Werk Wednesday

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Sneak in the Green

Sometimes I don't like eating vegetables. Sometimes I want a big plate of macaroni and cheese in front of my face and be done with it. You too?

Unfortunately, macaroni does not deliver nutrients essential for your health.  One food that passes macaroni in the nutrition test is spinach, and taste just as great if enhanced with a few flavorful ingredients. Don't click away just yet! I have something that will please your palate.

Without giving everyone a science lesson, I will briefly include the benefits when incorporating spinach in your diet. According to the USDA, spinach is best known as a source of iron, and also offers several other key nutrients. These include calcium, potassium, vitamins C, D, K, and B9 (folate)—as well as beta-carotene, a molecule our bodies use in making vitamin A.

My favorite way to include spinach or any types of greens in my diet is through a salad or a smoothie.

Leafy lunch

Mindy's Spinach Salad
Yield: 1 serving

2 handfuls of fresh spinach (approx 2 cups)
5 or 6 fresh button mushrooms, sliced
1/4 white onion*, sliced
10 almonds, slivered
1 hard-boiled egg (optional)
Crumbled basil and herb goat cheese
A splash of light raspberry vinaigrette 

*Red onion would probably taste better. White onion is just what I had at the time.

Simple is always best in my opinion. This salad is fairly simple while the flavors are so tasteful.  The combination of the sweet onion and tangy but herby goat cheese compliments the spinach so well. I add the boiled egg simply to add protein but grilled chicken or fish would work just as great.

If you absolutely resent the taste of spinach, I will let you in on a little secret. THAT IS OKAY. However, after you press blend on a handy dandy blender or food-processor, and taste the ending result, you may change your mind about the dark, leafy green. Especially looking down at the empty glass thirty seconds later and wondering where the heck it has been your whole life. 

Green Smoothie
Yield: one serving

2 or 3 handfuls of fresh spinach 
1/2 cup of cottage cheese 
1 frozen banana
1 organic kiwi
1/4 cup of dry oats
1 tablespoon of natural nut butter
Dash of pure vanilla (optional)
Ice, if needed

There are many, many variations of green smoothies. I have found the above recipe to satisfy my taste. You can opt milk or greek yogurt for the cottage cheese and frozen berries for the kiwi. After many failures, I have found the key in making a perfect green smoothie is incorporating sweet ingredients such as banana and a dash of 'nilla. Don't let the color of the smoothie turn you off. Remember what mama always told us, "Don't judge a book by it's cover." 

 And if anyone dares to make fun of you and your green concoction, let me know and I will hit them in the head with my frozen banana and blind them with my pepper vanilla spray.



  1. try as I might, I still haven't found a salad recipe that I thoroughly enjoy :( but I shall try this and see what happens!

  2. @ericalately Let me know how you like it. I also like to add in strawberries (out of season) or apples!


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