Friday, September 24, 2010

On a health kick...but I can't give up cheese...

So Tyrone and I have decided to cut back about 75% of our meat eating habits. So far, it's been marvelous! I feel less tired, have more energy, and my general body function is up. He insanely suggested we cut out sugar too, but I gave him this look >:(. And he knew he wouldn't be able to anyway.

It's funny how different life feels when you're not eating as much animal fats. Don't get me wrong, I'm most certainly a bacon girl. But, I can at least TRY to empathize with the vegetarians and vegans out there.

Also, when we were visiting Maine, we stopped by the local farmers' market, and found this lovely brand Lakonia. The specialize in olive oil and salad dressing, and is made in Greece! The woman is Greek and started this business all by herself, and the products are just divine. She also ships nationwide, and really nice olive oil makes a great Christmas gift!

Anyway, this is one of the meals that I found for our new veggie diet, and Tyrone LOVED it! It's super easy, and really yummy.

Spinach and Cheddar Souffle
Adapted from Ina Garten
2-3 servings

3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus extra for sprinkling
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup scalded milk
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 large egg yolks, room temperature
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, defrosted and dried
5 large egg whites, room temperature
1/8 teaspoon cream of tartar

1) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Grease the inside of a 6-8 cup souffle dish and sprinkle evenly with parmesan (don't be afraid to put too much, this acts as a crust for the souffle).

2) Scald your milk: heat in a saucepan over high heat until tiny bubbles form around edge. It should be at 180 degrees if you want to use your thermometer. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't scorch.

3) Melt the butter in a small saucepan or double boiler, making sure not to burn it. Once the butter is melted, stir in flour with a wooden spoon and cook for 2 minutes while stirring constantly.

4) Turn off burner, whisk in hot milk, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, salt, and pepper.

5) Turn burner back on to low heat, and cook for about 1 minute whisking constantly. The mixture should get smooth and thick.

6) Turn off burner again, and whisk in egg yolks one at a time. Stir in cheddar, parmesan, and spinach and transfer to a large mixing bowl.

7) In a separate bowl, combine egg whites, cream of tartar, and a pinch of salt. Using the whisk attachment on a mixer, beat on low speed for 1 minute, medium speed for 1 minute, then high speed until they create firm, glossy peaks.

8) Whisk 1/4 of the egg white mixture into cheese mixture to lighten, then fold in the rest of the egg whites with a rubber spatula.

9) Pour into the prepared souffle dish and smooth the top. Draw a large circle on top with spatula to help the souffle rise evenly, and place in the oven. Turn oven down to 375 degrees immediately upon placement and bake for 30-35 minutes until puffed and brown. Don't peek in oven while this is baking or it will affect the rising of the souffle. Serve immediately.

I just ate this with a lovely tossed salad and my Lakonia dressing. Life is good. :)

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