This delicious, hearty vegetarian dish is packed with the wonderful flavors of Greece!
This is a sponsored post in collaboration with #FoodieChats and Uncle Ben’s Rice.
I’m a big believer in getting your kids in the kitchen. I’ve made an effort to get my daughter Sienna in the kitchen with me from the time she was a baby. She’s my little sous chef! Although it takes extra time and patience, I try to get her involved when I’m cooking. There are a few reasons for this. First of all, I love food and I want to instill my passion for cooking in her at an early age. I grew up watching both of my parents and my older sister cooking up delicious creations all the time and that definitely influenced me.
Secondly, Sienna is 3 years old and has erratic eating habits, typical of children her age. I know that if she helps me prepare a dish and we have fun in the kitchen together, then she’s definitely more likely to try it. And getting her to take that first bite is half the battle!
And finally, I believe that teaching her how to cook delicious and healthy meals is an important skill that she will use for the rest of her life. When I was researching my book Natural Baby Food, I began to realize how important it is to start establishing healthy eating habits at a young age. Dietary patterns are set early in life so it’s crucial to lay the foundation of healthy eating habits from the beginning. By cooking at home with your children, you can use fresh, natural, wholesome ingredients, and teach your children to appreciate and love the real flavors of food. Plus, it will be a great way to spend quality time together!
So when I was asked to team up with Uncle Ben’s and #FoodieChats on behalf of #LookWhatWeMade for International Cook with Your Kids Day, I jumped at the opportunity! International Cook with Your Kids Day is a movement to encourage families to cook together and to raise awareness about the myriad benefits of parents and kids cooking together. The first ever International Cook with Your Kids Day will be on Saturday, October 15, 2016. Participants around the globe are encouraged to post photos, videos, and/or stories of their families cooking together using #LookWhatWeMade.
To get us started, the kind folks at Uncle Ben’s sent us over an amazing gift basket filled with matching aprons and chefs hats, measuring cups, reusable shopping bags, Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice and an adorable 6 piece Fruit & Veggie Prep Kit by Curious Chef!
We decided to make a simple and delicious Greek Spinach and Rice Pie. We love Greek flavors and this dish is packed with them. First, I sautéed onions, garlic, and spinach in a large skillet. Then I added the Uncle Ben’s Whole Grain Brown Ready Rice along with feta and parmesan cheese.
Sienna did an excellent job cutting the feta cheese with her new kid-friendly knife (with some assistance from mom). Look at how focused she was!
She even tried the feta. After a hilarious initial reaction, to my delight, she loved it and gobbled up several bites of it as we were prepping.
Then, to make the custard base, we whisked eggs together with Greek yogurt, which adds a boost of protein to the dish. Sienna is an excellent egg cracker and didn’t let me down!
Then we transferred the spinach and rice mixture to a baking dish and poured the custard over it.
Finally, we sprinkled some cheese on top and popped it in the oven.
After half an hour, our kitchen smelled divine and we had a delicious and hearty vegetarian dish similar to a crustless quiche.
This Greek Spinach and Rice Pie is a perfect entrée for Meatless Mondays paired with a salad or side dish. You can also cut it into wedges and pack it up for lunch the next day.
For more ideas on how you can get your kids involved in the kitchen, check out Ben’s Beginners™ Digital Hub. Not only does it have great recipes that you can make together, it also has digital cooking lessons and interactive learning activities for kids. While you’re there, you can also enter their contest for a chance to win $15k for your family and $30K for a school cafeteria makeover!
So join the worldwide celebration on October 15, the first International Cook with your Kids Day, and share photos of your family cooking together using #LookWhatWeMade.
Also join me on Twitter on Monday 10/10 at 8p ET for #Foodiechats with sponsor @UncleBens to get ready for International Cook with your Kids Day! To join the party, just follow @Foodiechats on Twitter and use hashtag #LookWhatWeMade.
Greek Spinach and Rice Pie
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, defrosted and squeezed dry
- 3 cups cooked Uncle Ben’s Ready Rice- Whole Grain Brown (about 1 ½ packages)
- ¾ teaspoon kosher salt, divided use
- 1 cup crumbled feta cheese
- ¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided use
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup plain reduced fat Greek yogurt
- ½ teaspoon dried dill or parsley
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- Cook the Uncle Ben’s rice according to directions on the pack. Preheat oven to 400°F. Spray a 9-inch pie pan or casserole dish with cooking spray.
- Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and garlic and sauté until softened, 5-6 minutes. Stir in the spinach, rice, and ¼ teaspoon salt and cook another couple of minutes until heated through. Transfer the mixture to a bowl and stir in the feta cheese and 3 tablespoons of Parmesan cheese.
- Whisk the eggs, yogurt, dill, ½ teaspoon salt and the pepper together in a medium bowl until smooth. Pour the mixture into the bowl with the spinach and rice. Stir to combine well.
- Transfer the mixture to the prepared pie pan and smooth the top with a spatula. Sprinkle the remaining tablespoon Parmesan cheese on top.
- Bake in the oven until cooked through and golden brown on top, about 35 minutes. Let cool slightly, then cut into wedges and serve.
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