Fresh Food Friday: Spinach

It's still Friday, right? Better late than never. This Friday I wanted to talk about Spinach. 

I feel like I need to disclose that this year, despite three attempts we have not grown a single leaf of spinach. Other years however we have had quite a bit of spinach, so here's a few ways we like to eat it.

Spinach Smoothies

I already shared this recipe for spinach and berry smoothies, a couple of times (sorry if you're getting tired of it). You can see the recipe I posted before, but I really don't use a "recipe" when I make these, more like a loose formula: frozen fruit on the bottom + almond or soy milk over the frozen fruit +  big handful of fresh spinach on top + splash of juice for smooth consistency. Be creative, we try all kinds of combinations. I just love that I can get my kids to eat this much spinach and like it!

Spinach Rice Bowl

You know that we are fans of bacon around here. So sometimes we make BST (bacon, spinach and tomato) sandwiches. But I like a sort of cobb salad rice bowl even better. It's a great way to use up left over rice. Here's how we make it:

Cobb Rice Bowl
serves 2

2 cups cooked rice
1 avocado sliced or chopped
1 cup fresh spinach leaves
1 tomato, chopped or a handful of grape or cherry tomatoes
6 slices of bacon, cooked and chopped or crumbled
ranch dressing or olive oil

Divide rice between two bowls (re-heat if using left-over rice)
Stir  spinach leaves into hot rice. The hot rice will wilt the spinach, so it will taste steamed.
Top each bowl with half of the remaining ingredients.
Drizzle with ranch or olive oil, which ever you prefer, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Toss and enjoy!

Spinach Dip

I've been looking for a long time for a dip recipe that uses fresh spinach not frozen. Here's a recipe I finally came up with after combining several. There's lots of alternatives listed in case you don't have something.

Fresh Spinach Dip

3 cups packed fresh spinach
1 block cream cheese
2 tbsp white wine or water or milk
1 small can water chestnuts
1 tsp dry onion flakes or 2 tbsp chopped fresh onion
1 garlic clove minced or dash of garlic powder
1 cup shredded mozzarella

Pulse water chestnuts in a food processor a few times (until finely chopped) and set aside. Pulse spinach, wine (or milk) and cream cheese until combined. Pour the spinach mixture and water chestnuts into a sauce pan and heat over medium heat. Add the garlic, onion, salt, pepper and mozzarella. Stir often. Dip is ready when the cheese has melted and it has a creamy texture. Serve warm with breadsticks, toasted baguette slices, or crackers or serve cold with sliced veggies .

That's all for today! Hope you have a great weekend! 
- Haley


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