BONE FRIENDLY FINGER FOOD: SPINACH AND RICOTTA PARCELS

It’s been a while since I’ve directly addressed osteoporosis, but preventing it is an ongoing task: calcium intake has to be constant, just like exercise. Reaching your daily calcium goal (which for us is a full gram of it a day) sometimes takes a little bit more than just a glass of milk in the mornings, so I think I’m going to make this season’s goal to try to squeeze calcium in every meal, at least a little bit of it. If I have to start adding a teaspoon of sesame seeds to everything, so be it!

In the meantime, as I’ve got people coming over tonight, I’m doubling the efforts to make some calcium-packed appetizers: spinach and ricotta parcels! They look positively delicious and smell decadent, but both leafy greens and ricotta are low-fat calcium sources that taste so much better than “health food” is believed to:


spinach and ricotta parcelsINGREDIENTS:

  • 2 bundles of spinach, blanched and drained
  • ½ pack of filo dough
  • 150 g ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • ¼ cup chopped chives
  • ½  cup chopped basil leaves
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 tablespoons toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon black sesame seeds
  • 2 tablespoons currants, coarsely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste

 

  1. Preheat oven to 350° F (Medium low). Pat the spinach dry and place it in a bowl. Add currants and half the sesame seeds. Mix spinach, basil, chives, and ricotta cheese as well, and season to taste – make sure not to overdo the salt, as the filo dough will bring its own.
  2. Cut your filo into squares of 1.5×1.5 inches each, and scoop some filling in the middle of each square.
  3. With a brush, place a little bit of melted butter on the edge of each square, and fold each square to make a triangle. Press the edges gently to make sure it closes properly, brush a little bit more butter on top, and then sprinkle the remaining sesame seeds. Arrange each parcel on a baking sheet and bake for 5 – 7 minutes, until golden brown.

Folding the parcels may be hard at first if you’re like me and have clumsy fingers, but it becomes easy by the 4th one. You can serve them at a dinner party with some tzaziki or tartar sauce (I looove tzaziki, and it brings more calcium to the table) or with something edgier like mango chutney or tamarind sauce. Everyone will be impressed.

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