Variations on Cooking Spinach

  • cesarin03

    Posts: 38

    Apr 17, 2009 8:21 PM GMT
    So my trainer has had me introduce "very" green veggies.

    Telling me that green bell peppers, squashes, broccoli, lettuce and brussel sprouts, are a great start, but he wants to make sure i add leafy vegetables like spinash into my lunches and dinners.

    I've been doing this for two weeks now, and eating them raw or boiled have lost their appeal. Are there are any good recipes using spinash and chicken as a base? or any other leafy vegetables that are as good as spinach? i wouldn't mind making a smoothie with it... i have a high tolerance for ick foods, just my palate gets bored easily.

    Thanks guys!
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    Apr 17, 2009 9:57 PM GMT
    Murgh saagwala (pronounced: moorg saag waalaa) is a really popular dish in northern India. You can also replace the chicken with paneer (homemade cheese) if you're cooking for vegetarians or want to try switching things up. I haven't tried the recipe that I've included below, but it looks pretty good to me.

    http://www.recipezaar.com/Saag-Chicken-100674
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    Apr 17, 2009 10:04 PM GMT
    Try sauteing it with oil and garlic, and a little feta cheese, if that doesn't blow the diet.
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    Apr 17, 2009 10:21 PM GMT
    Turkey Soup Provencal

    - Substitute chicken for the turkey
    (You can pretty much clean out your refrigerator by doing variations on this recipe. Whatever meat you have, whatever greens you have... pasta... beans... veggies...)

    Also... rather than looking for a can of diced tomatoes with onion and garlic already added, I use a regular can of diced tomatoes and then just cut up an onion & some garlic and add it in when I’m browning the meat.

    What You’ll Need
    • 1 lb. ground turkey breast
    • 1/2 teaspoon dried herbes de Provence, crushed
    • 1 15-oz. can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
    • 1 14.5-oz. can chicken broth
    • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes with garlic and onion, undrained
    • 4 cups chopped fresh spinach

    Preparation
    Cook turkey in saucepan over medium-high heat until browned, stirring to break up the meat. Add herbes de Provence, beans, broth, and tomatoes to pan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer 5 minutes. Stir in spinach; simmer 5 minutes.
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    Apr 17, 2009 11:29 PM GMT
    I like to steam fresh spinach in the microwave with a bit of salt,garlic powder and some buttery spray for flavor.. boiling it would be too much like canned spinach BARF! ( no matter what popeye sez)
  • EricLA

    Posts: 3461

    Apr 17, 2009 11:51 PM GMT
    I find spinach very flavorful on it's own, but I might add just a touch of soy sauce once it's been steamed (of course spinach cooks VERY quickly, so don't steam it too long).

    As mentioned above, garlic is a good and very healthy addition. You might want to actually serve a breast of chicken on a bed of steamed spinach.
  • DCEric

    Posts: 3713

    Apr 17, 2009 11:55 PM GMT
    If you like salad, eat it raw as a replacement for lettuce. (Just keep to vinaigrettes for dressing)
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    Apr 18, 2009 12:05 AM GMT
    You could always stuff a seared chicken breast. Make a cut in the side of the breast lengthwise that goes 3/4 of the way through the meat.

    Cook the spinach in a small pan (preferably non-stick) with a little bit of butter and garlic for flavour. Stuff the cooked spinach and a low fat creamy cheese (maybe even a spoonful of cottage cheese) into the slit you made in the chicken.

    Sear the breast on both sides in non-stick pan with a teaspoon or less of olive oil, and then toss it in a preheated over (about 300 degrees) and it should be good to go in about 15 mins.

    If the frying pan is not all-metal or oven safe, just put in on a flat baking sheet.


    A good thing i've found is to buy spices and herbs and learn to cook with them. Most or low or no calorie and add a ton of flavour, and let you pretty much each the same meal, without getting bored of the taste.

    One night you can have spicy chicken, another night its diced up with tomatoes, onions, red peppers, and basil in a make-shift ragu.

    You can always throw the spinach in with other leafy greens, and raw vegetables and do a lemony vinaigrette, and pepper the chicken before tossing it into the salad.

    Just some thoughts, hope it helps.
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    Apr 18, 2009 12:09 AM GMT
    I use it on sandwiches, instead of lettuce.

    also great in omlettes with some cream cheese.
  • Timbales

    Posts: 13993

    Apr 18, 2009 12:56 AM GMT
    antelope saidTry sauteing it with oil and garlic, and a little feta cheese, if that doesn't blow the diet.


    that's my favorite way to eat spinach
  • barriehomeboy

    Posts: 2475

    Apr 18, 2009 1:06 AM GMT
    I'm more of a salad guy. Lay out a nice bed of green lettuce leaves, then throw on a layer of raw broccoli and cauliflower mixed with hellmans mayo. Add more flavor with some grated Parmesan cheese. Add a sliced mini cucumber and some sweet cherry tomatoes. That's healthy eating.Spices will turn the polyps in your colon into tumors.
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    Apr 18, 2009 1:41 AM GMT
    mix it up by trying swiss chard, kale, collard greens, mustard greens. With each of them, you can simply sautee them with olive oil or garlic. They each have their own unique flavor, so switching them up should keep your taste buds from getting bored.

    Also, throw fun stuff into your spinach salads. Toss in some orange segments and some sliced fennel. Or make some pasta with tomato sauce, and throw in some cooked spinach with some feta.

