“Blatzara” Greek spinach pie

Blatzara (aka “plastos”) is the original version of the popular Greek spinach pie. The recipe goes back thousands of years, but only a few villages still make spinach-pie this way. In fact, this is one of these recipes that you can’t find anywhere else online. I’m originating from the Souli mountain villages of Epirus, so this is as original as it goes. I double-checked with my mom & grand-mother too.

Blatzara is made similarly to modern Greek spinach-pie, but without a dough/phyllo. It does retain the same taste though, and it’s easier to make! This makes it perfect for the Paleo diet, with only a few small changes: I used “riced” cauliflower instead of white rice (although white rice was optional in the original recipe anyway). The rest is the same as in the ancient recipe!

Ingredients (for 6)
* 1/2 cup spinach (thawed from frozen), or 2 cups fresh spinach
* 1 cup fresh sorrel (or baby kale), chopped
* 1 cup fresh Swiss chard, chopped
* 1 cup of other green leaves you got (e.g. chopped amaranth, kale, collards, beets, dandelion etc). Use more spinach & swiss chard if you can’t find such kinds of greens.
* 2 leeks, cut in 1/4-inch rounds
* Some chopped mint
* 4 scallions (or 1/2 of a big onion), chopped
* 1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped
* 1/2 cup cauliflower, “riced” with a shredder (or semi-cooked rice)
* 100 gr feta cheese, crumbled (optional, only if you do dairy)
* salt to taste

Method
1. Wash the leaves with cold water. In a big bowl place the chopped onion, parsley, leeks, mint, spinach, sorrel, Swiss chard and other greens. Add salt to taste. Using your fingers, work the mixture, until they almost start looking wilted.

2. Crumble the feta cheese using your fingers, and add it to the mixture. Add the riced cauliflower too. Carefully mix all ingredients again. Pre-heat the oven at 400 F (200 C).

greek-pie

3. Move everything in a deep baking pan. The raw ingredients should be forming a mass of about 2.5 inches thick in the pan.

4. Bake for about 45-50 minutes. Half-way through check it out and notice if it looks too dry. If yes, drizzle a bit more olive oil on top of it. When it has started getting some nice color on top, remove from the oven.

5. Serve it with either by squeezing some lemon juice, or with butter. In Greece we drizzle lemon juice, but my French husband loves it with butter (since it gives the dish a more creamy texture). Enjoy!

Pegan Breakfast “Cereal”

Yummy breakfast! Please soak these nuts & seeds before using!

paleo-cereal

Ingredients (for 1)
* 1 cup of kefir
* 1 tspoon of raw & unfiltered honey (optional)
* 1 tspoon of unsalted pecan pieces
* 1 tspoon of unsalted walnut pieces
* 1 tspoon of silvered almonds
* 1 tspoon of unsalted pistachios
* 1 tspoon of unsalted raw pine nuts
* 1 tspoon of unsalted, raw sunflower/safflower seeds
* 1 tspoon of unsalted, raw pumpkin/squash/pepitas seeds
* 2 Tbspoons of frozen or fresh berry selection (e.g. blueberries, blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, or other kinds etc)

Method
1. Put all the nuts & seeds in a breakfast bowl. If using unsweetened milk, you could optionally add a teaspoon of honey and stir it well in. Add the berries and milk. If using frozen berries, wait for 2-3 minutes for them to get warmer. The berries will now release some color into the milk, making it look really interesting. Enjoy!

Variation: You can also use a teaspoon of unsweetened cocoa powder! Optionally, a pinch of cinnamon too. Or, you can use a chopped banana instead of berries!

Notes:
1. If using Brazil nuts, make sure you only use 1 of them, chopped. A single Brazil nut has over 100% of the daily value for Selenium, but it also has the most phytic acid than any other nut, so you don’t want to be overdosing in any of that.

2. Macadamias are great to use in this recipe, but you’ll have to buy them chopped, or use a food processor to chop them. Same goes for hazelnuts, which in addition will have to be skinned. Might not worth the effort for a quick breakfast.

3. Do not use peanuts, they’re not nuts. Botanically, they’re beans/legumes.

Breakfast Muffins

These breakfast muffins were the original craze in the Paleo community back in 2012. The idea is that you can make them ahead of time, refrigerate them, and then you microwave some of them for a few seconds in the morning, for breakfast.

breakfast-muffins

Ingredients (makes 12, 3 gr of carbs each)
* 6 eggs
* 3-4 mushrooms, sliced
* Some cheddar or Swiss cheese, or 1/4 cup coconut milk (optional)
* 2 green onions
* 1 tspoon avocado or olive oil
* Salt & pepper to taste
* A cup (overall) of broccoli, bell peppers, yam, spinach, zucchini… Use whatever fast-cooking veggie you need to get rid of from your fridge

Method
1. In a big bowl whisk well the eggs, with the optional grated cheese or coconut milk. Then sprinkle salt & pepper to your taste.

2. Cut the green onions, mushrooms and vegetables in small pieces. Preheat oven at 350 F (180 C).

3. Place the chopped vegetable ingredients in a frying pan and fry in medium heat for 3-4 minutes with some avocado oil, while stirring often. If you’re frying potatoes/yams, cook them first for a while, before adding the other veggies.

4. Using a large spoon, pour the fried ingredients in the cupcake/muffin pan holders, using equal amounts for each. Then, using a ladle, pour the egg mixture on top of each the muffin holder.

5. Bake for ~20 minutes, or until golden brown. Remove from the holders immediately and let cool. Then refrigerate for up to 3-4 days, and if wished, each morning microwave for 15 to 30 secs (depending on the microwave unit) the quantity you need for breakfast.