Spinach Ricotta Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

Dec 13th

I came across this recipe, technically a quiche, and realized while reading through the ingredients list that I had almost all of the ingredients on hand. Quiche typically uses heavy cream and a whole lotta eggs, whereas this quiche’s filling used mainly low-fat ricotta cheese – definitely a much healthier take on a typically mega-calorie dish. I made my own crust (adding whole wheat flour), added bacon, and doubled the spinach. A sweet ricotta pie is one of my family’s favorites – what would a savory version be like? As yummy smells filled my house I got VERY excited to find out!

I actually made this for dinner and it fit really well (brunch or lunch would work – I’d skip it for breakfast, though). You could toss up a simple salad and you’ve got your whole meal; though bacon is the only meat to be found, this is FULL of protein. Husband ate two big slices and took two for work the next day. It was quite filling but at around 320 calories per slice, it’s still a relatively light dinner. Do you know those spinach balls people used to make all the time for appetizers? This kind of tastes like those.

It was fun to enjoy something TOTALLY different for dinner. Since I am home during afternoon nap time it’s easy to put something like this together and reheat at dinnertime – this will NOT be a week night meal for us once I am back to work. If I find the time to keep doing homebeccanomics you’ll see a lot of crockpot dinners and no more “natural light” photos. Sigh. Maybe today I don’t want to go back to work. At all. Ok, time to put on my big girl pants and stop complaining. You could try this with a different crust, different cheese (mmm Parmesan?), or different meat. If you DO, let me know!

Spinach Ricotta Pie with Whole Wheat Crust

Serves 8

Crust

1/2 c. all purpose flour

1/2 c. whole wheat flour

Heaping 1/2 tsp. salt

1/4 c. canola or veggie oil

2 1/2 tbsp. cold water

Filling

4 slices bacon

1 medium onion, diced

2 c. lowfat ricotta cheese, strained if necessary*

1/2 tsp. salt

pinch dried thyme

3 eggs, lightly beaten

2 (10 oz) boxes frozen chopped spinach, thawed and thoroughly squeezed dry*

3 tbsp. all purpose flour

dash nutmeg

1 c. grated Swiss cheese, divided

*If cheese seems watery, place the measured amount in a fine mesh sieve and let sit in sink to drain excess liquid, about 10 minutes.

*Take spinach out of box and place in a glass bowl. Microwave for 2-3 minutes or until thawed. Take spinach out in handfuls and squeeze until as dry as possible, then place in another mixing bowl. Continue with the rest of the spinach.

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. To make crust, whisk flours and salt in a medium sized mixing bowl.

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2. Combine oil and water in a liquid measuring cup and add to dry ingredients. Combine quickly and gently using a fork.

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3. Gather mixture into a ball and place on a sheet of waxed or parchment paper. Place another sheet on top, pressing dough down gently.

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4. Roll with rolling pin until dough is an even circle, at least 14 inches in diameter (or slightly larger than your pie plate).

5. Remove the top sheet of waxed/parchment paper and place dough gently, paper side up, into pie plate.

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6. Gently tear off paper and press dough into plate, rolling and crimping the edges (technically called fluting). Set dough to the side or in fridge while you make the filling.

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7. Heat nonstick skillet to medium high heat. Place bacon slices on cold pan and let cook until brown, then flip. Cook second side until brown and remove to paper towel to drain. Chop when cooled.

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8. Remove most of the fat from the pan, leaving about 1 -2 tsp. in pan. Add onion and saute until soft, 5 minutes.

9. Combine spinach, onion, chopped bacon, cheese, salt, thyme, eggs, and nutmeg in mixing bowl and combine with spoon or spatula. Add 3/4 c. of the Swiss cheese to mixture and combine, reserving 1/4 cup.

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10. Spoon mixture into pie dough, spreading evenly into edges and smoothing the top to flatten. Sprinkle top with reserved cheese.

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11. Bake in preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until lightly browned.

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12. Let cool on wire rack at least 15 minutes before slicing. Can be served warm, room temperature, or cold.

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