healthy spinach torte

i really enjoyed the food at home – fancy bread, gourmet yoghurt, a few g&ts with my mum, my sister’s scrummy baking – it seemed wasteful and pointless to turn any of it down. so i may have put on a little extra padding, which i’m not exactly regretting given the chilly weather lately! however, i am ready to get back into more healthy eating now that i’m back in dunedin and into the routine of lectures, study and work.
i can be a little extreme when i want to eat better – while supermarket shopping i’ll only buy the bare essentials like oats, fruit and frozen spinach. all very worthy, but leaving me with a quandary when it comes to lunching: as i end up only eating a piece of fruit, which then pushes me back into bad habits of bread and so on as i feel hungry and sorry for myself, and justify that i need to eat more to function!
so after 20 years in this body of mine, i knew myself well enough that if i was going to actually stick to some good eating behaviour, that i would have to make something healthy but also substantial, otherwise the healthy eating train would soon leave the station. i settled on a kind of spinach torte, reminiscent of one we make at home. my mum had supplied me with the spinach, eggs and italian cherry tomatoes, so i really didn’t need much extra to create it. so healthy = whole packet of frozen spinach, lots of onion, mushroom and tomato – but also the more luxurious additions of cheese and eggs, to set it into something healthy, yet filling and tasty!

i’ve sliced it into 8 portions, wrapped them up and frozen them and hoping they last me a while. This is gluten free but doesn’t feel it! the cherry tomatoes aren’t 100% necessary but i always feel like eggy things like this always go really well with tomato relish or something, so they are a streamlined way of adding that sweet tomato flavour! go on, make one today and feel smug as you watch your flatmates hopelessly scrounge round for something to eat at lunchtime, or your friends dash to dispensary (a cute café that does admittedly scrummy food) for a pricey salad!

healthy spinach torte
4 onions (i used red, but brown are totally fine too), diced
2 tbsp canola oil
1 tsp dried basil (basil pesto would be a yummy substitution if you have it – maybe 1 tbsp)
3 cloves garlic, crushed
200g button mushrooms, sliced
1 packet frozen spinach, defrosted
150g tasty cheese, grated (other cheddar or feta would be yum too!)
5 large eggs
1 can cherry tomatoes (juice drained)
Preheat the oven to 180ºC. Grease a large ovenproof glass or ceramic dish. Sauté the onions, basil and garlic in the canola oil until onion is soft and beginning to brown. Add the mushrooms and let cook until they start to soften. Take off the heat and stir through the spinach. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs until thoroughly beaten and add the cheese. Season if desired. Add the spinach mixture and mix to thoroughly combine. Pour mixture into the prepared dish. Arrange the cherry tomatoes on top and push them in to the mixture a little. Bake for 30 mins or until set in the centre. Remove from the oven and let cool before slicing. Enjoy!

note: as you can tell from my copious additions to ingredient list, this really is an anything goes type recipe- as long as you stick to roughly the same amounts of egg, spinach and mushroom (their plush meaty texture really adds something special), you can mix and match however you like according to your tastes and pantry! xx


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