(MEATLESS MONDAYS/VEGAN RECIPES) This Meat-Free Monday, celebrate the flavors of summer with this Greek-inspired orzo, spinach, and almond feta bake.

This recipe is not a saucy pasta dish, but more like a quiche that you can slice into. But whatever you want to call it, it’s absolutely delicious and super easy to make.

The end result tastes remarkably similar to the Greek dish, spanakopita (or spinach pie), but with orzo instead of phyllo (or “filo”) dough. What’s more, this recipe is extremely versatile–try swapping the spinach with grated zucchini, or replace the oregano with fresh basil.

To balance the richness, serve this dish with a simple fresh side salad with a mustard dill vinaigrette. As always, happy eating! — Global Animal

Greek Style Orzo, Spinach and Almond Feta Bake. Photo Credit: Maple Spice

Greek Style Orzo, Spinach and Almond Feta Bake

Yield: 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 200g or 1 cup orzo, dry weight
  • 200g chopped fresh spinach
  • 4 spring onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp chopped fresh oregano

1 recipe Almond Feta:

  • 150g ground almonds or 1 1/2 cups
  • 60ml lemon juice or 1/4 cup
  • 125ml water or 1/2 cup
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 1/4 tsp salt

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 180C/350F. Get a large pot of salted water on the boil for the orzo and cook according to package instructions. Mine said to boil for 17 minutes and I cooked mine for 15, it was just al dente which is perfect as it’ll get another cooking in the oven. Good thing about orzo is it seems to be pretty difficult to overcook 😉 When there is just a couple minutes left add the spinach and cook until it just wilts, it’ll only take a minute if that. Drain it all together.

While it’s cooking make the almond feta by simply placing everything in a blender and blitzing until super smooth.

Tip the orzo and spinach back into the pot and pour over the almond feta, add the chopped spring onions and fresh oregano and stir well. I added a splash more water here to make sure everything was coated and creamy, actually I added some water to the blender and turned it on to make sure I got all the feta stuck to the sides of the blender.

Vegan butter up a casserole dish, any size that will look like the pasta will fit in will do, I used an 8″ square dish. Sorry I got no photos of this, it’s too dark at dinner time to take photos this time of year – you’re seeing the leftovers for lunch here! Spoon the pasta into the dish, level off the top and pop into the preheated oven and bake for about 30 minutes. It won’t really change colour but the top will look dryer and it will be ‘set’, crucially what happens when you bake it is that graininess the almond feta has when first made goes away when baking, otherwise I would say just eat it without baking!

Slice into 6 servings, or less – up to you, but we found this a satisfying serving with the salad and I do highly recommend the mustard dill vinaigrette here, the sharpness and flavours of dill and mustard go so well together.

Recipe Courtesy of Maple Spice

More Maple Spice: http://www.maplespice.com/2012/01/greek-style-orzo-spinach-and-almond.html

Learn more about the Meat-Free Mondays Challenge!

See more Meat-Free Monday recipes, here!

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