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Elegant Cheesy Spinach Cakes

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December 24, 2012 | Issue 432

An Elegant Appetizer

Elegant Cheesy Spinach Cakes

Add an elegant appetizer to your holiday table and get a head start on your New Year’s resolution with this perfect-portion recipe. Fresh spinach and creamy ricotta make these cakes delicious and cancer protective. Research is mounting that leafy greens may help protect against certain cancers because of their high concentration of fiber, folate and carotenoids. Weighing in at just 80 calories, they’re the perfect proportion of nutrition and flavor to help you kick start those new health goals.

Makes 8 servings. (8 appetizers or 4 side dish servings.)

Per serving (appetizer size): 80 calories, 4 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 5 g carbohydrate,
7 g protein, 2 g dietary fiber, 180 mg sodium.

  • 12 oz. fresh baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (low-fat cottage cheese may be substituted)
  • 1/4 cup shredded Romano (Parmesan cheese may be used)
  • 3 large eggs (can substitute 2 large eggs, plus 2 egg whites, beaten)
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Canola oil cooking spray


  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Use food processor and pulse spinach until it is finely chopped, but don't overdo it. Place spinach in bowl. Add cheeses, eggs, garlic and pepper. Stir to combine well.
  3. Coat 8 "cups" of a muffin pan (1/2 cup size)* with spray. Spoon in spinach mixture. Bake about 20 to 22 minutes. Remove pan from oven and let stand 6 or 7 minutes to allow spinach cakes to firm up. Loosen sides with knife and gently lift out.
  4. Sprinkle a bit of additional Romano or Parmesan on top (optional) and serve warm as a great appetizer or side dish.

*For bite-sized spinach cakes use a 24 "mini-muffin" pan and bake 12-14 minutes

Holiday test kitchen

Holiday Recipes
from AICR's Test Kitchen


Grocery list

Baby spinach
Part-skim ricotta cheese
Romano cheese
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Canola oil cooking spray

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A recent review of the research found that average weight gain over the holidays (Thanksgiving to New Year’s) is actually less than a pound.

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