When I cook, I don’t follow recipes.
I’ve struggled with this and the concept of blogging because I always want to share my meals and delicious things I whip up. But how do I do that when I cook without following recipes? How much of that spice did I add? Did I forget to weigh that ingredient? I skip posting a ton of ideas and recipes because I forget to cook with this in mind.
There is one thing that is pretty constant in my cooking style: when in doubt, add spinach.
I love spinach.
Spinach Health Benefits
It’s got a ton of great health benefits:
- high in vitamins, minerals, antioxidants
- boosts eye health
- strong anti-aging properties
- increases muscle efficiency (possibly makes you popeye?)
- has anti-inflammatory properties that may help with things like arthritis, asthma, etc.
- excellent source of iron (important!)
- may help combat many cancers
It’s also super low calorie so you can add spinach to any meal without adding a lot of extra calories. It’s a great filler!
The Versatility of Using Spinach
The main benefit though and the reason why I really love spinach is because it’s so versatile. It can be eaten in so many ways and is so easy to “sneak” into meals. You can eat spinach raw in your salads, blended into a green smoothie, cooked lightly as a side dish, added to soups, added to main dishes. It doesn’t have a strong taste so you can add this nutrient packed food to almost anything and it will just settle into the existing flavors. That my friends, is an awesome food!
Tonight I added some spinach to my super quick stir-fry food dinner on brown rice pictured above. The spinach tasted just like the sauce and sriracha – it blends into dishes so well! I love utilizing spinach to give a quick dinner a bit more nutritional value.
Let’s be honest, I do this all the time.
Below are some of my other favorite examples of adding spinach to everything.
Turkey and spinach enchilada – Spinach inside enchiladas? Brilliant. This is one of the first dishes I remember making where I added spinach to something that doesn’t normally include it. I was skeptical at first but this dish won me over.
Creamy avocado and spinach pasta – Spinach hangs out in this creamy pasta making it tasty and bright! I love adding spinach to pasta dishes in various forms. Both cooked and raw spinach are fun to play with!
Turkey Quinoa Meatloaf – Putting spinach in my meatloaf is a habit. I love veggie packed meatloafs so I load mine up with things like peppers, onions, and spinach!
Crockpot Chicken & Ro-tel – Cooking something in the crockpot? Add spinach, obviously. I like to add it closer to the end of time so it doesn’t get overcooked. Almost anything you make in the crockpot could use a little spinach, right?
Seriously, I think if I make a meal I just throw in some spinach into it somewhere in teh process. It’s my number one go-to food for adding volume and veggie power to dishes.
Maybe I’m the only one, but I love adding spinach to dishes!