Spinach isn’t just for Popeye anymore, people. Actually, leave the canned greens to him and let us have all the fresh stuff! It hasn’t ever really been a “popular” vegetable. So many children’s shows have villianized it throughout TV history that the actual spinach industry has had to work REALLY hard just to stay alive. Did you know that when Popeye was introduced into the public media that spinach sales went up 33%?? That’s crazy! But I’d still take the fresh stuff over the canned stuff any day. It’s just another one of those ridiculously healthy leafy greens that provides a good amount of iron, some calcium and a TON of vitamin A! And the fact that it has a very mild flavor means that it lends itself perfectly to a wide array of dishes.
People mostly put it in salads, like they would with almost any leafy greens, but did you know you can also put it in shakes? You can’t even taste the spinach (but it will turn the drink a bit more green than originally planned). You can saute it, steam it, puree it and turn it into tasty things like dips and indian saag. You can use it for flour-based foods like breads (sweet OR savory), pastas, ravioli (the filling or in the dough), etc. Basically, the possiblities are endless!
I decided to cook up the spinach my girlfriend and I got from our local CSA, Brackett Farm, before it went bad. It had been a day filled with carbs and I only had 11 points left to spend before I zeroed out on my daily WW allowance, so veggies were a must! In fact, we’ve gotten so many veggies from the CSA so far that I had to take time out of my day yesterday just to dice up onions to freeze and garlic to pull apart so that they wouldn’t go bad. The lettuce was already browning, but the spinach still looked perfect.
Dinner was Everyday Adobo Chicken, sauteed zucchini (from the CSA too) and garlic sauteed spinach. It was delicious! I’ve been slicing my zucchini into 1 inch thick rounds and they stay nice and juicy, so that was awesome. I only had 1/4 a lb of the spinach and since it cooks down so much, I only ended up with about 1/3 – 1/2 cup of it! Remember that when you cook spinach… a whole pound will cook down to only about 1 cup. But it was a beautiful deep green and tasted wonderful. My recipe was simple and took all of about five minutes to cook, start to finish.
Garlic Sauteed Spinach
PointsPlus Per Serving: 1
- 1/2 lb fresh spinach of any kind
- 2 tsp olive oil, 2 PP
- 1/2 tsp minced garlic
- salt and pepper
- lemon juice (optional)
1. Rinse spinach and drain.
2. Heat up olive oil in a non-stick skillet on medium heat. Once heated, add garlic and cook for a couple seconds to make it fragrant.
3. Add spinach. Use two wooden spoons to mix up spinach and oil until nicely coated. Put a lid over top and let it steam for about 1 minute. Then, take off the lid and continue mixing with the spoons and letting it cook for another 2 minutes. Add a little salt and pepper and just a few drops of lemon juice if you are using it. Mix it up and serve immediately!
Make sure to click on the pictures around this entry for other tasty recipes with spinach as the main ingredient! And check out all the linked words to get some Wikipedia info about other lovely things :) You WILL learn something today, DAMMIT! Er… heh :)