By Stepfanie Romine, Staff Writer
Baby spinach is one of the most versatile and nutritious vegetables you can eat. It packs all the health of heartier greens like kale and collards, with a softer texture and milder taste. Beyond adding it to a salad, what can you do with a bag of baby spinach? Plenty! Here are 13 of our favorite ideas.
After cooking a piece of meat (such as chicken), sauté spinach with some onions and garlic in the pan juices for a simple, flavorful side dish.
Stir spinach into your favorite tomato or cream-based pasta sauce. It also melds into macaroni and cheese beautifully!
Stir chopped raw spinach into the filling of lasagna or enchiladas, or layer it on before baking a casserole. It will wilt perfectly in the oven as your dish cooks.
Puree a few cups into your morning smoothie. (You won't even taste it!) Learn how to make the perfect green smoothie.
Pump up your hummus by adding steamed baby spinach to the dish and blend until smooth.
Keep pesto bright by adding spinach to the mix for a boost of nutrition and a greener appearance! (Basil tends to darken when pureed, especially if stored in the freezer for later use, but spinach will keep your basil looking green and won't change the flavor!)
Toss some spinach into your morning egg scramble. It cooks quickly so add it to the pan within the last minute or two of cooking.
Add a thin (or thick) layer of baby spinach above the sauce but under the cheese of your next homemade pie. It'll cook perfectly and add some extra veggies to your meal!
Build a better burrito by starting with a pile of spinach on your tortilla (or skip the tortilla and make it a naked burrito on a spinach base). Then layer on your meat or beans, cheese, and all the trimmings.
Make a quick, nutritious dip by combining chopped, steamed spinach with a packet of your favorite dressing and fat-free or low-fat Greek yogurt. Serve with pita chips or chopped veggies.
Turn store bought whole-wheat dough into a quick appetizer. Roll it out thinly, layer on Italian herbs, chopped garlic, crumbled feta cheese, and plenty of spinach. Roll up the dough, slice into 1-inch segments and bake at 350 degrees until golden brown.
Double-up on your side dishes when cooking grains. Just before removing cooking grains from the heat, stir in spinach. The steam from the grains (try: brown rice, quinoa or bulgur) will wilt the greens.