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Spinach, Kale + Ricotta Pie

Spinach, Kale + Ricotta Pie

This is a delicious meal that I often make for my weekday dinner or as a portable healthy lunch. Preparation is effortless and I  alternate between a wholemeal spelt and oatmeal shortcrust and almond shortcrust – just for a little variation. Serve alongside a rocket salad laced with cold pressed olive oil and a little lemon.

What’s great about it:

Kale is part of the cabbage family and this wonderful vegetable is a good source of all three antioxidants: beta-carotene and vitamins C and E. It is also rich in naturally occurring glucosinolates. Glucosinolates are sulfur-containing compounds found in cruciferous vegetables and studies show that eating a diet high in cruciferous vegetables is associated with having a lower risk of certain types of cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach are the greatest super food around and they are packed with folate, vitamins minerals and fibre. Ricotta is a good source of protein, which encourages muscle growth and repair. Protein will also supply your body with slow-release energy to drip-feed your muscles – perfect after an exercise session.

+ ingredients & methods +

ingredients (6)

Filling
2 leeks, washed finely sliced
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 bunch kale or Cavolo Nero, washed trimmed and finely shredded
200 g baby spinach leaves
Black pepper – a generous pinch
200 g full-fat ricotta
2 organic eggs
small bunch chopped parsley

 

Spelt + Oatmeal Shortcrust (see notes for gluten-free version)
300 g wholemeal spelt flour
200 g cold butter
Pinch of sea salt
60 – 80 ml iced water
1 cup rolled oats

 

method

  1. Make the shortcrust first and combine flour, butter and salt into a mixing bowl.
  2. Rub the butter into the flour gently using your fingertips until the final mix looks crumbly.
  3. Add iced water, a little at a time starting with 3 tablespoons and mix through to form a lovely dough.
  4. Scatter the rolled oats onto a working surface and roll the dough through the oats so that they stick to the sides of the dough.
  5. Flatten out the shortcrust pastry with your hands and wrap securely in baking paper or cling wrap.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour before using.
  7. Make the filling and saute the leek in a little olive oil until softened.
  8. Add Cavolo Nero and cook through over a low to medium heat for 5 minutes until collapsed.
  9. Add spinach and mix through for 2 minutes until just wilted.
  10. Season with a little sea salt and pepper.
  11. Remove from the heat and spoon into a colander to drain off any excess liquid.
  12. Cool completely.
  13. Transfer greens into a mixing bowl.
  14. Add the eggs, ricotta and parsley and mix well until combined.
  15. Line the base of a pie dish with pastry – any leftovers can be used to decorate the top of your pie or left out if you wish.
  16. Spoon spinach and ricotta filling into the pie and level out with a spoon and decorate if needed.
  17. Bake for 45 minutes at 180 C or until golden and cooked through.
  18. Serve warm or at room temperature with a garden salad.

 

+ notes & inspiration +

To make a gluten free shortcrust combine 250 g ground almonds with 60 g butter and a pinch of salt until mixed through. Add 2 eggs and mix into a soft dough. Refrigerate for 1 hour before using. Roll between 2 sheets of baking paper to line your pie dish.

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