South Beach Diet - Opinion on fillo dough/spanikopita and others

04-27-2011, 08:59 PM
Here is the thing: I love spanikopita, and need some guidance about where it can fit in on SB. Is it always a cheat? Lots of spinach, and there is really not that much white flour. Would it be Phase 2 appropriate? Opinions please.

04-27-2011, 09:30 PM
you might find this interesting:
take care

04-27-2011, 09:59 PM
I would think whole wheat or spelt fillo would qualify as an acceptible starch. Fillo Factory makes it. You can use their website ( to locate where it's sold near you.

04-28-2011, 06:59 AM
Thanks guys. What about straight on white flour fillo? I would think the amount of white flour is actually quite small since the dough itself is paper thin (although there are layers). I am going to look for the whole wheat fillo.

04-28-2011, 07:41 AM
I think it would depend on if it gives you cravings by eating it, and what your goals are. I eat a fair amount of things with small amounts of sugar or flour, because it doesn't mess me up. Do gravies or others with small amounts of flour set you off with cravings?

04-28-2011, 10:22 AM
Twynn, only when I eat them fat free or with very little fat. The fat content seems to cut the cravings. Spanikopita does not set me off and I think I feel comfortable including it once or twice a week. It feels like a real cheat to me but doubt it has that negative impact for real.

04-28-2011, 02:03 PM
Are you making it yourself? If so, be sure to only use butter-flavored spray between the layers. Most restaurants use melted butter, which is delicious, but not artery or waistline friendly.
I suppose if you find it causes you no problems, it's not a problem! Phyllo, especially white phyllo, sure wouldn't get Dr. Agatston's blessing, but as you start approaching South Beach as a lifestyle rather than a diet, it's ok to see his rules more as principles.
I also love spanakopita (and most Greek cuisine). I make "spanakopita" egg muffins pretty regularly to capture the flavor. Of course it's not the same without the cripsy phyllo, but I can eat them pretty often, whereas I personally would eat the real thing as a rare indulgence. I'm also way too lazy to deal with phyllo at home.

04-28-2011, 10:24 PM
I love spanakopita too (I'm Greek)! I'm going to second the egg muffins that shelflife suggested. I made them after she mentioned them once and they are amazing! That's what I have every morning for breakfast :) Of course, sometimes you just need the real thing, but the spinach/mint/feta combo is enough to keep me happy most days, even without the phyllo. (I use authentic Greek feta-- not entirely SB friendly since it's full fat, but it has a much stronger taste than what you buy in a regular grocery store, so you can get away with using a small amount.)

04-29-2011, 12:20 AM
Yum can you guys link the recipe for english muffin spanakopita??

04-29-2011, 12:43 AM
I'm just curious, but what's the aversion to using the whole wheat phyllo dough??? I picked some up from fillofactory and used it for desserts. It's wonderful AND it's not cheating. I just don't understand why cheat when you have an option that would be SB friendly???

04-29-2011, 06:50 AM
It's not that I have an aversion to the ww dough; I've tasted stuff made with it and I do really like it (and it actually does not taste at all different to me) - but most of the time I am not making spanikopita, I am buying it already made frozen. Does FF make ww products that you just reheat? I just don't have the time to make it normally. It's a convenience food for me, but one that I love.

04-29-2011, 07:43 PM
Update: just went by my local middle eastern market that carries fillo and also FF products, and they didn't have anything whole wheat. BUT, when I got home I checked my spanikopita here and realized it is from TJ's and is "low fat" and I do recall that the TJ's spanikopita (or larger spinach pie, which is what I got for tonight) are less greasy. So it's mitigated somewhat.