Health has been a bit of a buzzword in the Melkkos & Merlot kitchen of late. Coming from the queen of butter and cream, this is strange I know. What triggered the madness? First, I was invited to the launch of Parmalat’s new range of cottage cheese. Already the biggest cheese brand in the country, Parlamat has now expanded their offering by adding fat free, low fat and full cream cottage cheese to their range. I walked away with one of each, inordinately excited at the thought of experimenting.

I was still contemplating my options when the folks at ZZ2 came knocking with a box of their delicious goodies to launch their ‪#‎MyHealthyPromise‬ campaign (see below). Inside I found creamy avo’s, plump mangos and loads of different baby tomatoes on the vine. I’m a bit of a fan because tomatoes are a non-negotiable staple in my kitchen and theirs is not only consistently good quality, but cheaper than other brands. Given that our current double-digit food inflation is burning a hole the size of that big one in Kimberley in my pocket, this is not a bad thing.

Tomatoes and cottage cheese. Hmmm… The possibilities seemed endless, but in the end I settled on roasted tomato and spinach pie. Because pie is the ultimate comfort food and because I wanted to prove that delish and healthy aren’t mutually exclusive. I used Swiss chard instead of spinach as it was on special. And like that old Cremora add, the tomatoes are not inside. They’re on top.

All you need is…

400g of Swiss chard or spinach, stalks removed and washed
1 bunch of spring onions, green bits included
1tbs olive oil
2 fat cloves garlic, finely chopped
250-260g tub of fresh ricotta
250g tub of Parmalat low fat (or full fat) smooth cottage cheese
¼ cup chopped chives
¼ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
1½ tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp nutmeg
2 extra large free range eggs
phyllo pastry
olive oil, for painting the pastry
punnet of ZZ2 baby vine tomatoes

Place the washed Swiss chard or spinach in a dry pan over medium heat. Cover with a lid and allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until properly wilted. Stir once or twice during this time. Place chard in a colander and use your hands to squeeze out as much liquid as possible. Chop chard roughly and set aside to cool.

Slice the spring onions finely and fry over low heat in one tbs of olive oil until soft. Add the garlic and fry for a minute or two. Add the spring onions to the Swiss chard, along with the parsley and chives. Mix the ricotta, cottage cheese, eggs, salt, pepper and nutmeg and add this to the spinach. Mix well.

Line the bottom and sides of a loose-bottomed pie or cake tin with a sheet of phyllo pastry. Paint it lightly with olive oil and cover it with another sheet of pastry. Keep on adding sheets until you have a pastry base of at least 6 sheets all around, remembering to paint each sheet very lightly with the oil. Spoon the spinach mixture into the centre, fold over the pastry sides to cover the filling and bake in a pre-heated oven at the temperature indicated on the phyllo packaging until the pastry is golden and the mixture bubbling hot. It takes about 30 minutes. Drizzle the vine tomatoes with a bit of olive oil and roast them in a shallow roasting dish for the last 15 minutes of the baking time. Top the warm spinach pie with the roasted vine tomatoes, give it a sprinkling of flat-leaf parsley and a few basil leaves and serve right away. If you don’t eat this all at once, this pie will keep well until the next day. To keep the pastry crisp, simply reheat it in your oven at 100 degrees Celsius.




20 min


30-35 min


tips, tricks and trivia

WIN with ZZ2

Win a ZZ2 hamper and shopping voucher worth over R2 000 during their ‪#‎MyHealthyPromise‬ campaign! Simply:

1. Purchase any ZZ2-branded produce.

2. Post a photo on their Facebook page.

3. Tell them your healthy commitment when uploading the photo, using the #MyHealthyPromise hashtag. But hurry, because the competition closes on 30 April. Read more about it here.


enjoy with

Parmalat, already the biggest cheese in the biz, has just added to their range with a wonderful cottage cheese offering. Now I know the words cottage cheese and wonderful don’t belong in the same sentence for many. But this is just lovely.

Their smooth one is available in fat free, low fat and full cream. It’s velvety and super creamy, not watery, awful and pointless like so many others. Their chunky version is available in fat free and low fat. The recommended retail price at time of launch was R23,99. Find it at supermarkets countrywide.



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