Let Me Introduce the Improv-ers: The Comfy Cook

This week, I’d like you to meet Chaya.  I always think of her as The Comfy Cook because that was the blog she wrote when we first met three years ago.  She has since closed that blog and gone on to run two other active blogs.  I am in awe of her ability to keep two going while I often struggle to get posts up for just one.  Anyway, Chaya is a dear.  She is full of enthusiasm for cooking healthy foods.  She jumped right in an joined the Improv Challenge.  She posts two entries each month, one on each of her blogs!!  If you haven’t already met her, you must go over and visit!!

Hi, my name is Chaya and I am a Mom and Grandma and even a Great Grandma.  I teach fifth graders and I love the children and the “job”.  Teaching is truly a labor of love.

When, I first started blogging, I met Kristen, at another blog, we both contributed to.  I admired what she was doing then and as far as I can see, she has grown in her presentation and material, since then, something she can take pride in.  I am excited about sharing here.  Thanks, Kristen, for the opportunity and for hosting Improv which has proven to be such fun and has stretched my boundaries, looking for new recipes.

I have two blogs, Bizzy Bakes and My Sweet and Savory. and they are a  diary of how the eating in my home has changed, over the past few years.  Blogging has unexpected results and in my case, they were good, since my awareness of healthy eating has changed since my initial blogging.  I give credit to the many bloggers who share with us, each day.  You will see a lot less meat and a lot more vegetables.  I could almost be the kid who is more excited about the spinach than the chocolate chip cookies.  It has been exciting because we tried vegetables, we have never eaten before and added them to our favorites.  It is a wonderful adventure, one I hope to continue growing with.

After that build-up about veggies, I had better share a vegetable recipe.  This is adapted from Guy Fieri Food.

Tomato Spinach Tostadas
  • For the tostadas:
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen spinach, thawed
  • 1 tablespoon finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 teaspoon finely diced bell pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • ⅓ cup gluten-free crumbs (I use tortilla crumbs)
  • ⅓ cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • For the topping:
  • 2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
  • 15 ounce can of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 russet potatoes, cooked in boiling salted water until just fork tender, then cut in ½-inch dice
  • 1 tablespoon chopped parsley leaves
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper dip
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Pepper Jack cheese
  1. Preheat the oven to 250 degrees F.
  2. Add the spinach to a colander, and press down to remove as much water as possible.
  3. Develop muscles.
  4. Transfer the spinach to a double layer of paper towels and press and squeeze to remove any extra water.
  5. Add spinach to a medium bowl with the remaining ingredients, except the olive oil.
  6. The mixture should be very well combined and moist, but not wet.
  7. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  8. Divide the mixture into 12 equal portions and form into flat patties, about 3 inches in diameter and ¼-inch thick.
  9. Arrange the patties on the baking sheet and press down until very firm.
  10. This step can be done ahead, but be sure to refrigerate the patties.
  11. In a large nonstick saute pan over medium-high heat, heat the oil.
  12. Fry patties, on each side for about two minutes, until slightly browned.
  13. Put patties on a baking sheet in low oven to keep warm.
  14. Topping:In the same pan the spinach tostadas were cooked in, heat the remaining oil left in pan, over medium-high heat.
  15. Add the shallot to oil and cook until translucent.
  16. Add in the tomatoes, potatoes and stir to combine. Stir in the pepper and the parsley and remove from the heat.
  17. Remove the spinach tostadas from the oven, and transfer to a serving platter. Equally portion the potato mixture on each tostada.
  18. Sprinkle with cheese and raise temperature in oven and bake until cheese melts, for a few minutes.
  19. Eat and enjoy.


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