GAPS/SCD diets certainly change our traditional holiday menus. Some of these favorites can be reworked easily and inexpensively. Today’s post is one of those easy changes and the end result is just as good.
Years ago, I had a Greek friend teach me how to make the the traditional spanokapita (Spinach Pie). It quickly become a favorite in our home and it found its way into our Christmas Eve menu. The original recipe had two ingredients that are on the avoid list. Filo Dough made out of wheat flour and Feta Cheese. The Filo Dough is what makes it a “pie” and personally for this particular recipe I would rather do without the Filo Dough than try to pretend I found a replacement. Feta Cheese is unique in taste and texture but not so unique that an alternative cannot be found. Going back to one of our household staples, kefir, I have found a way to reinstate one of our favorite holiday foods.
There is no hard and fast rule for the making of spanokapita filling, my recipe goes like this… It starts with a medium onion cooked down in some coconut and olive oil. After the onions are transluscent add in a pound of frozen spinach and cook it until it begins to change color. At this point, I add about a tsp of dried dillweed and a few sprigs of chopped fresh parsley, then salt and pepper to taste. It is essential to add in a clove or two of freshly crushed garlic. (more if you like a lot of garlic) Today, I scooped in a few tablespoons of kefir cheese and some grated Swiss Cheese in place of the Feta. The kefir gave it the Feta flavor and the Swiss added the cheesy texture. After I had all of the ingredients in the pan I allowed it all to simmer for a few minutes in order to meld the flavors together.
And while it does not have that nice “Pie” look it does have that nice spanokapita flavor and it makes a fine side dish that will accompany most meats.
The basics of this recipe can also be easily turned into a spinach dip. I used the left overs to make a veggie dip for the family to consume as their afternoon snack. I added some extra kefir, lemon juice, extra dillweed, black pepper and gave it a good shake of curry powder then ground it all up in the food processor.
If I wanted to serve this as a hot dip I would mix in some extra grated Swiss Cheese and sprinkle some on top before popping it in the oven to warm.
Remember GAPS/SCD is not about doing without during those special meals but reworking our favorites in a way that encourages our bodies to thrive.