These days, spinach doesn't come in one overgrown bunch, it comes in a clamshell. You know, those large, clear plastic containers stuffed with perfectly picked baby leaves. I am sure you have bought one, with ambitions to use all those greens, only to have it slowly wilt away in your refrigerator. You meant well, you really did. Before you give up on spinach, one of the best foods around, let me give you some ideas, and recipes, for how to use it, before you lose it.
Smoothies. You can throw handfuls into a variety of green smoothies. I love spinach in smoothies, and because it is such a mild tasting green, so doesn't overpower the other fruits and vegetables. A rule of thumb: Use yellow and orange fruits with spinach, unless you don't mind it looking a blah brown. Here is a simple recipe for a Pineapple Spinach Smoothie.
Salad. Spring is the time for salads! I especially like using baby spinach because it is more mild and is less gritty tasting than a larger bunch of spinach. Try this Strawberry Spinach Salad, it has some almonds, a little bit of goat cheese--delish!
Soup. I make it a habit to get greens in wherever I can, and throwing them into soups is a no-brainer for me. Any bean and vegetable soup, chicken soup, really any soup can handle a large handful of baby spinach. It wilts right up and you will barely notice it, except for the double dose of nutrients you will receive. Try this Cannelini Bean and Spinach soup today; it's filling and filled with goodness!
Meatloaf. Interested in hiding vegetables in your kids' food? Or be straight-up like me and tell them you have put spinach in their meatloaf, they honestly won't even know the difference! Whenever I get a request from one of my kids for turkey meatloaf, not only do I use spinach, but also carrots, celery, onion and a whole host of fresh herbs. It's more like a veggie meatloaf, but what do they know? Here is a Spinach Meatloaf recipe to get you started.
Dips. Spinach dip is an icon of the 1970s, bread bowl and all, and I have managed to find a healthier version of that gut bomb. Because spinach is not very hearty it blends up very well (see smoothies). Try this lighter version of the classic Spinach Dip at your next party.
Saute. Making a stir-fry for dinner tonight? Throw in a couple of handfuls of baby spinach. It wilts down to nothing. If a recipe calls for a certain amount, feel free to add more; you will barely notice. Here is a simple recipe for Chicken, Basil and Spinach stir-fry.
Breakfast. Spinach for breakfast? Of course! Throw a handful into scrambled eggs or your next omelet. Use it as a cushion for poached eggs instead of toast. Drink a green smoothie to start your day right. Here is a supersimple scrambled egg recipe to get you inspired.
I usually buy two of those containers of organic greens a week so I get coerced into using them. Now I want to hear from you, how do you use up an abundance of spinach (or any other vegetable for that matter) before it dies a slow death in your refrigerator? Keep the conversation going in the comments below!
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