Spinach is an easy way to add some colour and some vitamins and minerals to any meals, whether in a delicious leafy green salad or a warming winter casserole. Here are some delicious ways to cook with spinach
So spinach may not be the secret weapon that EC Seeger's Popeye would have you believe it is, that will grant you superhuman strength with just a few mouthfuls, but it is a very nutrient rich food that is a delicious, high antioxidant way to add iron and many vitamins and minerals to your diet.
Fun Fact: In the New York Journal cartoon that originally featured Seeger's sailor, he decided to use spinach as Popeye's superfood because when German chemist Erich Von Wolfe was researching the quantity of iron in green vegetables, he misplaced a decimal place, writing that spinach had 35 milligrams of iron per 100mg serving instead of 3.5mg.
1. Spinach casserole
This comforting creamed spinach casserole has a tang from the gruyère cheese base and a nice crunch from the panko breadcrumb topping. It's the perfect side dish for a decadent roast dinner but would also work well as a main meal, with something for the whole family.
"The perfect side dish for a decadent roast dinner"
If someone isn't a fan of the smooth, nutty flavour of gruyère, you can always substitute it with Emmental or a combination of Fontina and Parmesan which melts indulgently in a casserole.
2. Espinacas con garbanzos (spinach and chickpeas)
Spain may be famous for it's tapas, snails and delicious legs of Jámon, but they also do stew incredibly well, and this spinach and chickpea Andalusian dish is no exception. Its origins go back to the Ancient Persian and Arab traders who brought spinach to Spain in the 12th century, which remains an important ingredient in a lot of Moorish and Sephardic Jewish cuisine in Spain.
Perfect if you have any vegetarians coming over for a filling dinner, this dish can be made using only one pot and takes only half an hour! Serve it in the pot you've cooked it in so that people can help themselves, along with some good bread and plenty of olive oil, or in smaller dishes for your own take on tapas.
3. Spanakopita (Greek spinach pie)
Maintaining our Mediterranean munching for a moment, this Greek spinach pie involves (yet more!) cheese and layers of crispy phyllo pastry. Traditionally in Greece this dish is served as a side dish for large holiday dinners, but for something a little lighter (and a little quicker) it can be served with a delicious Greek salad.
"This Greek spinach pie involves (yet more!) cheese and layers of crispy phyllo pastry"
During the colder winter weather, why not serve it as the main dish with a warming winter salad? If you're cooking for a large group, it's best to make this dish in a large casserole dish, but an alternative is to make lots of little, individual spinach pies to enjoy when you want!
4. Greek spinach salad
Oh and look! What a coincidence! Here's a fresh, vibrant Greek salad, perfect for serving alongside a spanakopita, provided you're not sick of spinach by now! If only you had both recipes together in one place...
Jokes aside, this healthy Greek salad is made with nutrient rich, colourful veggies like cherry tomatoes, red onion and cucumbers, as well as the essential Kalamata olives to compliment the sweetness of the tomatoes and the healthy homemade greek vinaigrette.
5. Cacio e Pepe spinach toast
Starting your day with spinach has never been easier than when it's layered on toast, smothered in parmesan and topped with a fried egg for good measure. This cacio e pepe spinach toast from MOB can be rustled up in less than 20 minutes and is a delicious, creamy alternative to your bog standard scrambled eggs or beans on toast.
6. Green shakshuka
Traditionally, shakshuka is a North African or Middle Eastern breakfast dish that's made with chunky tomatoes, a bell pepper sauce and topped with poached eggs and coriander. This green vegan version trades the warm flavours of cumin, smoked paprika and turmeric for fresh mint, parsley and dill and is topped with plant-based yoghurt instead.
"A great dish to satiate you and set you up for the whole day"
The cannellini beans and yoghurt provide a great source of protein and the benefits of the healthy fats from the avocado are numerous, making this a great dish to satiate you and set you up for the whole day, or a delicious evening meal to tuck in to after a long, cold day.
7. Spinach gnocchi with garlic and walnut
Gnocchi, pasta's carb-rich friend full of potatoey goodness, is a quick and delicious comfort meal that you can make with any number of different sauces and flavours. If you've got the time, and the patience, this homemade spinach gnocchi with garlic and walnut requires a little more effort, but the final result is definitely worth it.
The garlic and walnut oil topping has a rich and decadent taste which is ideal for the winter weather and the parmesan cheese exudes delicious umami flavours. If you're cooking for anyone who's not a fan of eating their vegetables, this is a great way to sneak superfoods like spinach into a healthy but comforting carby dish.
Banner credit: Mariia Skovpen
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