I honestly don’t know how this came about. I mean, I think I did a search for meatless meals on Pinteresting and then just ran rampant. For the most part, I kept getting Tarta Pascualina in my search results. While that looks yummy, whole, real eggs, aren’t in our diet. And I think it would lose something in the translation if we went to egg substitutes.
Then, about 4 pages into the search results, I stumbled on verduras… I wandered aimlessly around those search results and got the gist of the dish. I didn’t want a pic crust. Too fattening. I didn’t want a pastry crust at all. No puff pastry, no pie crust, no empanada style dough. Nope. Phyllo. It’s my go to for a nice crispy crust that doesn’t have a ton of fat in it. I LOVE LOVE LOVE phyllo. S, not so much. *sigh*
Interesting facts about Argentina:
- Argentina is one of those countries which started broadcasting services. It was in the year 1920 that the first radio broadcast was made here in this country.
- A major export of Argentina is wine. – AND BOY is it good!! 🙂
- Argentina produces a lot of honey, soybeans, sunflower seeds, maize and wheat.
- The tango originated in the slaughterhouse district of Buenos Aires at the end of the nineteenth century.
- Argentina is the first country to adopt fingerprinting as a method of identification. In 1925, the small Argentinian town of Necochea was rocked by the gruesome stabbing of two children. With no witnesses to the crime, local police were unable to tie the gory crime to any particular suspect. Utilizing a bloody fingerprint left on a bedpost, Detective Eduardo Alvarez was able to peg the murders on the children’s mother, who quickly confessed to the crime.
- The oldest known dinosaur species are traced to Argentina and Brazil, making both countries prime destinations for paleontologists.
- Argentine cuisine may be described as a cultural blending of Mediterranean influences (such as those created by Italian and Spanish populations) within the wide scope of livestock and agricultural products that are abundant in the country.
- Grilled meat from the asado (barbecue) is a staple, with steak and beef ribs especially common.
- Breaded and fried meats — milanesas — are used as snacks, in sandwiches, or eaten warm with mashed potatoes — purée.
- A sweet paste, dulce de leche is another treasured national food, used to fill cakes and pancakes, spread over toasted bread for breakfast, or served with ice cream.
There are many different regions of cuisine in Argetina. I hope that you will research and try to make your own Argentinian feasts.
- Central region and las Pampas
- Northwest and Cuyo
Cheese, spinach, and leeks surrounded by a phyllo dough crust, Tarta de Verduras makes a great meat free dinner. You could easily serve it for breakfast/brunch or a light lunch, too!
- 10 ounces frozen spinach, thawed and drained
- 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
- 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 3/4 cup egg substitute
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon garlic salt
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1 cup leeks, chopped and rinsed
- 2 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 2 tablespoons water
- 16 sheets phyllo dough
- Preheat oven to 350.
- Combine the first 8 ingredients (spinach through nutmeg) in a medium mixing bowl.
- Heat a large skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add mushrooms and saute until browned and juices have released.
- Add the leeks and the water, cover, and simmer for 10 minutes or until the leeks are soft. Remove from heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Combine the leek mixture with the cheese mixture and stir until combined.
- Coat a 8 by 8 square pan with cooking spray. Place one sheet of phyllo dough in the pan, making sure to allow the dough to come up two sides of the pan. Spray with cooking spray. Place another sheet of phyllo dough; making sure to allow to dough to come up the opposite sides of the pan. Continue in this manner until 4 sheets are remaining.
- Lay one sheet of dough on top of the filling allowing the bulk of the dough to lay over one side of the pan. Spray with cooking spray. Fold the excess back onto the filling, layering the phyllo dough back onto itself. Spray again with cooking spray. Continue in this manner for the remaining dough.
- Fold the dough on the sides of the pan down and over top of the filling; sealing the edges.
- Bake at 350 for 35 to 45 minutes or until golden brown and set. Allow to cool slightly before serving.