From dark chocolate to chili peppers, “superfoods” are all the rage these days — and for good reason! Superfoods are jam-packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that will make you feel fantastic both inside and out.


Among these superfoods is Popeye’s favorite pick: spinach. He may be able to eat it on its own, but if you’re a little more like me, you believe that additional flavors can bring out the best in this palatable plant. Try bringing these fantastic recipes to your table.

West African Spinach

When you think of all the ingredients that go well with spinach, I’m sure peanut butter is somewhere at the bottom of your list. But don’t rule it out just yet, because this incredible recipe calls for 1 heaping Tbsp. of it!

 

Find the recipe here: http://thealmostveganfamily.weebly.com/west-african-spinach.html

Spinach and Feta Pasta

Spinach and Feta Pasta


The complementary colors should give you an indication that this dish is a perfect balance of flavor and nutrition.


Ingredients

8 oz. penne pasta (don't use ziti — you want the ridges on the penne to "grip" the sauce)

1-2 T extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

5-6 cloves garlic, minced or pressed

1 loose cup chopped fresh mushrooms

5 cups fresh spinach (feel free to add more spinach)

1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes

4 oz. feta cheese, crumbled

Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste



Directions

1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and add pasta.  Cook according to package directions.

2. While the pasta is cooking, heat 1-2 tbsp. of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.  Add onion, garlic, and mushrooms and cook until tender.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.

3. Add tomatoes, heat through, and then add drained pasta and crumbled feta.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.  Heat through and serve; you can crumble a little extra feta on top if desired.

Vegetable Lasagna

Recipe from the book "The Food Nanny Rescues Dinner" by Liz Edmunds


You think you’ve eaten vegetarian lasagna before, but this one is truly heads and shoulders above the rest. Spinach is just one of eight vegetables found in these yummy layers.



Ingredients

12 uncooked lasagna noodles (about 6 oz.)

1 (15 oz.) carton part-skim ricotta cheese

1 egg

3/4 cup and 2 tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese, divided

1/2 cup chopped fresh basil

1 tbsp. olive oil

2 garlic cloves, minced

2 medium carrots, sliced

1/2 medium white onion, thinly sliced

1 medium green bell pepper, sliced

Salt and ground black pepper

1 medium zucchini, sliced

1 1/2 cups fresh spinach 

1 cup sliced fresh mushrooms (We never used mushrooms, so this could be optional)

1/2 cup sliced black olives

1 (26 oz) jar marinara sauce 

1 1/2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided

3 tbsp. butter

Olive oil, for drizzling (Optional)



Directions

1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees and grease a 9x13 baking dish.

2. Cook the noodles according to package directions until slightly chewy, about 10 minutes. Drain the noodles and carefully drape them over the side of a colander or lay flat on aluminum foil so they don't stick together.

3. Combine the ricotta, egg, 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese, and the basil in a small bowl. Set aside.

4. Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat and cook and stir the garlic, carrots, onion, and bell pepper until the carrots are tender, about 10 minutes.  Season with the salt and pepper.  Add the zucchini, spinach, and mushrooms.  Cook and stir until the spinach wilts (so again, you could probably add more than the recipe says) and all of the vegetables are tender, about 4 minutes.  Remove from the heat and add the olives.

5. Spoon about 1/2 cup of the marinara sauce into the pan.  Arrange four noodles, overlapping, on top of the sauce and top with one-third of the ricotta mixture, one-third of the vegetable mixture, one-third of the marinara sauce, 1/2 cup of the mozzarella cheese, and 2 tbsp. of the remaining Parmesan cheese.  Add two more layers in order - noodles, ricotta, vegetables, marinara sauce, mozzarella, and Parmesan.  Dot with the butter around the edges.

6. Bake 40 minutes or until the top is crusty. Drizzle with olive oil if desired and serve.

Spinach and Chickpeas

These ingredients are like two chickpeas in a pod, just waiting to be dressed in garlic powder, ground coriander, and lemon. Enjoy with brown rice.


Find the recipe here: http://thealmostveganfamily.weebly.com/spinach--chickpeas.html

My Cool Aunt’s "Green" Smoothie

Everyone has (or wishes they had) a “cool” aunt. You know, the one who’s more like a big sister. Well this is my cool aunt’s recipe for a Green Smoothie that will power your day from the get-go.

Find the recipe here:
http://thealmostveganfamily.weebly.com/smoothies.html



Looks like spinach is a far more versatile ingredient than a lot of you may have thought—I mean peanut butter? Who’d have thought! But these are only a few ways you can put its healthy goodness to use. Don’t be afraid to explore other options. Who knows? You might make a delicious discovery.

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