Tag Archives: spinach

Garlicky Spinach-Sausage Gratin

I can’t seem to get enough spinach lately, I’m not sure why.  I’m not complaining though, there are worse things that I could be wanting to put in my body.  This Garlicky Spinach-Sausage Gratin has tons of spinach and tons of garlic and satisfies that crazy spinach craving.  Sausage is sautéed with onion and garlic, mixed with a combination of milk and egg, and stirred with gobs of fresh spinach to make a thick and creamy spinachy-custard.  The topping of parmesan cheese and bread crumbs, once baked, provides a slight saltiness and subtle crunch to this hearty and comforting dish.  I didn’t follow this recipe exactly and used precooked spinach-garlic chicken sausage (ironically, it’s what I had in the fridge) in place of the pork sausage, 1% milk instead of 2%, and store-bought bread crumbs instead of a fresh baguette.  Leaving the sausage out and reducing the milk slightly might make this a good vegetarian dish or even a side to a meal.  I liked this straight out of the oven as a meal in itself so next time you are craving spinach and want something other than salad, keep this in mind.  With so much garlic though, you might want to keep a stick of gum nearby.

The ingredients:

In a large pan, sauté onion and garlic in olive oil until soft.  Add in sausage, salt, and red pepper, cooking thoroughly.

Add flour to the pan and cook for 30 seconds.  In a bowl, combine milk and egg, stirring well.  Add to the sausage mixture and bring to a boil, stirring constantly.

Remove pan from heat and add in two bags of spinach, one at a time.  Stir together until spinach is wilted.

Pour mixture into a baking pan and top with bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. 

Bake at 450° for 12 minutes.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions:

  • Garlic-spinach chicken sausage
  • 1% milk
  • Store-bought bread crumbs

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

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Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup

I was a vegetarian for several years and used to make soups like this Spinach, Pasta, and Pea Soup often.  Soup is one of those great meals that can easily be made vegetarian by swapping out meaty broths for vegetable or mushroom broth (I used vegetable broth).  But sometimes, vegetarian soups can be boring and too soft.  This one has chickpeas which hold up well in the cooking process giving you something to sink your teeth into.  The lemon added a light freshness without being overbearing and the parmesan cheese gave a needed salty flavor.  Consider substituting kale for the spinach or swapping out the chickpeas for cannellini beans.  This soup was great for workday lunches and always left me feeling satisfied.

The ingredients:

Sauté garlic and green onions in olive oil until soft and fragrant.

Add broth and water and bring to a boil.

Stir in lemon rind, orzo, and chickpeas.  Cover and cook until orzo is cooked, about 10 minutes.

Stir in oregano, salt, pepper, lemon juice, and spinach.  Cook for a few minutes until spinach is wilted.

Top soup with parmesan cheese.

Additions:  None

Omissions:  None

Substitutions: 

  • Vegetable broth for chicken broth
  • Dried oregano for fresh oregano

Overall Rating:  Like It

Source:  Cooking Light Magazine

Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry

I’m a sucker for stir-fry so this Sesame Chicken Stir-Fry was a no-brainer. The original recipe from Cooking Light is actually a beef stir-fry but since I don’t eat beef, I adapted it to my liking and boy, do I like it! Thin slices of chicken are cooked and then mixed with a salty, sweet, spicy sauce and then with baby spinach. Yum! If you are watching your carbs, or even if you aren’t, please consider making this. You could easily serve it over rice to make it an even heartier meal but I like it just the way it is. The stir-fry sauce is very tasty with ginger, garlic, soy sauce, brown sugar, and crushed red pepper. Because crushed red pepper doesn’t give me the kick of heat that I usually want, next time I make this (and there will be a next time!) I’ll probably substitute it with hot chili sauce like sriracha or cayenne pepper but if you have a sensitive tongue, you can leave it out altogether. If you don’t like spinach, the versatility of this recipe allows you to switch up the ingredients. Try making it with broccoli, or if you want it make it vegetarian, try this sauce with any of your favorite veggie combinations.

The ingredients:

Slice the chicken into thin strips and cook in a pan with sesame oil.

While chicken cooks, make the stir-fry sauce by mixing together soy sauce, ginger, garlic, dark brown sugar, and crushed red pepper in a small bowl.

Remove cooked chicken from the pan and set aside. In the same pan, add green onions and stir-fry sauce and cook briefly.

Add cooked chicken slices back into the pan and mix until well coated.

Into the pan, add baby spinach and cook until wilted.

Sprinkle with sesame seeds before serving.

Additions: None

Omissions: None

Substitutions:

  • Chicken for beef

Overall Rating: Love It

Source: Cooking Light Magazine

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