FRESH SPINACH SUPERFOOD RECIPES

Spinach is not only an amazingly versatile veggie, but it’s also an impressively healthy leafy green packed with vitamins and protein. At just seven calories a cup, eating spinach is a great way to get essential nutrients in your diet without any guilt. As a significant source of vitamin K, it helps your bones retain their calcium with one cup of spinach having about 3% of your daily intake of calcium. It contains other minerals which are useful to your bone health like manganese, phosphorus, copper, magnesium, and zinc. For your muscles, spinach contains the antioxidant coenzyme Q10, which plays a role in strengthening the heart muscle and can prevent cardiovascular disease. Eating this green veggie can also help improve eyesight and reduce the risk of cataracts. Spinach contains lutein, which helps your eyes protect themselves from the sun’s UV rays. Lutein can also help prevent macular degeneration, an eye disease which can lead to blindness if left untreated. Spinach also contains beta-carotene, which helps the eyes maintain a healthy level of moisture and has high levels of potassium, which helps lower high blood pressure. Along with potassium, spinach also contains folate, which helps relax blood vessels, further lowering blood pressure. And, it can be used to make super easy, super delicious recipes. These two recipes make it to our table on a regular basis.

SPINACH AND STRAWBERRY SALAD

A deliciously tangy and sweet summer salad. 

Serves 4

Dressing:

1 Tbs                         sesame seeds

1 Tbs                         poppy seeds

½ cup                        Extra Virgin Olive Oil

¼ cup                         rice wine vinegar

¼ tsp                          paprika

¼ tsp                          Worcestershire sauce

In a medium bowl, whisk together the sesame seeds, poppy seeds, sugar, olive oil, vinegar, paprika, Worcestershire sauce, and onion. Cover, and chill for one hour.

Salad:

10oz                           fresh spinach – rinsed, dried and torn into bite-size pieces

1quart                       strawberries – cleaned, hulled and sliced

¼ cup                         almonds, blanched and slivered

In a large bowl, combine the spinach, strawberries and almonds. Pour dressing over salad, and toss. Refrigerate 10 to 15 minutes before serving.

SPINACH, MUSHROOM OMELETTE

Omelets are the most versatile of dishes, perfect for breakfast, brunch or a light meal.

Serves 2

1                                 egg

3                                  egg whites

1 Tbs                          grated Parmesan cheese

Tbs                             Shredded cheddar cheese

¼ tsp                          salt

1/8 tsp                      crushed red pepper flakes

1/8 tsp                      garlic powder

1/8 tsp                      pepper

1 cup                         sliced fresh mushrooms

1 Tbs                          finely chopped green pepper

1 Tbs                          freshly chopped onion

½ tsp                          olive oil

In a small bowl, beat the egg and egg whites. Add cheeses, salt, pepper flakes, garlic powder, and pepper; mix well. Set aside.

In an 8-in. cast iron skillet, sauté the mushrooms, green pepper and onion in oil for 4-5 minutes or until tender. Add spinach; cook and stir until spinach is wilted. Add egg mixture. As eggs set, lift edges, letting uncooked portion flow underneath. Cut into wedges. Serve immediately.

Sue Taggart

As a child growing up in Kent “The Garden of England”, I thought that every family grew their own vegetables. I would help my grandfather in the garden and loved pulling potatoes and carrots out of the soil. These early experiences have given me a great appreciation for where our food comes from and a discerning palette for fresh, seasonal produce. As an avid reader, writing and storytelling is a passion that has only deepened over the years together with a growing concern for the health of our oceans and planet. We are facing serious issues with climate change and the clock is ticking…so it’s up to all of us to nurture and protect our home planet.