Spinach Protein Bake--Not Just for Breakfast
Do you need something that can keep you going through the day or night? How about a dish that includes a significant amount of protein but no meat? I'm not talking about making a recipe with strange ingredients. In fact, you probably have many of the items required in your refrigerator. Spinach Protein Bake includes plenty of cottage cheese, eggs, milk, and cheese as well as spinach. Nonetheless, thanks to non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese and low-fat milk, the bake isn't heavy. It's cheesy, yes, but not greasy. Spinach, which is a powerhouse of nutrients, provides a mild contrast to the cheese and also helps keep the bake light. The easy to make bake (besides rhyming) puffs up nicely as it cooks to golden brown goodness and powers you through the hours in a way that oatmeal just cannot do. Feel free to vary the cheese, if you'd like. Sharp cheddar and Swiss (Gruyere) are especially good substitutes for the Colby. Also keep in mind that the bake, great for breakfast and brunch with fruit, makes a nice meatless main dish for supper. A simple salad and warm bread would make a great accompaniments.
Spinach Protein Bake -- Serves 6+
1 10-ounce package of frozen spinach
16 ounces of non-fat or low-fat cottage cheese
1/2 cup of milk
1/2 cup of flour
1/2 teaspoon of baking powder
3 tablespoons of minced dried onion
2 cups of Colby or Colby/Monteray Jack cheese, divided
2 tablespoons of shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and coat a large casserole dish or 9 x 13-inch pan with non-stick cooking spray. In a microwave safe bowl, microwave the spinach for 5-6 minutes or until thawed and steaming. Drain it of excess liquid (you don't need to press all the liquid out, just drain it well). While the spinach is in the microwave, in a large bowl, whisk together well the eggs, cottage cheese, and milk. Whisk in the flour and baking powder. Let the spinach cool a little and, with a spoon, stir it into the cottage cheese mixture along with the minced dried onion, 1 cup of the Colby cheese, and the Parmesan cheese. Pour the mixture into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle on the remaining 1 cup of Colby cheese. Bake the mixture for 35-45 minutes or until puffed a bit and golden brown on top. Serve the bake warm.