15 December 2014: Simple food

The key to eating well - and by that I mean both healthily but also just plain delicious - is to keep things simple. You might think from the explosion of cooking shows on TV or the wall of cook books confronting you in every book shop, newsagent, big box store and grocery shop, that you need to up your kitchen game, think fancy and complex. But the reality is the very best food, the most enjoyable food to eat is food that is kept simple. Meals that use quality, fresh ingredients. Cooking simply also means you are more likely to cook frequently too - having tasted the spoils of something created with minimal effort is encouraging and even for those who don't enjoy spending time in the kitchen, means that the task of putting food on the table for family or self becomes not only easy but also enjoyable. Here is my very simple dinner last night - my take on a cheese and spinach pie. Its very unfussy, forgiving and even those who don't think they like spinach (or greens) will find this hard to resist.There is no crust so those avoiding gluten, wheat or other flours can enjoy and it also keeps the focus squarely on the greens. Feel free to use fetta, cheddar or a mix of cheeses - I used cheddar because thats what I had in my fridge and I was too lazy to do an extra trip to the shop. Have it as a side or alternatively serve up big slices as the main event. Its the kind of dish that can go from the breakfast table to dinner.


Cheese and spinach 'pie'

1 tbs olive oil

2 big bunches silver beet spinach, washed, large stems removed and chopped roughly

5 green scallions, chopped

2 tbs chopped parsley

salt and pepper

1 cup grated cheddar

3 eggs, lightly whisked

Heat the olive oil in a large heavy saucepan. Add the scallions and spinach and cook for several minutes until wilted and cooked down. Remove from heat and tip into a large bowl. Add salt and pepper to taste (lots of pepper is good and depending on the cheese you won't need much salt), stir through the parsley, cheese and the whisked eggs, making sure it is mixed well. Tip the mixture into a baking dish just large enough and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for about 30 mins until golden and bubbling around edges. Serve hot, warm or a room temp or cold as leftovers the next day.