Cooking with Spinach!

Though I have not expressed so publicly in this blog yet, it may have become apparent to those of you who see me regularly that I have recently had an unexpected passion for living healthily.  This not only includes the running I’ve been doing, but also has included being more intentional about the quality of the food I put into my body and where it comes from (More on that later.  Every time I try to write that blog post, it ends up being an exceedingly long rant about the government.  It’s a work in progress).

Though I am much better about the foods I eat, and especially the ones I bring with me for my school lunches, I have not been great about cooking healthy recipes at home for dinners.  Honestly, most nights I end up having whole grain cereals with either almond milk or greek yogurt for dinner (much to Husband’s chagrin).  But because my dear friend Laura has been posting so very many healthy recipes on her blog, it made me feel very guilty that I wasn’t doing enough cooking with the healthy food we’re buying.

So today, I made a recipe provided by Finley’s Fresh Produce (more on them later).  I give you, my first cooked spinach recipe – Spinach with Linguini!

Tyler said when he ate it that it made him feel very fancy – that the flavors were light and subtle, and very unlike what we normally eat.  I was very pleasantly surprised as well.  It was delicious!  I was worried the plain yogurt would make it taste tart, but it just gave it some texture.  I wish I’d had more almonds, and I probably will put a bit more Gorgonzola in it next time, but it was delightfully light and summery just as is!  We will definitely make it again.

I could not BELIEVE the recipe called for an entire pound of spinach!  But again, I was later astonished to see how much it cooked down, and actually I might use more next time.

Because of the immense quantity of Spinach, I chose to break out the big guns and use our enormous stock pot.  Because it cooked down so quickly, I will likely use a normal size pot next time.  Also, I am a big fan of this Barilla Plus pasta – added protein and Omega 3’s make it even more nutrient rich!  We always use Thin Spaghetti in place of Linguini, because it’s Tyler’s favorite.

First, it overwhelms the pot, and then POOF!

Cooked down almost instantly.  I will definitely use a smaller, less heavy pot next time.

The finished product!

SPINACH & LINGUINE

1 lb linguine
1 lb spinach leaves, coarsely chopped
4 tablespoons 3xtra virgin olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 ounces Roquefort or Gorgonzola cheese mashed with a fork
1 cup whole milk yogurt
½ teaspoon coarse salt
Freshly ground black pepper
2/3 cup coarsely ground unskinned almonds
Fruity extra virgin olive oil for drizzling (optional)

Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions.   One minute before the end of cooking, drop spinach into the pot.   Drain  pasta and spinach, reserving 1 cup of cooking liquid.

In the same pan, warm olive oil over medium heat.   Add garlic and sauté 1 minute.  Add pasta and spinach, cheese, yogurt and about ½ cup or more cooking liquid, enough to moisten pasta.   Add salt, pepper and almonds and toss well.

Serve in a warm bowl or platter.   Drizzle with fruity olive oil if using. Serves 8

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