Given the excellent nutritional properties of spinach, it would be a shame to restrict our intake of this leafy green to the occasional salad. Anyone who’s ever cooked spinach quickly realizes that a giant mound of fresh spinach reduces to a tenth of its original size. So unless you enjoy eating Volkswagen-sized salads, some cooking is in order.
Most people’s preconception of cooked spinach is the slimy stuff that Popeye pulls from a can. Judging spinach on the basis of the canned variety is like dismissing the entire Beatle’s White Album because of the song “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da”. Don’t torture yourself; fast forward to “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” and pull a nice spinach soufflé out of the oven. Life is good.
2 packages frozen spinach (10 oz. each), thawed and drained
1 cup lowfat cottage cheese
1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
½ cup egg whites
1 tsp baking powder
2 cloves garlic, minced
Dash of ground nutmeg (1/8 tsp)
Salt & pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 400-degrees F.
Combine spinach, cottage cheese, egg whites, garlic, nutmeg, and salt/pepper in a blender or food processor. Blend until you have the desired consistency. For a more textured final product, blend just until mixed. For a smoother dish, blend thoroughly.
Stir the parmesan cheese and baking powder into the blended mixture, and then pour everything into a casserole dish coated with cooking spray.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until lightly set. Test to see if it’s done by shaking the dish slightly: the center should not jiggle.
Makes a large meal for one, or 2 servings as a side dish.
Nutritional information (entire dish)
| || |
Be sure to thaw your spinach entirely before preparing this dish. This can be done in the microwave, or simply by placing the spinach in the fridge for a couple of days. Squeeze as much of the water from the spinach as you can before mixing.
If you’re in a hurry and don’t have time to bake it in an oven, use a microwave safe casserole dish, cover with plastic wrap, and cook on high for 3 minutes. Release the steam, recover, and cook on high for another 3 minutes, or until thoroughly cooked.
*Disclaimer: cooking this dish in a microwave is vastly inferior to the taste of the oven-cooked version. Do yourself a favor and spend the extra 15 minutes to cook it in the oven.
Spinach and other leafy greens pack an incredible amount of nutrients into each calorie compared to other foods. There are at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-oxidants and anti-cancer agents. In addition, spinach contains a carotenoid called neoxanthin, which both combats and helps prevent prostate cancer. Need more? Spinach is also one of the best sources of the elusive vitamin K, which helps maintain bone health. Anti-inflammatory nutrients, protecting the brain from oxidative stress, better eyesight…the list of benefits from spinach is seemingly infinite.
If you want to build the body you never thought you could have, start eating the meals you never thought you could eat! The Gourmet Nutrition e-book contains over 100 recipes and a no-nonsense nutrition plan that will show you how to make it work. Find about more about the Gourmet Nutrition e-book.
And if you want new great tasting recipes, cooking tips and nutrition strategies delivered to your inbox every two weeks, sign up for a FREE subscription to the Gourmet Nutrition Report.