Thursday, April 26, 2012

Book Eighty: The Wellness Lowfat Cookbook

by The Wellness Cooking School and
The University of California at Berkeley

                                                                          Potato and Spinach Casserole

We have been eating a lot of meat, chicken and fish lately. Mostly chicken and I was wanting something meatless. Normally when I look for a meatless meal they seem to always include a lot of cheese, cream, and/or butter; or that is what I am drawn to (e.g. Five Cheese Pasta which is really, really good.)

If I had more time I would consider starting an on-line cooking group called Meatless Mondays. However I am already in two other groups, Tuesdays with Dorie and Wok Wednesdays which are keeping me quite busy, not to mention cooking through the numerous books on my shelves; the reason I started this blog.

As I sit here typing away, the aroma is heavenly - I can't wait to begin devouring this.

I pulled this out of the oven after fifty minutes - the time suggested in the recipe. The potatoes were not even close to being done. I changed the oven temp to 375° and at full convection. I cannot tell you exactly how long I cooked it for at that temperature for I got side tracked on the computer. I am guessing that 20 minutes passed (the amount of time I think it took hubby to run to the store and return) and checked it again. STILL not done. Grrrrr.. mind you that I dressed my salad when I pulled it out at the fifty minute mark. To say the least, my lettuce at serving time was a bit wilted. Note to self: do not dress salad until you know for sure that your main course is done. After an additional thirty minutes it was finally ready to serve. The potatoes to me were al a dente. Andy said he would like them to be cooked a bit more. They did soften up more after being re-heated for lunch the next day.

I added salt and pepper at the table. The recipe did not call for it, and as salt does, it brought out the flavor and made it taste even better. I would add it next time while assembling the layers as well as adding some of the breadcrumb/parmesan mixture in-between the layers. I would highly recommend adding fresh thyme for it added a bit of pizazz.

I served this with a simple green salad with my favorite salad dressing made up of walnut oil, cabernet vinegar, sweet/hot mustard and a dash of salt and pepper.

Success meter (1-3): 3

Potato and Spinach Casserole
Serves 4

4 baking potatoes (about 2 lbs.)
½ tsp. minced fresh rosemary, or 1 ½ tsp. dried and crumbled
(I also added ½ tsp. fresh thyme)
½ cup sliced onions
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, chopped
1 ½ cups skim milk
1 egg
¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 Tbl. dry breadcrumbs (I used more..)

1.       Preheat oven to 350°.
2.       Scrub and dry the potatoes and slice them ¼ inch thick. Place half of the slices in a 1 ½-   quart baking dish and sprinkle with half of the rosemary. Top the potatoes with half of the onions and spinach. Repeat the layers.
3.       Beat together the milk, egg and 3 tablespoons of the Parmesan; pour the mixture over the vegetables. Cover the dish with foil and bake 50 minutes.
4.       Meanwhile, combine the breadcrumbs with the remaining Parmesan; set aside.
5.       Remove the casserole from the oven and top it with Parmesan mixture. Return the casserole to the oven and bake, uncovered, another 10 minutes.

The Wellness Lowfat Cookbook/University of California at Berkeley


  1. This is my first time to your blog, and this dish looks delicious! Also, your salad dressing sounds like is would also be very tasty...could you give the measurements for the individual ingredients? I'd love to try it! Thanks!!

  2. My salad dressing I just eyeball it. Ummm.. I probably use 2-1 on the oil & vinegar (2tbl oil/1tbl vineger). Maybe a 1/2 tbl. sweet hot mustard, 1/8 tsp salt and pepper. I just played around till I attained the flavor I liked. My favorite vinegar is the O brand Cabernet (the clincher in my book) and the mustard is Inglehoffer and my favorite oils come from La Tourangelle.

    Hope this helps and thanks for visiting my blog!! :)

    I would love to hear how it this works out for you. Please let me know. Happy cooking to you!

  3. Thanks so much. I'll let you know how it turns out!


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