Thursday, February 3, 2011

I'd Like to Thank the Academy: (Tofu or) Chicken-Spinach Pie with Mashed Potato Crust

Before I leave for the hospital, which may happen any day now, and become much less effective at cooking and blogging for a while, I'd like to thank the Academy.

Or in this case, the blogosphere.

Over these long months, a lot of fellow bloggers have cheered me on, supported me, talked me off the ledge when I was worried about something or other, and most importantly, let me know that I was not alone out here.  As this leg of the journey draws to a conclusion, I wanted to let you all know how grateful I am that you've been walking alongside me, and that I've gotten to know you.  The problem with making lists of any sort is that you inevitably miss someone, but hopefully I'll catch most of you who have been regular commenters here ... (and please do go give them some love, even though it's not ICLW any more)

Those women who are right behind me in their pregnancies, and to whom I send positive, sticky, hopeful thoughts every day:

Those who were ahead of me, and who remind me how to be a better person and parent:

Those women (some coping with secondary IF, some who are still waiting for a first baby) whose stories, and struggles, and heroic persistence in the face of some craptastic circumstances both humble and inspire me:

I have doubtless forgotten some of you who read and comment regularly ... if that's the case, please forgive me!

Last night I went to my 40 week appointment, and the baby's heart rate was a little high, so we went up to Labor and Delivery for a non-stress test.  For the most part, it was good ... there was a dip in the heartbeat after a contraction (which I've been having on and off anyway, and was having more of, and stronger, last night), so they kept me on the monitor for longer than we were expecting, but the midwife said in general the baby looked happy, and it was probably just because they didn't have the head of the bed high enough, and I was lying on my vena cava.  They finally let us go, and we went to get some Indian food, which I've been craving for a while ... at this point, I keep thinking that every meal may be my last before labor, so I'm trying to make sure I sate all cravings!

One of the things I seem to be craving on a daily basis is spinach.  This is a great winter dish; filling, but healthy, full of veggies, and easily customizable for the vegetarians among us.  Here's hoping that if you live in the Northeast, you're surviving the relentless winter storms and ridiculous amounts of snow and ice, and if you live elsewhere, know that we're living vicariously through you, waiting (somewhat more impatiently now than before) for spring.

Chicken (or Tofu) and Spinach Pie

3 medium potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 T. olive oil
3 T. milk (unsweetened, unflavored soy or rice is fine)
3/4 t. salt

Cooking spray
2 large carrots, finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
1/2 t. dried thyme (or 1½ tsp fresh)
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken or firm tofu, cut into 1" pieces
3 (or more) c. fresh spinach, coarsely chopped
1/2 c. part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 t. salt

Place potatoes in a pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook, uncovered, until tender.

While potatoes are boiling, set oven to 375°F. Lightly coat a heavy-bottomed skillet with cooking spray; place over medium heat.  Add carrots, onion, and thyme. Cook until slightly browned, stirring often.  Add chicken (or tofu) and cook until golden brown. Turn off heat; stir in spinach, ricotta, and salt.

Drain potatoes well, then return to pot. Add olive oil, milk, and salt, and mash till smooth (some lumps are okay).

Place chicken (or tofu) mixture in a 9-inch pie pan, and top with mashed potatoes. Bake for 15 minutes. To brown the potatoes, broil for 5 more minutes.
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  1. Wow, what a sweet and thoughtful post. I know that for me your you and your blog have been a constant source of support for me and I truly do appreciate it. I can't wait to open this blog one day in the VERY near future and read about wee chef's (or wee baker's if you prefer)arival. :)

  2. You are so sweet! I hope everthing goes well with the baby and MAN another delicious meal. Such great inspiration!

  3. Best of luck! I can't wait to see the arrival post and hear your birth story.

  4. So glad that everything looked great with the wee one. Sounds like it could really be any time now! Good luck!

  5. Thanks, babe. And I keep checking back to see if you've left for the hospital (and thinking my good thoughts for when you do).

    Have actually just purchased the ingredients to make this tonight:)

  6. What a lovely post. You are such an incredible, supportive friend and I so look forward to hearing of your precious baby's arrival! Been thinking of you so much these past few days, continuing to send lots of love and positive vibes your way!

  7. Thank you so much for the mention! I'm only new to blogging but found true spirit and inspiration in this community. Sounds like baby girl will be here very soon. All the best and my love for the birth.

  8. Thanks. ((HUGS)) You've been such a constant support and source of fine coconut flour brownie recipes (amongst other things!) that I hope we do get to visit and cook together some day!

    Sounds like things are getting pretty serious in the bub department. If you don't have a chance to post again before The Arrival, I wish all the best to you and your family!

  9. Oh thank you for the mention in your thoughtful post. It has been wonderful reading your story and getting to know you. I would just love to know you IRL.

    Sounds like Bean is going to arrive any moment, positive thoughts for a good delivery. (I have seen the snowstorm on the news here, yikes!)

    As usual a beautiful recipe - I LOVE spinach pie and I would never have thought of a tofu variation. You will be pleased to hear that the first thing that has sprouted in my courtyard is...the silverbeet. :)

  10. Aw, thanks for the shout out Justine! I'm so glad that you were given good news and all is well. You know that you and the little babe are in my prayers for a beautiful and healthy delivery. Thinking of you often. xx

  11. You are so sweet! Thank you. But more importantly, GOOD FREAKING LUCK!!! I think about you numerous times each day wondering if you are in labor...

  12. I have already said it a million times, I love you! Congratulations on the birth of your little girl. I am so happy for you and I look forward to her birth story. Thanks for including me. ;) <3

  13. Awwwwwww, lovely lady I adore you. Your little bean is so amazingly lucky to have such a wonderful mama. That meal looks soooo good I could lick the computer monitor but I won't, I promise.

  14. Thank you so much for mentioning me! What a sweet post.


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