SPINACH RECIPES: Crustless Quiche ... Tortellini and Spinach Soup ... Past and Bean Soup
By: Herald Staff Report, Grand Forks Herald
¼ pound butter
½ cup flour
6 large eggs
1 cup skim or 2 percent milk
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, cubed
1 3-ounce package cream cheese, softened
2 cups cottage cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 pound Jimmy Dean sausage (or any other kind)
1 10-ounce package frozen spinach (or fresh if you prefer)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Brown sausage (with a little onion, if you like), then drain and rinse it. Steam spinach only until it wilts. Drain. Melt butter in pan, add flour and cook roux until smooth.
In a medium bowl, beat eggs and add milk, cheeses, baking powder, salt, sugar butter/flour mixture and sausage. Stir until well-blended.
Pour into 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 45 minutes or until a knife comes out clean when inserted.
Spinach Avocado Dip
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup finely chopped shallots
1 tablespoon minced garlic
10 ounces spinach, rinsed well, tough stems removed
Coarse salt and ground pepper
2 medium-ripe Hass avocados
1 cup nonfat Greek-style yogurt
1 tablespoon plus 1 ½ teaspoons fresh lemon juice
12 ounces sugar snap peas
9 small slices pumpernickel bread, cut into triangles
In a large nonstick skillet, heat the oil. Add shallots and garlic, stirring often; cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and about ¾ teaspoon salt. Cook, covered, until spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes.
Uncover. Cook until liquid evaporates, about 7 minutes. Refrigerate until cooled, about 25 minutes.
Meanwhile, puree avocadoes, yogurt, lemon juice and ¼ teaspoon salt in a food processor until smooth.
Season with pepper. Finely chop the cooled spinach mixture. Stir into the avocado purée. Serve with snap peas and bread for dipping.
Yield: 2¾ cups
Approximate nutritional analysis per 2 tablespoons: 46 calories, 57 percent of calories from fat), 3 grams fat (no saturated), 3 grams carbohydrates, 2 grams protein, 46 milligrams sodium, no cholesterol, 2 grams fiber.
Tortellini and Spinach Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cloves garlic, chopped
½ cup white wine or dry vermouth
1 quart low-sodium chicken broth
1 9-ounce package fresh tortellini stuffed with chicken and prosciutto
1 bunch baby spinach
Freshly ground pepper
¼ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
2 sprigs fresh oregano or basil (optional)
Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the garlic; cook until golden, 1 to 2 minutes. Pour in wine; heat to a boil. Cook until the wine is slightly syrupy, about 6 minutes. Stir in the chicken broth; heat to a boil. Add the tortellini; cook according to manufacturer’s directions.
About 2 minutes before the pasta is done, stir in the spinach; cook until the spinach wilts slightly. Season with pepper to taste. Ladle into bowls; sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Garnish with oregano.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 632 calories, 34 percent of calories from fat, 25 grams fat (6 grams saturated), 55 milligrams cholesterol, 74 grams carbohydrates, 34 grams protein, 873 milligrams sodium, 6 grams fiber.
Pasta and Bean Soup
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup sliced yellow onion
½ cup sliced carrots
1 cup sliced celery
2½ cups canned low-sodium diced tomatoes (including juice)
1 cup sliced cabbage
2 ounces uncooked fusilli pasta (1 cup)
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
2 cups fresh spinach, washed
1 cup rinsed and drained canned red beans
¼ pound lean smoked ham, cubed (about ¾ cup)
2 ounces shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese (½ cup)
Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots and celery. Saute 2 to 3 minutes. Add tomatoes and 3 cups water. Bring to a boil, lower heat to medium, cover and cook 5 minutes. Add cabbage and pasta. Raise heat and boil, uncovered, 8 to 10 minutes. Stir vinegar into horseradish. Add to soup with spinach, beans and ham. Boil 1 to 2 minutes, until spinach is wilted. Add cheese and salt and pepper to taste.
Yield: Serves 2.
Approximate nutritional analysis per serving: 532 calories (22 percent from fat), 13.3 grams fat (3.4 grams saturated, 5.8 grams monounsaturated), 33 milligrams cholesterol, 34 grams protein, 73.1 grams carbohydrates, 16.8 grams fiber, 752 milligrams sodium.
Sauteed Spinach with Toasted Sesame Seeds
1 teaspoon chili oil
1 teaspoon sesame oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
1 small shallot, thinly sliced
1 teaspoon sesame seeds, plus a little more to sprinkle over the top of the finished dish
1 9-ounce package baby spinach leaves
Heat chili oil and sesame oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and shallot. Cook 2 minutes or until garlic and shallots soften. Add 1 teaspoon sesame seeds, cook 30 seconds.
Add spinach leaves and cook just until wilted, about 2 minutes. (Note: Keep an eye on it at this point, it cooks really fast and does not taste very good if over cooked.)
Sprinkle with sesame seeds. Serve.
Yield: Serves 4 as a side dish.
If you don’t grow your own, there are a few things you should know about fresh spinach when it comes to purchasing, washing and cooking it:
• When buying fresh spinach, look for the leaves to be uniformly deep green, not yellowish at all, crisp and fresh smelling.
• Unless you have no choice, don’t buy spinach prepackaged in cellophane. It is old and tough already by the time it hits the supermarket. Buy the loose leafed spinach you yourself put into the plastic bag.
• Spinach is extremely perishable and is best cooked within a few days of purchase.
• Do not rinse spinach as if it were lettuce or scrub it as if it were a potato. Fill your kitchen sink with water. Take the whole head of spinach leaves in one hand. In a firm, all at once motion, twist off the stems with the other hand. Dump leaves into the sink and, while the spinach is cleaning itself, pluck off the remaining stems.
The spinach leaves will float on top of the water. Any dirt or grit or sand will sink to the bottom. Skim the spinach leaves off the water with a colander and let the dirty water out of the sink. Repeat the process.
• To cook fresh spinach, dump the drained spinach into a pot. Leaving only the water clinging to the leaves from its wash, cover the pot and cook for 3 to 5 minutes. Spinach is a delicate leaf that cooks rapidly. If it is overcooked, it loses its tenderness and sweet flavor. It gains only in toughness and slime.