Cooking with seasonal ingredients: Spinach 5 Ways
We are in the tough part of the winter in the North East. Snow is still happening but we have a few warm days which tease us to start thinking about Spring. In fact, the daffodils in my garden have been shooting up the past couple of weeks! I keep thinking they are coming up way too early and will freeze when we get snow again. But I can't control it! Back to spinach.
Spinach is one of those vegetables that make me automatically start thinking of Spring. It is a leafy green that is delicate but packs a great nutritional punch. Look at all of the great things spinach provides! Thanks to the folks at Organic Facts for providing this easy infographic. And the great thing about spinach is while it is in season now, it can be bought frozen year round. I'll discuss the benefits of frozen & fresh in another blog post. Look for it on the site!
Now you may be asking, if spinach is available year-round, why focus on cooking with it now?Usually an ingredient that is in season is the most economical purchase because it will be at the best price possible. Also, the product will be at it's freshest since it has just been produced and hasn't traveled too far to get to you.
Fresh spinach is really versatile because it can be used raw in a salad or cooked. It can be a side dish or part of a casserole or the main dish for many meals. Spinach has a mild flavor which is what makes it such an easy ingredient to try in just about anything. When using fresh spinach that is not in a bag, you will need to soak it in a bowl full of water to remove the sand & grit from it. This should not take long - only about 15 minutes.
Below are a few recipes that I hope you will try. I looked for a wide variety to help demonstrate how creative you can get with spinach. If you try any of the recipes, don’t forget to tag me on Instagram as @heatherleehurst and use the #heathershealthhabits hashtag. I love seeing your takes on the recipes I share! Also, if you want to see more recipes and learn about healthy living, follow my blog on Bloglovin.
5 Ingredient Spinach Parmesan Pasta from Two Peas and their Pod. Working on having a Meatless Monday routine? Or are you flextarian like I am - eating vegetarian 3-4 days a week and meat or fish the rest of the time. Here is an effortless vegetarian dinner dish that is simple and fast. Serve with a salad to increase veggie intake or substitute a chickpea based pasta. Click here for the recipe.
Sauteed Spinach, Mushrooms and Caramelized Onions by Julia's Album. This is a classic spinach side dish. I think caramelized onions make everything better! The onions become so sweet and really add flavor to any dish. Julia's recipe also has an optional cream sauce if you would like to add it. Click here for the recipe.
Crustless Spinach Quiche with Bacon from the Low Carb Maven. Quiche is the forgotten casserole in my opinion. It is a perfect blend of veggies and proteins with a little added fat (bacon). Quiche is perfect for breakfast, lunch & dinner and there are usually leftovers. For lunch or dinner, serve with an arugula salad. Click here for the recipe.
Baked Spinach and Provolone Chicken Breasts from Tasteful Adventures. This is an easy dinner that takes about 30 minutes to make. The presentation is beautiful! Your family will think you spent hours on making this. Serve it with a side of rice or roasted potatoes and a salad. Click here for the recipe.
Apple & Spinach Pork Chops from Garnish & Glaze. This is a one pan meal that only takes about 30 minutes. The recipe uses granny smith apples, adds a little brown sugar and uses bacon to give the meal a sweet and salty combination. I like that this recipe combines both veggies and fruit, helping your family to meet their daily needs. Click here for the recipe.
I hope you liked this addition of cooking with seasonal ingredients. I know I was inspired with some of the unique combinations I found. If you try any of the recipes, let me know what you thought! I love reading your comments about my posts.