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Was Popeye Right?

October 13, 2009

Popeye The Sailor Man!

Popeye The Sailor Man!

When I was a kid the thought of spinach sickened me, I even decided that I was allergic to the leafy green stuff.  That’s how much I disliked spinach but like with many other things I grew to like it and now I eat the stuff any way I can get it!

I think I ate spinach more because I knew it was healthy for me but I never really knew exactly why it was so healthy.  I pretty much left it at that until I realized one day that I rarely ever got sick anymore and when I do get sick it’s not for long.

Damn, Popeye was right all along!  I just thought the cartoon makers and the vegetable growers had hatched a secret plot to use Popeye to make us eat our veggies. Nope, like any good celebrity he was using his fame and popularity for good!  Praise Popeye the Sailorman!!!

The benefits of spinach are many but beware that the positives also come with some negatives.  Let’s start with the positives.  The leafy green vegetable is rich in vitamin A and folate, it’s high in vitamin C and potassium.  It’s even a good source of protein, especially for vegetarians.  The antioxidants and bioflavonoids in spinach help block cancer causing substances.  There is an entire list of health benefits and nutritional facts here http://www.nutrition-and-you.com/spinach.html.

But it’s not so much the science behind spinach that excites me, it’s the versatility of it.  Spinach can be eaten raw, sauteed, boiled, and even in pies!  My favorite way to prepare spinach is simply sauteed with red onions, garlic and red pepper flakes.  I also add mushrooms sometimes.  It’s so simple and so delicious.  It’s my go to side dish for all sorts of meals.  Last night I served some with sweet Italian sausages and white rice.  YUMMY!

Fresh Spinach and Red Onions

Fresh Spinach and Red Onions

First I started by cooking a package of sweet Italian sausages with whole baby bella mushrooms in a little bit of olive oil.  Once the sausages are cooked I remove them from the pan and keep them warm on a plate covered with some tin foil leaving the mushrooms in the pan to continue cooking.

Sausage and Mushrooms

Sausage and Mushrooms

Next I add slices of red onions, garlic and kosher salt to taste. I cook this until the onions are tender and start browning but don’t let your garlic brown too much or you’ll end up with a bitter tasting dish.  You may need to add another tablespoon of olive oil at this point because mushrooms are like little sponges and suck up a lot of moisture.

Sauteed red onions with mushrooms and garlic.

Sauteed red onions with mushrooms and garlic.

The last step is adding the spinach to the pan of sauteed onions and garlic.  I also love adding red pepper flakes and fresh grated nutmeg.  Nutmeg adds a wonderful background flavor to any dark green vegetable that you’re cooking.  I also add some kosher salt to taste.  The spinach cooks quickly so you’ll be ready to eat in no time!

Sauteed Spinach

Sauteed Spinach

Serve the spinach immediately with the sausages and some white rice and you have a delicious meal that took no time at all to make.  One package of the green stuff will feed about 4 people or if I’m coming to dinner make two bags.  I love’s me spinach!

Sweet Italian Sausage with Sauteed Spinach

Sweet Italian Sausage with Sauteed Spinach

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Carla permalink
    October 18, 2009 10:56 PM

    Love it!! I can you see cooking that…looks very familiar

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