So to go with our meatloaf, packed away in November for these fast-moving December nights, here's a wonderful, unusual side dish that utilized the remainder of my fresh spinach from my previous blog. Baked Ricotta and Spinach Cups! Who knew? The Chickasaw Nutrition Services office had this trick up its sleeve. I couldn't believe it when I read the recipe. Grease eight muffin tins, wilt some spinach in a hot skillet, mix ricotta cheese with egg and Cheddar. Fold in the spinach. Bake as you would muffins in a 375-degree oven for 20 minutes.
We served 'em for dinner (diehard ketchup lovers like Hubby just can't resist adding a few drops of the salt-free red stuff) and then had 'em for breakfast the next day. I even smoothed out half a spinach cup onto a warm meatloaf sandwich the next day for lunch. Freeze some for Christmas-morning breakfast to accompany a breakfast casserole? Serve some for a Christmas covered-dish event? The possibilities are endless—you'll have a conversation-piece recipe, to be sure!
Baked Ricotta and Spinach Cups
1 tablespoon cooking oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
8 ounces (6 cups) baby spinach leaves
1 1/2 cups low-fat ricotta cheese
1 egg, beaten lightly
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
1/2 cup shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Grease eight muffin tins. Cook oil and garlic over medium heat until lightly browned. Add baby spinach leaves and heat until leaves wilt. In a separate bowl mix ricotta cheese, egg, salt, pepper, and cheddar cheese. Fold in spinach and garlic mixture. Pour ricotta mixture into the eight muffins tins equally. Bake for 20 minutes or until a knife inserted in the center of a muffin round emerges nearly clean. Makes 5 servings.