    Williams Sonoma has come out with some pretty good cookbooks dealing with healthier meals. Check em out. Their recipes have never let me down.
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    Apr 18, 2009 2:33 AM GMT
    badcat saidmix it up by trying swiss chard, kale, collard greens, mustard greens. With each of them, you can simply sautee them with olive oil or garlic. They each have their own unique flavor, so switching them up should keep your taste buds from getting bored.



    Mhmm! Greens are fun and tasty. You should try arugula and endives too. Wilted arugula is sooooo good with almost anything.

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    Apr 18, 2009 3:54 AM GMT
    Sauteeing is tasty like Antelope and Timberoo indicated...

    Also, a spinach and feta omelet is a great way to start the day...

    I eat spinach everyday, there's so much you can do with it...
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    Apr 18, 2009 10:16 AM GMT
    cesarin03 saidSo my trainer has had me introduce "very" green veggies.

    Telling me that green bell peppers, squashes, broccoli, lettuce and brussel sprouts, are a great start, but he wants to make sure i add leafy vegetables like spinash into my lunches and dinners.



    Btw, red peppers, though a bit more expensive than green, are more nutritious. Green peppers are peppers that haven't ripened fully.

    That's not to say that green peppers aren't nutritious. But red have even Vitamin C and they have a great deal of Vitamin A, which green has very little A.
  • MikemikeMike

    Posts: 6932

    Apr 20, 2009 4:49 AM GMT
    DCEric saidIf you like salad, eat it raw as a replacement for lettuce. (Just keep to vinaigrettes for dressing)


    Agreed make it baby spinach. It worked for Popeye!!
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    Apr 21, 2009 2:48 AM GMT
    Put it in smoothies with highly flavorful fruits. For example...


    1/2 C. milk
    Handful frozen strawberries
    1 scoop chocolate whey protein
    1/2 C. Orange juice
    1 tsp. Ground flax seed (optional)
    1 tbsp. Peanut Butter
    Handful Spinach.

    As long as you blend this fully you shouldn't really pick up on the texture or taste of the spinach although it will throw off the color a little and the colder the better - numbs your taste buds thus making it harder to taste.

    Kale also works well too.

    Another consideration is greens powder, but fresh is always better.
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    Apr 21, 2009 2:50 AM GMT
    Furthermore... BE SURE you are eating a small amount of fat with your spinach otherwise you will be missing out on a lot of those nutrients!
  • MCVA

    Posts: 69

    Apr 22, 2009 4:04 AM GMT
    DCEric saidIf you like salad, eat it raw as a replacement for lettuce. (Just keep to vinaigrettes for dressing)


    Spinach is actually one of those weird foods whose nutritional value exponentially increases when it is cooked. There are good books about the chemistry of cooking which relates to this.icon_idea.gif
  • MusicMan87

    Posts: 305

    Apr 22, 2009 4:19 AM GMT
    skifan08 said
    badcat saidmix it up by trying swiss chard, kale, collard greens, mustard greens. With each of them, you can simply sautee them with olive oil or garlic. They each have their own unique flavor, so switching them up should keep your taste buds from getting bored.



    Mhmm! Greens are fun and tasty. You should try arugula and endives too. Wilted arugula is sooooo good with almost anything.



    And Escarole, the Italian variation is quite good too, though i'm not sure of its nutritional value. Also I think it takes longer to cook.

    If you like it spicy, try using a little chili oil instead of olive oil, or add a little cayenne pepper or crushed red peppers. A little spice always makes things a little more interesting.

    I tend to just eat a small salad of it. I hear cooking it releases some of its nutrients.
  • Posted by a hidden member.
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    Apr 24, 2009 12:43 AM GMT
    It does! Because cooking breaks down the cellulite that makes up the cellwalls of the spinach cells thus making it more possible for you to rip them apart with your teeth and digest it's contents! We aren't cows after all and can't afford to munch upon greens all day ( How do you think that calcium got there?!)

    But... overcooking will oxidize and destroy those nutrients. So... the key is to cook them slightly, but not to reduce them to mush/burnt little pieces of ass-ish tasting ash.
  • sarmorgh

    Posts: 36

    Apr 24, 2009 2:39 AM GMT
    Pesto can be your friend! Basil is expensive in large amounts so lots of restaurants use spinach in their pesto to make it more green. You can add great leafy nutrients to pasta or use it as a spread on sandwiches. Delish!
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    Apr 24, 2009 3:11 AM GMT
    http://www.thefoodinmybeard.com/2009/02/chicken-with-balsamic-tomato-spinach-and-couscous.html

    I made this last Monday and it was sooooo good! Pretty healthy considering the only fat is the olive oil, and I used no salt added tomatoes and whole grain cous cous.

    If you try it, I bet you'll like it...
  • cesarin03

    Posts: 38

    Apr 29, 2009 4:41 PM GMT
    thanks to all the posts, i've tried a few of them and i can say that I am liking spinash A LOT more now. especially adding some herbs and spices to it, to make it more tasty.

    gracias!
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    Apr 29, 2009 4:52 PM GMT
    I must be lucky. I could eat steamed or boiled spinach (plain, no salt or butter) twice a day for weeks and never tire of it.
    It's fortunate for me since things like spinach are a good way for me to maintain some restraint, when my food of choice is refined sugar.