I live outside Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, and there’s a local shop here called Pudge’s. They have some amazing cheesesteaks that I promise you, you can’t finish in one sitting. The one in Blue Bell, near my office, recently renovated and their new space is bigger. Good thing, because a lot of people go there. (Don’t forget to check out the homemade Italian Wedding Soup.)
I hadn’t been there since I went vegetarian, but after the renovations were done, I decided to check out their menu. Lo and behold, I found something called the Spinach Sub. Very simply, it’s sautéed spinach with onions, mushrooms, and provolone on a soft hero roll. When I order one, it’s lunch *and* dinner.
The other day I craved a spinach sub, but I wasn’t at work, it was raining cats and dogs, and Pudge’s is 20 minutes away (traffic on 202 never cooperates). As it happened, I’d taken a box of frozen chopped spinach out of the freezer to make another spinach quiche, but I was short on eggs. (When I make quiche, I usually make two, just because it’s a great snack to have on hand anytime.)
Anyway, because replicating restaurant recipes is in my DNA (thanks Dad), I gave it a shot, but because I’m trying to cut down on carbs, I used a fajita-sized flour tortilla instead. It wasn’t an Amoroso roll, but it worked. The recipe is below, but there’s more. Oh yes, there’s more.
See, the first time I tried it out, I put too much spinach on my tortilla and it was a handful. (A total delicious mess.) The second tortilla had a little less spinach on it but even then, I had a lot of spinach filling left over; at least enough for another meal. Not being one to let that sort of deliciousness go to waste, I put it in a sealable container and stuck it in the fridge.
The next morning for breakfast, I usually make fried eggs with cheese melted on it. High in protein, it’s a good start to the morning, but with the spinach leftover staring me in the face, I thought, “Hmm. I wonder how this would taste on eggs.” I cracked the eggs, broke the yolks—because egg yolk dripped on my work clothes does not make for a pleasant morning—and drizzled some of the spinach mixture on top.
Holy moley, is that delish. Now, it’s not breakfast without it. Take a look:
Here’s how you can make the Copycat Carla version of Pudge’s Spinach Sub mixture:
One package frozen chopped spinach, thawed in the ‘fridge
(Note: you can *not* thaw it ahead of time, too, but it’s easier if it’s thawed. Also, don’t cook it according to the package directions. There’s not enough water in the frozen spinach to make a difference, but if you cook it, there will be)
One small can, mushroom pieces & stems, drained
One medium white onion, chopped
1 tbsp butter
Seasonings to taste (I prefer garlic salt and pepper, but I bet it’d be good with hot sauce if I were so inclined to that kind of craziness)
Melt butter in a skillet; add onions and stir ‘til opaque. Add spinach and stir ‘til evenly mixed. Add mushrooms, stir. Season, then cover and simmer on low for about 5-10 minutes so the flavors blend.
If you’re making the fajita/hoagie version, layer some cheese on the surface of the bread product of your choice (I’ve been using mozzarella and it works, but I’m going to try provolone next; I think it’s closer to Pudge’s), then layer the spinach mixture on top and enjoy.
If you’re adding it to fried eggs, let the eggs solidify just a little before adding the spinach mix. When the eggs are more solid, flip the whole thing over—don’t worry, it’s going to be a mess; as my dad says, “It’s all going to end up in the same place”—add cheese, cover ‘til the cheese melts, then slide it all onto a plate. It’s hard to beat a high protein, high iron breakfast that’s tasty!