Sunday, September 26, 2010

S is for Spinach

Oh my goodness, I am so excited about these two recipes. For real. I had a bag of spinach that I had neglected throughout the week and needed to use it asap. Spinach is, for me, one of those ingredients I could usually do without. I like spinach salads, but unless it's cooked with lots of other fatty goodness, I'm not a huge fan. I don't know how Popeye did it.

Anyway, these two recipes are amazing because they are super healthy, but super flavorful. They are both made in the blender/food processor. The pesto is so delicious, almost buttery. I didn't have any pine nuts, so I used raw almonds. You could also use this pesto over other foods, ie chicken, eggs, and whatever your little culinary heart desires.

The smoothie is a wonderful surprise. I honestly was a little hesitant to try it. I mean, spinach with a fruit smoothie? I had read about others making it, and I was curious. The result? It tasted like a frozen dark chocolate bar with blueberries. It's an amazing smoothie, because it has NO EXTRA SUGAR (que Hallelujah chorus!). It doesn't need it! You're not making a milkshake, you're making a healthy smoothie. The spinach is not noticeable at all. If I didn't know it was in there, I wouldn't have guessed it.


RECIPE 1: Spinach pesto

-pasta (I just used whatever I had left in the box...)
-4 cups fresh spinach
-1/4 cup raw almonds (no pine nuts? gasp! I had to use what was in my pantry!)
-2 cloves garlic
-1/3 cup olive oil
-1/2 cup parmesan
-salt and pepper to taste

1. Cook pasta as directed.

2. In a blender or food processor, blend together the rest of the ingredients until smooth and all of the almonds have been chopped.

3. Pour pesto over hot pasta, top with a dab of extra Parmesan and enjoy.

RECIPE 2: power "green" smoothie.

1 cup frozen blueberries
1 cup almond milk (you can also use soy or cow milk if you would like)
2 cups fresh spinach
1 heaping tablespoon of cocoa powder

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.

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