Life is not a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, totally worn out & proclaiming “Wow, What a Ride!”

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

meal ideas ~ for the love of spinach

I love, love, love fresh spinach, actually have been known to grab a handful right out of the bag and munch it down for a snack. With its low glycemic index and wealth of vitamins, minerals, and phytochemicals, spinach is a nutritional powerhouse.  Here are a couple of my favorite recipes: a main dish, dip, and side-dish.  Even if you don’t care for spinach, you should give these a try.

Garlic Shrimp on Spinach
Featuring fresh shrimp, garlic, olive oil, lemon, and Parmesan, this main dish will have you daydreaming about Italy's Amalfi Coast.

8 ounces fresh or frozen medium shrimp in shells
2 teaspoons olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon finely shredded lemon peel
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
4 cups fresh spinach
1 tablespoon shredded Parmesan cheese
Lemon wedges

 Thaw shrimp, if frozen. Peel and devein shrimp, leaving tails on if desired. In a small bowl, toss together shrimp, oil, garlic, lemon peel, and pepper. Place a steamer basket in a wok or large skillet with a tight-fitting lid. Add water to just below the basket.

 Place shrimp in a single layer in steamer basket. Cover and place over medium-high heat. Steam for 5 to 6 minutes or until shrimp are opaque (start timing when wok is placed on the burner). Remove shrimp and keep warm.

 Meanwhile, wash spinach. Arrange spinach evenly in steamer basket. Cover and steam about 2 minutes (start timing immediately) or until wilted. Divide spinach between two serving plates. If desired, thread shrimp onto 6- to 8-inch wooden skewers. Place shrimp on top of spinach. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese. Serve with lemonwedges. Makes 2 servings.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 159 cal., 7 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 131 mg chol., 216 mg sodium, 4 g carb. (1 g fiber), 20 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges  Lean Meat (d.e): 2.5; Fat (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 1;

Thai Spinach Dip
Low in fat and rich in flavor, your guests will love this spicy appetizer paired with crisp, cool veggie dippers. You'll love how easy it is to make.

1 cup chopped fresh spinach
8 - ounce carton light dairy sour cream
8 - ounce carton plain low-fat yogurt
1/4 cup snipped fresh mint
1/4 cup finely chopped peanuts
1/4 cup peanut butter
1 tablespoon honey
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 -2 teaspoons crushed red pepper
Chopped peanuts (optional)
 Fresh mint leaves (optional)
 Assorted vegetable dippers (such as peeled baby carrots, zucchini slices, pea pods, yellow summer squash sticks, and/or red sweet pepper strips)

 In a medium bowl, combine spinach, sour cream, and yogurt. Stir in the snipped mint, the 1/4 cup chopped peanuts, the peanut butter, honey, soy sauce, and crushed red pepper. Cover and chill for at least 2 hours. If desired, garnish with additional chopped peanuts and fresh mint leaves. Serve with vegetable dippers.

 Dip may be stored in refrigerator for up to 24 hours.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving:  56 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 4 mg chol., 61 mg sodium, 4 g carb. (3 g sugars), 3 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges  High-Fat Meat (d.e): 0.5;

Spinach and Garbanzo Beans
The delicate tastes of shallot and pine nuts make this a perfect accompaniment to any special meal. Low in calories and high in calcium, this spinach recipe is a nutrition-packed side.

2 teaspoons olive oil
1 tablespoon chopped shallot
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 cup canned garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
9 oz package fresh spinach, chopped (8 cups)
1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce

 In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add shallot, pine nuts, and garlic; cook about 3 minutes or until shallot is tender. Stir in the garbanzo beans; cook and stir for 1 minute more.
 Gradually add the spinach and soy sauce to skillet and toss lightly just until spinach is wilted. Transfer spinach mixture to a serving bowl. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts Per Serving: 90 cal., 4 g total fat (1 g sat. fat), 272 mg sodium, 11 g carb. (3 g fiber, 2 g sugars), 4 g pro. Diabetic Exchanges Fat (d.e): 1; Vegetables (d.e): 1.5;

 P.S.~ I love, love, love garbanzo beans too. :)

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