I am taking the green out of my kitchen. Well, not ALL of the green; I am leaving the celery cupboards and trim. But, the avocado that I once thought was so retro, trendy, and cool, just isn't doing it for me anymore. I am painting it out with white. I do realize that in just a few months, I will be screaming that the white is cold and gets grimy too easily, but for now I shall take out the green and have a white kitchen.
However, just because I take out the green paint, doesn't mean that I am forsaking all greens. I still have a love for good-for-me vegetables, and with a big box of baby spinach in my fridge, a recipe for Spinach and Cheese Bake jumped at me from the pages of a Cooking Light publication. Although featured as a breakfast, it made a great, simple dinner during my painting process, and I couldn't wait to "give" the recipe to you here On My Plate.
I served this easy egg bake with Pumpkin Cornmeal Muffins and a fresh fruit salad, but I could also see it paired with sliced tomatoes and garlic bread. The mustard, nutmeg, and red pepper flakes give the cheesy baked spinach real zing. Next time I might add sauteed onions, mushrooms, or even crumbled (cooked) sausage and take it to a whole new level. It is the kind of basic recipe that is good as is, but adapts so effortlessly. I will take Spinach and Cheese Bake On My Plate anytime.
(adapted from Cooking Light)
2 tablespoons butter, melted
12 ounces fresh baby spinach
1 1/4 cups shredded cheddar cheese
3/4 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
(I cheated and used 2 cups Mexican blend cheese instead of the 2 cheeses.)
1 1/3 cups flour
1 1/2 cups milk
4 eggs, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder
3 teaspoons Dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground red pepper
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakesPreheat oven to 350°.
Pour the butter into the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray; tilt dish to coat.
Place spinach evenly in bottom of dish; sprinkle with cheeses.
Combine flour and remaining ingredients, EXCEPT red pepper flakes, in a medium bowl; whisk until blended.
Pour milk mixture over cheese and spinach.
Bake at 350° for 40 minutes or until lightly browned.
Sprinkle with crushed red pepper flakes.
Serve immediately. (Serves 8)