Spinach doesn’t only pack a mean Popeye punch when it comes to beta carotene, magnesium, vitamin K, manganese and folate, it’s also loaded with powerful phytonutrients that act as antioxidants and help protect your cells and immune function. Spinach has a delicate sweet flavor and amazing versatility when it comes to mixing, matching, pairing and preparing this leafy green for any kind or style of meal.
Spinach Quinoa Pilaf
1 cup quinoa, rinsed and drained
1 ¼ vegetable broth or water
5 cups baby spinach, roughly chopped
1 onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 tsp grass-fed butter
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
Salt & black pepper, to taste
On medium-low heat, place the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan, careful to let the butter melt without burning. Then sauté the onion until soft and translucent, about 3 minutes. Then add in the garlic and continue sautéing until fragrant, about another minute.
Add in the quinoa and toast for about 1 minute. Pour in the broth or water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer, cover, and cook until the water is almost completely absorbed, about 20 minutes.
Uncover and immediately toss the spinach, parsley and lemon zest into the hot and moist quinoa. Season with salt and pepper.
Nutrition Facts per ½ cup serving: 65 calories/2g total fat (0g saturated fat)/10g total carbs (2g dietary fiber)/3g protein
Low-calorie spaghetti squash noodles (is it spaghetti? is it squash? it’s both, but lower in carbs and tastes like neither) in parsley butter are tossed with lightly steamed broccoli and spinach amidst creamy feta crumbles, fashionably served up in rustic style – sunny yellow bowls made of the left-over squash skins.
Fat-Flushing Detox Smoothie
This clean green detox smoothie is extremely light in calories and high in detox-friendly elements like fiber, water and potassium. Drink it first thing in the morning, giving your body a chance to catch up (from your eating antics the night before), to rest, to re-alkalinize and to re-balance.
Wilted Chile-Garlic Spinach
10 cups spinach, torn
2 tsp extra-virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
1 small red chile, thinly sliced
Sea salt, to taste
1 or 2 lemon wedges
Heat oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the chile and garlic to the pan, sautéing until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Use tongs to add the spinach to the pan, tossing constantly while it wilts, about 2 minutes.
Season with sea salt. Plate the chile-garlic spinach and drizzle freshly squeezed lemon juice over top from a lemon wedge.
Nutrition Facts: 100 calories/3g total fat (0g saturated fat)/10g total carbs (5g dietary fiber)/5g protein
Strawberry Spinach Salad with Almond Slivers
Not only does this salad bring a brilliant burst of color to any table it’s featured on — it also packs a whopping amount of nutrition into just a handful of delicate, raw ingredients. Strawberries, black currants and greens are loaded with vitamin C, iron, antioxidants and fiber, carrots and purple cabbage shine with vitamin A, while almonds, sunflower seeds and avocado lend just the right dose of satiating, healthy fats and contrasting texture.
Rosemary Spinach Soup
Whole Wheat Fettuccini in Spinach Basil Pesto
12oz. package whole grain fettuccini, cooked al dente (follow package instructions)
5 cups fresh spinach leaves
5 cups fresh basil leaves
¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
Juice and grated zest from 1 lemon
3 garlic cloves
2 Tbsp pine nuts
1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Cook the fettuccini al dente, according to package instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, place the spinach, basil, Parmesan, nuts, garlic, lemon zest and juice in a food processor. Process until a paste forms. With motor still running, add oil and 1/4 cup cold water in small, gradual amounts. Process until smooth and creamy, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.
Drain the cooked pasta and place it in a large bowl. Toss the pesto with the warm pasta to coat all the noodles. Serve, sprinkled with additional Parmesan and nuts, if desired.
Nutrition Facts per ½ cup serving: 192 calories/8g total fat (1g saturated fat)/25g total carbs (2g dietary fiber)/6g protein
Green Vanilla Energy Smoothie
Gorgeously Green Greek Pancakes
These slow-carb, gluten-free pancakes are festively colorful, bright and delicious while also high in fiber and protein and low in fat and sugar.
Aside from being incredibly easy to make, these healthy chips are extremely low in calories and free of trans-fat, cholesterol, gluten and harmful acrylamides. And they’re delicious! Open your mind, heart and mouth to these crunchy green crisps, and happily discover that there truly is life after Lays.
Egg, Tomato, Spinach & Avocado Toast
Here’s a lean, nutritious and filling breakfast that will satisfy those morning tummy rumbles while energizing your morning right.
Broccoli, Spinach & Mushroom Soup
Far lighter and lower in fat and calories than classic cream of broccoli soup, this dish still boasts tons of flavor infused with fresh thyme and buttery mushroom. Red lentils thicken up the soup nicely while giving it a beneficial boost of protein.