Spinach for Breakfast?
You betcha! Plenty of people have discovered the feel-good benefits of starting the day with nature’s powerhouse greens. Packed with iron, blood-pressure-friendly nitrates, and other helpful phytonutrients, spinach is a great choice for the meal that sets the tone for the rest of your day.
- 2 plum tomatoes, blanched, peeled and chopped
- 3 oz. feta or goat cheese
- 2 green onions, rinsed, roots removed; green and white parts chopped
- 2 cups baby spinach leaves, washed and torn, stems removed
- 8 large eggs
- 1/2 cup whole milk
- 1/4 tsp. salt
- 1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
- whole nutmeg, finely grated; pinch
- 2 Tbsp organic butter
- Freshly grated imported Parmesan cheese
Blanch tomatoes; drop into boiling water. After 30 seconds remove tomatoes and immerse in cold water. Cut off stem end, and slip off skins. Squeeze out and discard excess pulp and seeds, and chop tomatoes. Crumble cheese(s) and slice or tear spinach leaves into ribbons.
Crack eggs into a large bowl. Add milk, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Whisk with fork for about 30 strokes (any more risks toughening the egg whites). Over medium/medium low heat, melt about 2 tsp. butter in an 8-inch nonstick skillet. When butter sizzles, add 1/2 cup egg mixture. Swirl pan to coat sides with eggs, and stir with a wooden implement to loosen firm eggs on bottom. Eventually, eggs will begin to set. Stop stirring and allow to continue cooking over relatively low heat.
Scatter one fourth of spinach, green onion, tomatoes, and cheese across the center of the pan. Using spatula, gently lift one edge and fold omelet over on itself. Slide from pan onto preheated plate and sprinkle with about 1 Tbsp. parmesan cheese. Serve hot, or place in warm (200 F) oven until other omelets are prepared. Serves 4.
This simple dish makes a quick lunch for 2-4 people. Buy refrigerated pizza dough to keep things simple.
- 1 can refrigerated regular pizza dough
- Prepared Alfredo sauce (or prepared tomato-based pizza sauce).
- 1 bag washed baby spinach
- 1 red onion
- 4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled
- 2 oz. pitted kalamata olives
- 1/4-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
- crushed red pepper
Preheat oven to 450 F (or as directed on dough package). Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. Spray with cooking spray, and sprinkle with corn meal, if desired. Remove pizza dough from refrigerator and unroll onto cookie sheet. Stretch to desired size and allow to warm to room temperature. Precook according to package directions, then remove and allow to cool.
While dough precooks, bring water to a boil in pan on stove. Immerse spinach leaves, remove from heat, wait 20 seconds, and then pour through a fine-mesh strainer. Pat leaves dry on several layers of paper towels. Add 1/4-1/2 cup Alfredo or pizza sauce and spread over dough. Cover surface with blanched spinach leaves. Add onion slices and sliced olives, then sprinkle with cheese. Top with an additional 1/4-1/2 cup grated parmesan, and bake, according to package directions.
Serve with crushed red pepper.
Spinach for Dinner
Classic spinach salad is usually viewed as a side. But there’s no reason spinach can’t fill in as the centerpiece of a satisfying vegetarian meal, especially if you add protein sources, such as beans or eggs. Spinach salad can be as simple as you please, or elaborate enough to elevate this humble leafy green to main-fare status. Feel free to experiment, adding toppings that strike you fancy, or serving them on the side.
- 1 bag pre-washed baby spinach
- 3 large eggs
- 1/8 cup sliced, toasted almonds
- 2 oz. crumbled feta cheese
- 1 oz. dried cherries
- 1 15-oz. can garbanzo beans, thoroughly rinsed (use half)
- 1 small red onion, peeled and halved
- 1/3 cup high quality (California) extra virgin olive oil
- 1/4 cup genuine balsamic vinegar de Modena
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 1 Tbsp prepared dijon mustard
Add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, mustard and shallot to a 2-cup measuring cup. Whisk thoroughly with a handheld blender/whisk attachment, approximately 30 seconds, until smooth, lasting emulsion forms.
Hard boil eggs. Carefully place eggs in a saucepan, add cold water and bring to a boil. Immediately remove from heat and allow eggs to sit in hot water for 15 minutes. Remove eggs and plunge into ice water. Once cooled, shell and chop eggs.
In a large salad bowl, add spinach and top with remaining ingredients (including half of beans). Slice one half of red onion, thinly, from top to bottom, and scatter over salad. Save remaining onion for another use. Toss thoroughly and serve with vinaigrette. Serves 4. Suggested sides: crumbled cooked bacon, golden raisins, torn Romaine lettuce leaves, toasted hazelnuts, etc.