Hmmm…what to eat after refraining from food for 24 hours on Yom Kipper??? Normally I say quiche or casserole cooked before the fast so we can just dig right in, but this year I decided to go with something a little bit more unusual. I just have to note that I actually do not fast because of my Type 1 diabetes, but I do limit my food intake and am, therefore, hungry when the holiday is over. Plus, I have a husband who actually does fast and comes home from synagogue starved! Okay, so back to the cheesecake. I cannot remember where I saw a recipe for savory pizza cheesecake but it got me thinking of different ways I could make cheesecake my own. Unfortunately, I just couldn’t put together the perfect recipe so I turned to the blogs and The Healthy Foodie saved the day! Her savory broccoli and spinach cheesecake using spelt flour stood as inspiration for my version using spinach, mushrooms and onions.
Savory Spinach and Mushroom Cheesecake
3/4 cup whole spelt flour
1/3 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup non-fat plain yogurt
1 medium onion, chopped
1 cup chopped mushrooms
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp oregano
1/4 cup water
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 cup grams fresh spinach
dash of nutmeg
1 cup low-fat cream cheese
2 cups 1% fat cottage cheese
zest and juice of half a lemon
1 tsp honey mustard
3 whole eggs
2 egg whites
1/2 cup low-fat feta cheese, crumbled
This was my first time working with Spelt flour and it was so exciting to try something new. I whisked the flours together in a bowl with the salt and baking powder. Separately, I whisked together the oil, yogurt and eggs and poured over the flour mixture.
I stirred to form a mostly smooth dough.
I kneaded the dough on a floured surface until smooth, around 2 minutes. I pressed in to a disc then refrigerated in plastic wrap for 30 minutes. On a floured surface, I rolled out the dough to form a 12 inch disc. You will end up with a fairly thin dough. Check out my funky rolling-pin from Pampered Chef!
I fit the dough in to a 9-inch spring form pan and let the excess hang over the edge for a rustic look. Tip: to lift the dough off of the counter, place your rolling-pin (I actually used my ruler since my rolling-pin is a bit unconventional) in the center of the disc, fold one side over to the other, lift then roll out over the pan. I set the pan aside and moved on to the filling. I know it seems strange not to pre-bake the crust, but it bakes perfectly with the filling inside.
I preheated the oven to 375 degrees. Then, I coated a skillet with cooking spray and cooked the onions and mushrooms with seasoning over medium heat until the onion was translucent, around 3 minutes.
I added the water and balsamic vinegar and cooked until all the water evaporated. I turned off the heat, leaving the skillet on the stove, and added the spinach and nutmeg.
I stirred until the spinach wilted and set aside to cool.
Using a hand-blender, I mixed the cream cheese and cottage cheese together until smooth. I added the lemon juice, zest and honey mustard and gave it a quick stir. I added the whole eggs one at a time, blending between each addition. I then added the egg whites and mixed one last time. The mixture was creamy and luscious.
I added the cooked vegetables and crumbled feta and carefully folded until well combined. I used a low-fat feta cheese, which was actually much saltier than full fat feta and really complimented the spinach and mushrooms well.
I transferred the mixture to the reserved crust, immediately put in the oven and lowered the temperature to 325 degrees.
I cooked the cheesecake for 60 minutes, until set. I allowed the cake to cool before unmolding.
I know it looks like the crust is going to topple over but it held the cheesy center perfectly and tasted delicious as well. The spelt and whole wheat flours added a unique rustic look and flavor that transformed the cake in to something truly savory. You can basically use any vegetables you want but I love the mixture of spinach, onions and mushrooms with the mix of cheeses. The Healthy Foodie uses broccoli, orange bell pepper, spinach, and onions.
You can eat this cheesecake cold or room temperature, but I thought it was incredible warmed up. A tip for cutting the cheesecake: you might need to use your hands to break the top of the crust then the rest will cut easily with a knife.