Monday, February 6, 2012

Popeye's favourite - Spinach!

It's a funny thing but one of my daughter's absolutely favourite things I make is my version of Creamed Spinach. Nuts right? Kids don't eat spinach and they certainly don't request it. Another of her favourites is my Green Vegetable Soup which also relies pretty heavily on spinach and all the other green veggies we usually have to force feed children such as peas, brocolli and zucchini.

Last year we went to the USA on a big month-long vacation. When you travel for that long no matter who you are you miss home cooking and when you eat out alot when travelling you reach french fry overload. On more than one occasion we all fought over the veggies on someone's plate.

Anyway we rented a vacation home in Orlando for a few days with family and I was planning to make dinner so we found ourselves at the supermarket on our way home from Disneyworld when my lovely daughter said. "Mum please can you make your creamed spinach." It was boiling hot and humid and not really steamed spinach weather and I thought the others would all think I was mildly insane when I started preparing it (which they did) but when your kid asks for spinach it seems churlish to deny them.

At dinner that night I served up a bowl of this spinach and everyone (OK not the other two kids at the table who looked more than a little horrified) ate it up and loved it. So here is my recipe.

I adapted this from a great low-carb cookbook I bought about 13 years ago and loaned to someone who never returned it and I can't for the life of me remember the book's name. My version is a bit different anyway in that I add tomato and mushroom and the quantities are also different but I would thank that author for the inspiration if I could find them.

Mum's Creamed Spinach (serves 4 as a side)
1 clove of garlic crushed
1 tomato diced
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms (You can dice these as well..sometimes I do, sometimes I don't)
500g spinach (either baby spinach leaves raw or a box of frozen spinach cooked (follow directions for cooking)...I have also used the leaves of Swiss chard but I like that less)
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese grated
1/2 cup cream (more or less to suit your taste)
olive oil for cooking

1. Heat oil in fry pan. Add garlic, tomato and mushrooms and cook till mushrooms soft.
2. Add spinach and stir fry till wilted (You may want to pop the lid on a minute or two). If using frozen spinach stir till warmed through.
3. Add nutmeg and cream to combine. Toss in cheese and stir until melted.


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