I’ll be straight with you: by Friday on the first week back to school my cupboards were looking a bit bare. But although necessity and times of need may have bred this dish, I will revisit it even in times of abundance. (I think I may have just inadvertently quoted the bible).
Anyway if your cupboards are bare too but you still want to feed your children something half nutritious and extremely tasty, have I got the recipe for you!
Not only is it a recipe that relies on store cupboard / freezer ingredients, it is also absolutely smug and lazy.
Enough suspense! I’m talking about a Spinach and Rice Pie.
If you have more sophisticated children or if you are making this for adults you might well want to add some softened onions, some chopped spring onions, or even a pinch of nutmeg and/or sharper cheese. But this version was cheesy and simple enough that all 4 of my children ate two portions each and finding something that they all like – well that’s pretty rare.
This even convinced one Rice-refuser and another spinach (anything green) hater. Admittedly Mim, my three year old, required ketchup to be truly happy, but there are some battles best avoided.
Spinach Rice Pie
1 pack frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
1 cup milk
1-2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/2-1 cup grated mozzarella
2 cups cooked rice
1 clove Garlic
Optional: diced and softened onion; diced spring onion; nutmeg; Parmesan
Preheat oven, 400F / 200C. (I cooked mine at 405F but suggesting you add the extra 5degrees seems pedantic)
Cook rice. Grease baking dish.
I defrosted my frozen chopped spinach in a pan with a splash of boiling water over a medium heat for about 5 minutes, breaking it up with a fork as it warmed. Then drained / pressed it through a sieve.
Mix spinach, eggs, cheese, milk, minced garlic and rice. Season as required (I just added a tiny pinch of salt as our 15month old was also eating this).
Pour mix into the dish. Top with extra grated mozzarella. Place in oven, cook for 25 minutes or until gently browned.
Serve with some steamed vegetables, or fresh salad, or just ketchup and whatever leftovers you can muster at the end of a long and exhausting week of back to school. First week back, done! With no tears except perhaps a few from me now that Elsa, my 5 year old, is also in school full time. Sob!