Saturday, June 12, 2010

Spinach Tasties

Do you remember how, as a young child, how certain foods made you cringe? Spinach and squash did this to me. The first time I ever heard about Spinach was from the Popeye cartoons. I watched in disgust as he’d guzzle spinach from a can (barf). I had no intentions of EVER trying this food. It ranked about as low as squash, the most disgusting vegetable ever grown. My distaste was further anchored when my mom made me sit at the table until my squash was gone. I don’t remember how long I sat there but I do remember missing “It’s the Great Pumpkin Charlie Brown”. I also remember telling her that the reason all the Pilgrims died is because they had to eat squash. I was not a fan.

I’m not sure where the change occurred, maybe it was when I really started learning to cook, without a box and directions? Or perhaps it was during perhaps during the brief stint of juicing and eating raw foods? Spinach with an apple became one of my favorite energy boosting drinks. I also started eating it with salad, quesadillas, and calzones. Ironically, it has become one of my favorite greens. Who knew? I can’t say the same love has developed for squash or “squish” as I call it. I will eat it, for the sake of my children, who do love it. They prefer it heaped with butter and brown sugar; and I confess that this is how I first had to start swallowing it down. My tastes have refined though, I can now get by with olive oil, herbs and sea salt. It’s not bad. It’s not my favorite, but I will eat it and that means I’ve come a long way.

I wasn’t sure that I would be able to get spinach to grow. I planted it the same time as I did the onions. It was an experiment to say the least. The seeds are so dang tiny! I just scattered them about, said a little prayer and let Mother Earth do the rest. Well…………she did. It's grown beautifully and my only regret is that I didn’t plant MORE.

This week we feasted on a delicious spinach strawberry salad (recipe following) tasty spinach omelets, and chicken spinach salad. I love picking it and eating it fresh, I had no idea that I would love a vegetable this much and then again, I had no idea that I would have the week I’ve had. Surprises everywhere!

Here’s a delightful way to use berries and spinach, both in season right now:

Spinach and Strawberry Salad

Pick your spinach from garden, wash, tear and plop it in your favorite bowl or buy a good bunch of it from your favorite Farmer’s Market!

Pick strawberries, wash and slice or buy it from your favorite berry vendor

Toss it in a bowl with a handful of your favorite nuts, I use walnuts. Sunflower and pumpkin seeds would be great too. Then, drizzle dressing all over your creation.. I make this in my magic bullet and keep it for several more servings. A little goes a long way, this lasted a week

½ c. sugar ¼ Worcestershire sauce

2T. sesame seeds ¼ t. paprika

1T. poppy seeds ½ c. olive oil

1 ½ t.onion, minced ¼ c. vinegar

I sliced a grilled grilled chicken breast and tossed it over the spinach. Sprinkle dried licorice basil and feta cheese over the top. I added just a drizzle or two of dressing. (I went back for seconds………….and thirds!) There’s a picture of this on the June 10th post, Growing On


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