Thursday, June 30, 2011

Spinach – It’s not Just for Popeye, the Sailor

Ok, so you grew up with canned spinach and don’t like spinach.  Well, now that you are an adult, it may be a good time try spinach again.  Your taste buds have matured and spinach is available in a number of forms.  Canned is no longer your only option. 

You may be wondering how I got on this spinach kick after all I the fattening stuff I write about.  Would you believe I was looking for something a little redeeming?  Ok, you are not buying that.  Here is the truth.  A colleague of mine has an abundance of spinach.  She is up to her eyeballs in spinach and needed a few suggestions for spinach.  So I thought why not blog about spinach.  Maybe give a few ideas for using and preserving spinach for those of you lucky enough to have an abundant supply.

Spinach Ideas.

1.     Spinach wrap – Use larger leaves as a wrap, the same as you would for lettuce.  You can wrap a vegetable or meat based salads.

2.    Make a frittata – For each person, use 2 eggs, 2 ounces cheese, seasonings (garlic, onion, salt and pepper) to taste, 1 cup firmly packed spinach.

3.      Spinach pesto – Use spinach instead of basil to make pesto.  Use with spaghetti or lasagna.

4.      Stuffed chicken breast – Combine spinach with cheese such as ricotta, parmesan, goat and stuff inside a chicken breast and bake.

5.     Salad on-the-go – Toss spinach leaves with your other favorite salad ingredients.  Add your favorite dressing and put inside a pita. 

6.       Twice baked potatoes – Add sautéed spinach to baked potatoes.

7.     Spinach fruit salad – Spinach pairs nicely with a variety of fruits, like, strawberries and mandarin oranges.

8.       Sautéed spinach – Sauté spinach with garlic and olive oil.

9.       Creamed spinach – This is an old favorite.

10.   Toss spinach into a stir-fry.

Thai Inspired Spinach Wrap


4 cups rotisserie chicken, skinned and boned
2 celery ribs, cut into small dice
2 medium green onions, thinly sliced
¼ cup chopped peanuts
Juice of one lime
2 Tablespoons Asian fish sauce
1 Tablespoon grated fresh ginger, squeeze to remove juice
2 teaspoons sugar
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons minced fresh cilantro leaves
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh mint leaves
Large spinach leaves


1.     In a medium bowl, mix chicken, celery, green onions and peanuts.  In a small bowl, whisk lime juice, fish sauce, ginger liquid, sugar, red pepper, cilantro and mint.

2.     Toss dressing with chicken mixture.  Allow individuals to place desired amount of salad in a spinach leaf.  Roll.  If making ahead of time, hold together with a toothpick.

 If you still have too much spinach, here are a few suggestions for using the"excess".

Fruits and Vegetables – More Matter -
University of Nebraska Lincoln – Extension -
National Center for Home Food Preservation -

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