Gluten Free Greek Spinach Pastries

Sometimes, You Just Want Veggies

This is going to time time

  • Prep time: 25 min
  • Cook time: 50 min
  • Ready in: 1 hour 15 min
  • Yields: 12 pastries

Just Because You Can't Have Gluten...

Here is a little secret - Just because you cannot have gluten does not mean you have to give up on a ton of foods. Instead, you must improvise and learn to adjust recipes to create the dishes you love to enjoy. While I am not a vegetarian or a vegan, I do see advantages to taking this path and support those who do. I have other health issues which have made it impossible for me to do this and that being said, that doesn't mean I have to have meat every day. I also know I have numerous friends who prefer to maintain the meatless lifestyle, and after conversations with several of them, I have uncovered a dirty little secret on their behalf - While they are adhering to a life without meat, they aren't always maintaining a sufficient number of fruits and veggies in their diets. They are supplementing the protein they need in unhealthy ways. It is not a good choice.

If you are committing to a vegetarian lifestyle, you must ensure that you are still eating healthy and not depending on junk food as you avoid meat. Occasional splurges are okay, but not continuous adherence to the junk food is vegetarian friendly, so it is safe to eat. Learn places to get your protein from which is healthy and beneficial for your body. Most people have chosen vegetarian because they do not like the cruelty to animals, but on the same note, they identify it as a healthy lifestyle. While it most definitely can be a healthy lifestyle, make sure that you eliminate the dangerous processed foods and look for ways to enjoy meals that are flavorful and healthy, not processed and without the necessary nutrients for your body to function.

For those who have elected a vegetarian (or even vegan) lifestyle, and still maintain a healthy balance with foods, kudos to you! This little rant is not geared towards you! However, if you are eating a bowl of mac and cheese with chips, this rant is for you! If you are vegetarian and struggling with gluten free recipes, then this recipe is definitely for you!

Doesn't it look scrumptious?

Just the right balance

When working to perfect gluten free and striving to incorporate veggies (as well as protein and fiber) it is important to work on finding the right balance for your pastries and also utilizing healthy ingredients. It is not just about seeking out something that tastes good, but also looking for something which can provide you with the proper nutrients and vitamins which your body needs and the easiest way to accomplish this is when we work to create foods that provide everything our bodies need to be healthy and functioning at full capacity.

One of my favorite points to drill on when speaking with people is that when you are looking to be healthy, you have to focus on your food intakes as much as you water consumption and your workout. If you spend hours a day at the gym, but don't feed your body properly, then you are not healthy, you just appear healthy. It is discovering not only the healthy workouts to treat your body, but also treating your body on all fronts (physical, mental, and emotional). When we are eating properly, our body can heal itself, and give us the fuel we need to function on a daily basis. If you do not want to depend on medicines, then you have to find "medicine" in other areas.

If you suffer from gluten allergies, proper diet is even more important (just as with those who are vegan or vegetarian). Do you realize that currently, while foods have to indicate they have gluten, medicines are not required to have the same warnings. I spent the majority of my life suffering from prescriptions when I go sick because gluten was in the medication (both over-the-counter and prescription) and I would always end up with rashes, hives, or some type of severe sickness. In the end, I discovered as long as I put food in my body to heal it, I healed faster, avoided more sicknesses and felt better over all!

Can do this pie style as well!

Great suggestion on how to dice an onion!

An Easy Option for Pastry! (I have used this in this very recipe!)

Here's What You Need

  • ¼ c. Chopped Walnuts
  • 2 tbsp. Olive Oil
  • 1 small Organic Yellow Onion, Diced
  • 10 oz. Frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1/2 c. Ricotta Cheese
  • 4 oz. Feta Cheese, crumbed
  • 2 tbsp. Fresh Parmesan, Shredded
  • 1/2 tsp. Nutmeg (ground)
  • 1 1/2 tsp. Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 2 boxes Chebe All-Purpose Bread Mix
  • 4 Large Eggs
  • 6 tbsp. Butter
  • 1/2c. Water
  • Dash Course Salt

Dirrections

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper.
  2. Toast the walnuts in a dry skillet until warm and fragrant, about 3 minutes, stirring often so they don’t burn. Let cool.
  3. Heat olive oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped onions and cook until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl.
  4. Put the spinach in a kitchen towel of several layers of paper towels and squeeze out as much of the liquid as you can. Add the spinach to the onion mixture in the mixing bowl. Add the ricotta, feta, and Parmesan cheeses, nutmeg, salt, pepper and walnuts and mix until combined.
  5. In a large mixing bowl, combine the Chebe mix, eggs, 4 tablespoons melted butter and ½ cup water. Mix with a fork until combined, the mixture will be crumbly. Dump the mixture onto a clean work surface and knead until fully combined, smooth and not sticky, a minute or two. Divide the mixture into two equal portions. Place a large piece of waxed or parchment paper on a work surface, place one of the dough portions on top and place another piece of paper on top. Roll the dough into a rectangle that is slightly larger than 9 by 13 ½ inches. Trim the edges of the dough so they are straight and cut into six 4½ by 4½ inch squares (make 3 cuts across the long way and one cut through the middle.) Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Divide the mixture between the dough squares placing the mixture on one half of the dough almost up to the edges of the dough. Brush a little water on all of the edges and fold the dough over making a triangle. Press the dough together firmly then flatten the edge with the tines of a fork. Stick the fork into the top of the dough 3 times to allow the steam to escape while baking. Place the triangles on the prepared baking sheets, brush with melted butter and sprinkle a little coarse salt on top.
  7. Divide the mixture between the dough squares placing the mixture on one half of the dough almost up to the edges of the dough. Brush a little water on all of the edges and fold the dough over making a triangle. Press the dough together firmly then flatten the edge with the tines of a fork. Stick the fork into the top of the dough 3 times to allow the steam to escape while baking. Place the triangles on the prepared baking sheets, brush with melted butter and sprinkle a little coarse salt on top.

Sit back & enjoy!

Extra Ideas for the "Stuffing"

Okay, so I made these pastries per my tastes and diet restrictions! After sharing with other family members, I edited and try some additional items mixed in with the spinach and cheese, and listened to some of their suggestions as well. Since I want everyone to uncover something they love, I wanted to incorporate a section with some of the additional veggies we have uncovered as working well! (Please note, as far as the mushrooms and olives, I have no clue as these are also food allergies I have to avoid, but sharing because others have raved about them!)

Please note, when making this shift, I would adjust the recipe and remove the nutmeg and go for a different spice to help enhance the flavor; garlic, rosemary, oregano, and basil are just a few suggestions.

Items that can also be added in with the Spinach and Cheese

  • Mushrooms
  • Olives
  • Shredded zucchini
  • Julienne carrots
  • Asparagus (feel free to replace the spinach with asparagus and change out the nutmeg for a more garlic flare)
  • Peppers (almost any type has been awesome but on preference lean to red and yellow bell peppers)

Extra Goodies on the Inside!

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