her husband, John and children, Elizabeth 9 and Thomas, 6, EmmaLee says she grew up in a warm and loving home where “food plus family equals love. I come from a German American family on both sides with a fondness for baking and sweets, both of which intensified with gusto around special occasions.”
“Food and family continue their beloved association in my relationship with my husband’s Italian family, during which I’ve expanded my culinary repertoire of ingredients that were foreign to me as a child: prosciutto; ricotta; roasted peppers; provolone … ”
“My mother passed down a love of cooking and baking which began as soon as I was old enough to read. … Through the 4-H Cooking club she led when I entered fourth grade, I began to practice the basics on my own – at first with supervision, then independently.”
“Over time,” EmmaLee shared,” I began to love the process as well as the delicious outcome – not only to enjoy the fruits of my labors for myself, but even more so when it came to cooking for others. It began to feel like I was truly nourishing and providing for my loved ones when I made something from scratch…”
“The more I’ve experimented with and adapted recipes across the years (and the more mistakes I’ve made), the easier it has become to anticipate how a dish will turn out. And it’s given me the confidence to extend my cooking beyond my own kitchen.”
“Recently a dear friend and neighbor went through an agonizing loss; her husband was diagnosed with ALS, and caring for him became a round-the-clock job. Ultimately he would succumb to the disease after just two years, leaving her and three young children behind. Over those months I wanted so much to help, to ease their suffering in any way, but felt so inadequate to the task. So I did the only thing I could think of, and what came naturally: I called her on the phone once a week and said, “I’m bringing dinner.”
“It has become a habit, now, to make more food than our family can consume. I can always find an excuse to try a new muffin recipe or make an extra large pot of soup, because I know the excess will always find its way to someone else who will enjoy it. And being able to contribute in that fashion provides me a tangible way to share what I love, with whom I love.”
“I adapted this crustless spinach pie recipe from one I found in my Lawrenceville MOMS Club cookbook published in 2009 when I still belonged to the club. Members contributed their favorite recipes, most of which are very easy and quick to prepare, and make wonderful family meals. As with many recipes in my arsenal, it is very easily doubled – one to eat, one to share.”
Crustless Spinach Pie
1 10-oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
4 eggs (or 1 cup liquid egg white substitute)
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
3/4 cup grated Parmesan-Romano cheese blend
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1/2 teaspoon salt (omit for lower sodium diets)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Spray a 9″ pie pan with cooking spray. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients and mix well alternately with a fork and rubber spatula, until mixture is completely combined. Pour mixture into pie pan and spread evenly. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until lightly browned and set. Allow to cool slightly before serving.
“We thank you, O Lord,
Who give us this food to eat.
We pray that you may also provide food
For those who are hungry
And gather us all together
At the table of your heavenly kingdom.
We ask this through Christ, Our Lord