February 26, 2011
In my house, it is a battle to get my husband to eat vegetables, which is unfortunate since I love veggies. I am constantly trying to find new ways of cooking them to make them ‘edible’ for him. Over the years, I have found that adding garlic and butter to vegetables will make him at least give the vegetable dish a shot, so when I stumbled upon this recipe for sauteed spinach, I knew I had to give it a shot. It’s so quick and easy to make and although the picture doesn’t do it justice, it’s really flavorful. My proof that it was a good recipe? Husband finished his whole portion.
1 lb spinach (2 bunches)
2 Tbsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil + more if needed
1 Tbsp butter
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 tsp red pepper flakes
salt to taste
Cut off the thick stems of the spinach and discard. Clean the spinach by filling up your sink with water and soaking the spinach to loosen any sand or dirt. Drain the spinach and then repeat soaking and draining. Put the spinach in a salad spinner to remove any excess moisture.
Heat 2 Tbsp olive oil and 1 Tbsp butter in a large skillet on medium high heat. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and sauté for about 1 minute, until the garlic is just beginning to brown.
Add the spinach to the pan, packing it down a bit if you need to with your hand. Use a couple spatulas to lift the spinach and turn it over in the pan so that you coat more of it with the olive oil and garlic. Do this a couple of times. Cover the pan and cook for 1 minute. Uncover and turn the spinach over again. Cover the pan and cook for an additional minute.
After 2 minutes of covered cooking the spinach should be completely wilted. Remove from heat. Drain any excess moisture from the pan. Add a little more olive oil, sprinkle with salt to taste. Serve immediately.
Source: Adapted from: Simply Recipes
January 20, 2011
Spinach and Artichoke Dip
I absolutely adore spinach artichoke dip. As does my sister-in-law. So when I was planning the menu for her baby shower, I just knew this had to be on the menu, even though it didn’t fit the “miniature-food” theme.
This dip is absolutely delicious and so easy to make. I fancied it up a bit by putting it in a breadbowl, but the dip is glorious by itself in a bowl as well. It’s rich and creamy and perfect for Superbowl Sunday as well as the Sunday baby shower.
Spinach Artichoke Dip
4 cloves garlic
1 (10 oz) package frozen spinach, thawed, chopped and drained
1 (14 oz) can artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 (10 ounce) container Alfredo-style pasta sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Place garlic in a small baking dish. Bake in the preheated oven 20 to 30 minutes, until soft. Remove from heat. When cool enough to touch, squeeze softened garlic from skins.
In an 8×8 inch baking dish, spread the roasted garlic, spinach, artichoke hearts, Alfredo-style pasta sauce, mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese and cream cheese.
Cover and bake in the preheated oven 30 minutes, or until cheeses are melted and bubbly.
Cut out top of Pumpernickel loaf and rip out inside of breadbowl to use as dipping pieces for the dip.
Once the dip is slightly cooled, fill the inside of the breadbowl.
Source: Adapted from All Recipes
December 27, 2010
Winter Pear Salad
With all the heavy holiday baking and eating, sometimes you’re just in the mood for a light salad.
When Francis and I went to our friends’ Bree and Brenden’s home last week for dinner and game night, Francis insisted on making his famous ‘deep dish’ pizza. Although I absolutely adore his pizza and can’t get enough of it, it’s not exactly what one would call ‘healthy’ or ‘light’ by any means. Making this salad as a starter made me feel a little better about eating such a carb-heavy dinner that night and was very refreshing (and a night of guitar-hero helped too!)
It was a breeze to throw together and with the pears and dried cranberries had a great winter flavor.
Winter Pear Salad
For the salad
3-4 cups of of torn spinach
2 pears, chopped
1/2 cup dried cranberries or cherries
1/2 cup grape tomatoes
For the dressing
2 Tbsp water
1.5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
1 Tbsp EVOO
1 Tbsp honey
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp black pepper
Combine dressing ingredients in a bowl with a whisk.
Place slices of a couple pears in a large bowl.
Spoon 1 Tbsp dressing over pears. Toss to coat.
Add the remaining dressing, spinach, dried cranbrries or cherries and grape tomatoes. Toss to coat.
Source: The Best of Cooking Light
Photograph Courtesy of Breeana Thiede