Protein Spanakopita? An Experiment
I’m in Athens now, hanging out with my grandma. Today, she decided to make Spanakopita! And what did I do? I attempted to make a Protein Spanakopita next to her. To be perfectly honest, mine didn’t turn out the same-same (surprise?) but I was happy with the final product! It ended up being a LOT lower in calories (lower in fat and carbs) and much higher protein ;-)
Let me tell how this whole experiment began: It began when she told me she was making Spanakopita. She cleared the table, washed it, covered it in flour, and got out her rolling pin to ‘roll’ out her phyllo pastry. As she did did, I cleared a section of the table, removed the flour, and got out my own rolling pin. All was going well in Grandma’s kitchen until this point: when I opened by bag of pea protein and began to make my own phyllo on the side. Her sense of outrage was high and brimming with ‘are you joking!?’ slash ‘he he he.’ I’m not going to say she’s a purist with food but protein powder is a completely alien item and not one she’s very down with. She doesn’t call my protein powders ‘steroids’ anymore (thank Zeus), but the eyebrow always rises to remarkable heights when I take out my scoops and make batters out of my powders. So, the filling for both spanakopitas was the same, here’s the recipe for it:
Ingredients – for the filling:
Sliced leek ~ about 3 cups?
Sliced spring onions ~ 2 cups?
Steamed spinach ~ 4 cups?
Dill ~1/4 cup
Kafkalithra ~ 1/4 cup (it’s an herb that I think can only be found here?)
Lemon ~ 1/4 cup
1. You basically fry up the leeks and onions (sliced thinly) in extra virgin olive oil. At the same time (or beforehand), you steam a whole bag of spinach (by bag I mean a shopping bag, like… a LOT of spinach).
2. When the onions are nice and cooked, you add the dill, lemon, and spinach and mix it all together with some salt and lemon. Then, you go on to make the phyllo. Now, for it you need:
Ingredients – for the phyllo sheets:
White Flour ~ 2 cups
Olive Oil (extra virgin) ~ 3 tablespoon
Vinegar (white wine) ~ 1 tablespoon
Warm water + salt ~ enough to bind
(What I did to make my protein one was use 3 scoops of pea protein + a tablespoon of olive oil + 1/2 tablespoon vinegar + 1 egg white + warm water to bind)
1. To make actual phyllo, you mix all the ingredients in a bowl one by one, adding enough of the salty water for it to bind.
2. You divide your dough into four balls and you then throw a bunch of flour on a table and roll one of the four balls until its thin, thin, thin (this gives you four sheets of phyllo).
Ingredients – the cheese:
1. When ready to assemble, you layer one of the sheets on your baking mold, brush it with sole olive oil, add another sheet on top and you add the spinach filling on top of that. Now, on top of the spinach, you add your cheese: we used a combination of feta and anthotyro cheese (mmmm).
2. You basically just crumble up the cheese on top. Then, add another layer of phyllo, brush it with more olive oil, and another layer on top.
3. My protein dough didn’t roll, it crumbled, so I ended up just pressing it onto a baking tray and baking it with the filling on top and then added a tiny bit of real phyllo on top without any olive oil and covered up the pea protein + spinach, warahooooo! It was a bit overly thick at the bottom compared to the ‘real’ spanakopita but I thoroughly enjoyed the whole experiment :-)
Macros per Serving: N/A