One of the healthiest vegetables we can eat is spinach. Rich in antioxidants and minerals like iron it’s long been my go to as a veteran vegetarian…I haven’t touched a land animal since the early nineties. When my mother feared my palor was due to lack of iron, and not a growing obsession with goth music, I added spinach to my diet. Fast forward twenty plus years and it’s still a staple, yet I have a new challenge in the three men in my life who would prefer to watch Popeye than eat like him. Below are two recipes that put a spin on spinach even they can’t resist:
Until recently I had been spending a hefty price for the homemade pesto in my local market. If only I’d known how easy it is to make on my own. The recipe below was adapted from a Costco recipe book. I swapped out some of the garlic and added lemon. I add lemon to many of my vegetable recipes. Lemon not only adds a flavorful zing, but it keeps vegetable dishes fresher longer. I also use frozen spinach in my recipes. As a busy family I find frozen veggies better suit our current lifestyle and budget, but you can use fresh if you like.
4 cups defrosted frozen cut leaf spinach…I prefer organic
2 garlic cloves peeled and halved
3 tablespoons pine nuts…I use raw
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil…again organic if you can
juice of 1/2 a lemon
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
pinch of salt
Start with 1/2 cup of the spinach, garlic, pine nuts, and a drizzle of olive oil in the food processor. Cover and puree. Gradually keep adding spinach leaves and oil until fully blended, scraping sides of processor when necessary. Add lemon juice, parmesan, and salt and blend. Makes enough for 2 packages of pasta.
*Use your pesto for pasta, sandwiches, and dipping.
Spinach White Pizza Garlic Bread
One way that my family will eat spinach is on pizza. Really, what doesn’t taste good when hidden in or on a pizza? This white pizza/garlic bread hybrid is something I came up with as a side dish when we eat pasta and red sauce.
Favorite kind of bread…whole wheat is pictured but you can use anything even bagels for a gourmet pizza bagel lunch
Garlic clove peeled and finely chopped
Olive oil, butter or favorite butter substitute
1/3 cup spinach
Fresh basil for garnish…missing in this photo.
Heat oven to 350 degrees. Place bread slices on baking sheet. Spread oil or butter on each slice. Evenly sprinkle the minced garlic on each piece. Combine cheese and spinach and cover each slice with some of the mixture. Sprinkle with oregano. Bake until cheese bubbles…about 6 minutes. Garnish each slice with basil leaf.
*Want to make pesto pizza? Spread the pesto on the bread, add the cheese, and bake!