Protein Rich Vegetarian Spinach Lunch Squares
I have that melancholy feeling when summer is nearly over and the impending air of the mad rush begins. Awww, hate it! Here at the Jersey Shore, vacation is finishing, the days are getting cooler, there is that briskness of getting ready for the next transition of school and work restarting. Some of your kids have began school already, mine go back on September 1st. Oh la la.
Before we leave the States on Monday, I wanted to share with you my recipe submission for this month’s Recipe Redux Challenge. The theme is on packing bars and bites into lunchboxes. “Small squares or round bites can pack nutrition into a sweet or savory taste.” (Ah, oui!) I liked the idea of including a savory vegetarian square, high in protein, that would that fit into a work or school lunchbox.
Voila: Savory Spinach Squares, full-packed with spinach, eggs, cheese and taste. These are baked in the oven and can be eaten cold. They are a substitute for meat in a meal. Add a fruit and one of my fellow dietitian’s recipes for a sweet bite or bar (see below) and you have yourself a healthy and filling lunch.
Note: I served these bars to my four kids and mom. My two older kids (aged 13 and 15) liked them, but my two younger kids were less enthusiastic. I think these bars taste good geared towards teenagers, especially teens who want to eat a more vegetarian diet (my 15 year-old is leaning this way) but not everyone in my younger crowd found them delicious. Give them a try-they are tasty and full-packed with nutrition: protein, calcium, vitamin A.
Add them into your next lunchbox and let me know what you think.
Ingredients for Vegetarian Spinach Lunch Squares
- 3/4 pound of sliced Swiss or Munster cheese
- 30 ounces = 3 (10 ounce) blocks of frozen spinach, thawed and completely hand-drained of liquid
- 1 cup of low fat cottage cheese
- 3 medium eggs
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1/3 cup of grated Parmesan cheese
- A few sprigs of fresh dill, chopped or 1/4 teaspoon of dried dill
- Freshly ground pepper
- Small amount of olive oil (or butter) for greasing the pan
How to make Spinach Lunch Squares
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit.
- Oil a 9×9 inch square oven ready pan with a small amount of olive oil. Layer the cheese flat on the pan to cover the whole bottom.
- In another large mixing bowl, add the rest of the ingredients and mix well.
- Pour mix over the cheese.
- Bake in oven for approximately one hour.
- Remove from oven and let them cool for approximately 10 minutes.
- Cut the Spinach Big Square into smaller squares.
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Wishing you a zen and healthy transition to fall. Enjoy the selection of lunchbox recipes from my fellow dietitians.