In honor of Vegetarian Awareness Month we’ve rounded up some of our favorite spa-inspired vegetarian recipes, perfect for your next “Meatless Monday!” Let’s dig in!
Spanokopita (Greek Spinach Pie) from The Oaks at Ojai
Serves 6 as an entree; Serves 15-18 as an appetizer
1½ lb. Fresh spinach, steamed and drained well (use a towel to wring it out)
2 cups chopped onion
¼ cups minced garlic
1 teaspoons dried oregano or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped
2 teaspoons dried basil or 2 tablespoons fresh, chopped
1 teaspoon dried dill, or 1 tablespoon fresh, chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
4oz. cottage cheese
4oz. feta cheese, crumbled
6 sheets filo dough
1. Steam and drain spinach well, wringing it through a clean tea towel. Chop well and set aside to cool.
2. Saute the onion and garlic until onion is very well done and beginning to caramelize. (Use a very small amount of olive oil and put a lid on the pan to “sweat” the onions, or use a low calorie pan spray, utilizing the same process.) Be sure to keep the temperature low so that the onions and garlic do not burn. If there is a lot of liquid in the onion mixture, drain them before proceeding.
3. In medium size bowl, combine the spinach, onion and garlic, and all other ingredients except for the eggs. Toss to combine. Beat the eggs separately in a small bowl, just to combine. Stir the eggs into the rest of the mixture and chill for one hour.
4. To proceed: fold one sheet of filo dough in half vertically after it has been sprayed lightly with butter spray. Place 1/6 of mixture on the bottom corner (approx. ¾ cup), and fold as you would a flag. Place on sprayed cooking sheet, spray the top of each pie briefly with olive oil spray and bake approximately 15-20 minutes at 350 degrees until crisp and browned on top.
5. For appetizer size, fold as above but then cut in quarters, use 1 –2 T. of filling for each and fold as before.
Calories: 170 | 5g Fat
Gluten- and Dairy-Free Quinoa Pilaf with Veggies and Cashews from The Oaks at Ojai
Serves 6, Serving size: 1 cup
1 cup quinoa, well rinsed
2 tablespoons minced garlic
1 small onion, chopped
2 cups chopped red bell pepper
6 cups loosely packed Swiss chard or Russian kale, chopped
2 cups sliced mushrooms or ½ cup reconstituted dried mushroom mixture
2 tablespoons olive or canola oil
1 cup of your favorite nuts: cashews, walnuts, pecans and pistachios are all delicious in this
1. Add two cups of water to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil and add the well-rinsed quinoa. When it starts to simmer, cover and turn to lowest setting for about 15 minutes until all water is absorbed.
2. While quinoa is cooking, add the olive oil to a medium to large sauté pan. Heat the oil and add the onion , mushrooms, garlic and red bell peppers. When the onions are almost clear, begin adding the spinach and stir frequently until all of the spinach leaves have been wilted. Do not overcook. Just before serving, stir the cooked quinoa into the vegetables and the nuts and gently combine.
Other variations: stir in some chopped fresh herbs (basil, oregano, rosemary) or to sauté some freshly grated ginger with the vegetables and add some chopped cilantro at the end of the cooking process. Spice it up by substituting jalapeno for some of the bell pepper, and serve with some fresh avocado slices on top.
Calories: 250 | 15 g Protein
Apple and Provolone Panini with Roasted Red Pepper, Spinach, and Pesto from Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts
¼ cup thinly cut green apple slices
1 slice provolone cheese
2 slices whole-wheat bread
¼ cup roasted red peppers
¼ cup spinach
1 tbsp pesto
1. Lay out the 2 pieces of bread.
2. Spread each side with the pesto spread.
3. Layer the apple slices, cheese, roasted red pepper, and spinach.
4. Place in a Panini press until warm through.
Calories: 318 | 16 g Fat |27 g Carbohydrates | 5g Dietary Fiber | 17g Protein
Mini-Falafel Bites from Shane Diet & Fitness Resorts
¼ cup finely chopped red onion
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon paprika
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 (15½ ounce) can low sodium garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
1 (1-ounce) slice whole wheat bread, torn into pieces
1 large egg
1 large egg white
Olive oil spray
2 (8-inch) pieces whole wheat pita bread (without pockets), cut into 2 inch circles
½ cup arugula
For Cucumber Yogurt Dressing:
1 cup plain full fat Greek yogurt
½ cup diced seedless cucumber
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1. For the falafels, combine first 10 ingredients in a food processor; pulse about 10 seconds or until blended but still a little chunky (mixture will be wet).
2. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Spoon about 3 tablespoons of the chickpea mixture per patty into pan; cook 2-4 minutes on each side or until golden brown.
3. Meanwhile, mix together the ingredients for the Cucumber Yogurt Dressing and set aside.
4. Heat the pita circles either on a skillet for about 20 seconds per side, or in the microwave for about 20 seconds.
To assemble falafel bites, line each pita circle with a few arugula leaves, top with 1 mini falafel, and spoon 1 tablespoon of the Cucumber-Yogurt Dressing on each.
Calories : 100 | 2.7g Fat | 167mg Sodium | 14g Carbohydrate |2.5g Fiber | 1g Sugar | 5g Protein
Meatless Veggie Lasagna recipe from Acqualina Spa by ESPA’s Lead Therapist Kim Cooke
2 packages of ground veg (ground tofu that looks like hamburger meat)
1 can whole Italian plum tomatoes
3 cloves garlic
1 bag fresh organic spinach
3 green zucchini (slice small rounds)
3 yellow squash (slice small rounds)
1 cup of ricotta cheese
1 box no boil lasagna noodles
1. In a skillet drizzle olive oil, add chopped onion, garlic, and ground vegetables. Saute till onions and garlic are cooked, add plum tomatoes, let simmer, salt and pepper to taste.
2. In a separate skillet add olive oil and slices of squash and zucchini, saute until brown (set aside).
3. In a bowl mix spinach and ricotta cheese (set aside).
4. In a small lasagna pan start to layer. Place all the ground veg on the bottom, layer the lasagna noodles, layer of spinach and ricotta mixture, lasagna noodles. Layer of the browned squash and zucchini slices, layer of lasagna noodle, then drizzle a bit of juice saved from meatless mixture, then add mozzarella cheese.
5. Cover with foil, bake in oven 375 degrees, 30 minutes, remove foil for last 5 minutes to brown the cheese.
Tofu & Spinach Casserole from Pritikin Longevity Center & Spa
1 pound extra-firm water-packed tofu
3 tablespoons Pritikin All-Purpose Seasoning *
¼ cup medium-diced onion
¼ cup medium-diced carrots
¼ cup medium-diced red bell pepper
1 pound frozen spinach (defrosted and drained)
1 Tablespoon chopped fresh garlic
1 teaspoon dry oregano
¼ teaspoon red crushed pepper flakes
1½ cups low-sodium tomato juice (such as Very Veggie Low-Sodium Juice from Knudsen)
2 tablespoons Veggie Grated Topping, Parmesan Flavor (made by Galaxy Nutritional Foods and found in grocery stores or at www.galaxyfoods.com)
* Make your own all-purpose seasoning by blending ingredients such as paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, dried oregano, and dried basil.
1. Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
2. Drain tofu of water, then dice. Season with all-purpose seasoning.
3. On a nonstick baking tray lightly sprayed with Pam, bake diced tofu just until firm, about 10 minutes.
4. In a medium nonstick skillet over a medium flame, sauté onions, carrots, and bell peppers to moisten them, about 4 minutes.
5. In a large stainless steel mixing bowl, combine baked tofu, sautéed vegetables, and all remaining ingredients except veggie topping. Using a large spoon, mix well.
6. Pour casserole into a nonstick casserole dish lightly misted with Pam or an 8 x 13 buffet pan. Shake gently until level. Sprinkle veggie topping on top and bake at 400 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes.