Thursday, October 14, 2010

I'm strong to the finish-

-'cause I eat my spinach!

I'm Popeye the Sailor Man!! (toot! toot!)

Spinach. So versatile and easy. And SO GOOD FOR YOU!

I have always liked spinach. Matter of fact, when I was in grade school, I would get the school's hot lunch. I would love it whenever we had spinach (or broccoli). I would trade my cake (or whatever other dessert there was that day) with other kids to get THEIR spinach! I recall kids just willing handing over their spinach (and broccoli) and I thought I was the lucky one~getting ALL this spinach!
Fast forward many (many) years and I still love it. These days I am enjoying this super veggie in a few more creative ways then the boiled mess they offered in school lunch.
Here are some of my favorite ways to eat spinach!
I love to start the day or wrap up a workout with a protein shake and my favorite has to be one I have named "The Green Monkey". This is not my original recipe, it was actually an adaption from Tammy's recipe for her spinach protein shake, so a big thank you to her for sharing her recipe with me!

  • 1 cup of Almond Milk (or your favorite milky liquid~coconut, rice, soy, cow, goat etc.)
  • 1 scoop of vanilla whey protein isolate (or your favorite protein powder)
  • a dash of stevia or your favorite sweetener (honey works well here too)
  • a dash of vanilla extract
  • 1 generous tablespoon of all natural peanut butter
  • 1 frozen banana cut into chunks (you don't have to use frozen but it's really really good if you use a frozen banana)
  • a couple ice cubes (more if you used a non-frozen banana)
  • a BIG hand full of raw baby spinach
put all of the above in your blender in that order and WHIZ until smooth. Enjoy-you won't even know you are drinking spinach-I promise!
A couple weeks ago after running a race, I was craving pizza. Now I did not want to go out nor did I to consume 9,000 calories in a single sitting so I played around with what we had on hand and came up with a great solution~yummy melted cheese, mostly figure friendly and satisfied my craving. Now this is a quick and easy lunch~add a big salad and you've got a great dinner too!
Easy Spinach Quesadillas

  • 2 whole wheat wraps (I really like Joseph's Oat & Flax wraps)
  • 1/4 cup (or more!) of LF shredded cheddar cheese (like Cabot 50% reduced fat is awesome!)
  • 2 tblsp cottage cheese (optional-I have made it with and without, both are good!)
  • 1 big hand full of raw baby spinach-chopped
Spritz a skillet with olive oil or non-stick spray and place one wrap in the pan. Layer cheese, spinach, cottage cheese and then more cheddar cheese.

Top with the other wrap. Cook on med-med/high heat until the bottom wrap is toasty and golden. Flip onto a dinner plate and slide back into the skillet. Repeat to toasty golden perfection on the other side.
I make a yummy salsa dip for this that is also super easy!

DIP: equal parts of plain Greek yogurt and your favorite salsa (1/4 cup each is good). Top with chopped cilantro and green onion (optional) or make it spicy with some extra hot sauce!

I came up with this salad combo this summer after a visit to Longhorn Steakhouse and several trips to pick strawberries.

Spinach & Fruit Salad with Feta

  • 4 cups of raw baby spinach leaves
  • 1 cup of fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1 cup of green grapes, cut in half
  • a couple rings of sliced red or sweet onion

Toss the above in a large salad bowl and top with crumbled feta cheese. You can also add some grilled chicken to this to make it a great lunch or meal. I even like it with some toasted nuts like pecans or almonds. As for dressing~something light and simple goes well with this salad. A raspberry/walnut vinaigrette or poppy seed dressing is really good!

What is YOUR favorite way to eat spinach??

What is YOUR favorite super veggie??


Big Daddy Diesel said...

Ok, I am going to give this a try because of "you won't even know you are drinking spinach-I promise"

Emz said...

Ohhhh JL - thank you for this post. I eat spinach daily and was getting a weee bit bored with my normal recipies. Awesome.

My fav is with cranberries, walnuts & blue cheese. yum.

Teamarcia said...

Spinach also goes in my shake, although I put mixed berries in there as well. My fave veggie has to be broccoli!

Aimee said...

I love spinach too! I put it in my smoothies and cheese crisps too! Actually, my favorite way to eat spinach is just in a salad topped with fruits and veggies. But, steamed spinach is really good as well!

Jacquelyn said...

Thanks for the recipe recommendations- I've been trying to include more superfoods into my diet! The farm families who own Cabot appreciate the Cabot recommendation as well :)