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14 Ways to Use Spinach (on National Spinach Day!)

14 Ways to Use Spinach (on National Spinach Day!)

What’s for dinner tonight? How about a spinach strata or farro salad? Whatever you cook, throw some spinach in, because today is the day to honor this versatile and nutritious plant. That’s right — March 26th is National Spinach Day.

Keep reading to find some fantastic ways to eat Popeye’s favorite veggie. (And if you missed the holiday, don’t worry, spinach will still taste great and give you nutrients like vitamin C and zinc whenever you choose to eat it.)

Earlier: 15 Ways to Use Artichokes

 

1. Chinese-Style Stir Fry Spinach

Feel free to adjust the seasoning to your own tastes — the amounts of garlic, chili paste and salt are more of a guideline than anything else. I, for instance, am not a big spicy food fan, and found that using about half of the chili paste is sufficient.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Tablespoons peanut oil
  • 2 Teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1/4 Teaspoon chili paste
  • Coarse salt
  • 10 Ounces fresh spinach
  • 1/4 Teaspoon granulated sugar
  • 1/4 Teaspoon sesame oil
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste

Instructions:
1. Preheat wok. Pour in oil. Swirl oil to coat bottom and half of the sides of wok. After the oil is hot, stir in garlic, chili paste and salt. Stir garlic and let the flavors bloom, 30 seconds-1 minute.
2. Stir in spinach, and cook, stirring nonstop, until the leaves have just started to wilt, about 1-2 minutes. Add sugar and sesame oil. Remove from heat, sprinkle with pepper and serve immediately.

Recipe Credit: About.com

More Spinach Recipes:
2. Spinach Croquettes
3. Creamy Spinach & Broccoli Soup
4. Spinach & Sweet Potato Curry


 

5. Spinach Strata

How can you go wrong with bread, cheese, and spinach?! For best results, prepare this the night before.

Ingredients:

  • 1 1/2 Pounds fresh spinach, stems removed and finely chopped
  • 1 Large onion, finely chopped
  • 3 Tablespoons unsalted butter, plus more to grease dish
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 Teaspoon nutmeg
  • 8 Cups cubed French bread
  • 2 Cups coarsely grated gruyere
  • 1 Cup finely grated parmesan or romano
  • 2 3/4 Cups milk
  • 9 Large eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Dijon mustard

Instructions:
1. In a large, heavy skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter. Add onions and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Add salt and pepper to taste, nutmeg and continue cooking until the flavor blooms, about 1 minute. Stir in spinach. Remove mixture from heat.
2. Butter a ceramic baking dish. Add a single layer (about 1/3) of the cubed bread and, with a plastic spatula, coat evenly with about 1/3 of the spinach mixture. Add 1/3 of the gruyere and 1/3 of the parmesan. Add a another layer of bread, then more spinach, and more cheese. Repeat with remaining ingredients for a third layer.
3. In a large bowl, whisk milk, eggs, mustard, and a little salt and pepper. Pour mixture evenly over the bread/cheese/spinach in the baking dish. Cover with plastic wrap, and transfer to the fridge. Leave it there for 8-10 hours, so the bread has the chance to absorb the milk-egg mixture.
4. Place rack in the middle of the oven, and preheat to 350 degrees. Remove strata from the fridge and let it stand at room temperature for about 30 minutes. Bake for 45-55 minutes, or until the strata is golden brown, a little puffed and totally cooked through. Let it cool for 5-10 minutes before digging in.

Recipe Credit: Gourmet.

Other Recipes:
6. Lemony Steamed Spinach
7. Spinach-Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms
8. Greek Spinach Soup with Orzo – Recipe

 

9. Spinach Salad with Quinoa and Shiitake Mushrooms

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 Cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup olive oil
  • Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Pounds fresh shiitake mushrooms, stems removed, caps wiped clean with a paper towel and halved
  • 1 1/2 Cups quinoa
  • 1 Pound spinach
  • 8 Ounces feta cheese, crumbled (optional)

Instructions:
1. Set oven rack to about 4 inches from the heat. Heat broiler. In a medium bowl, whisk vinegar, oil and salt and pepper to taste.
2. Transfer mushrooms to a large rimmed baking sheet. Pour on half of the dressing (reserving the rest) and toss. Broil for about 20-25 minutes, removing to toss a few times, until the mushrooms are tender and there’s almost no liquid remaining.
3. While the mushrooms are in the broiler, bring quinoa, 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and 3 cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Reduce heat to medium. Cover saucepan and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed by the quinoa.
4. In a large bowl, add spinach, mushrooms, quinoa and remaining dressing. Toss lightly to combine (the spinach will wilt a little. Add some feta and serve immediately.

Recipe Credit: Martha Stewart.

More Spinach Salads:
10. The Best Spinach Salad Ever (Recipe)
11. Italian Spinach Salad and Crispy Eggplant


 

I was always in the no-vegetables-in-smoothies camp — until I actually tried it. You get a good dose of greens, and you can barely notice the flavor of the spinach over the flavor of the fruit.

12. Spinach-apple Smoothie

Ingredients:

  • 1 Banana
  • 1 Granny smith apple, peeled
  • 8 Ounces fresh spinach
  • 1 Cup water

Instructions:
1. Add all ingredients to blender and blend until smooth.

Recipe Credit: food.com

See Also:
13. Cozy Tomato Spinach Soup
14. Greek Barley Salad

 

Also, check out this guide to cooking with spinach for more tips, tricks and nutrition information. Do you have your own favorite spinach recipe? Tell us about it in the comments!

 

Read more: All recipes, Appetizers & Snacks, Basics, Drinks, Eating for Health, Entrees, Food, Side Dishes, Soups & Salads, Vegan, Vegetarian, ,

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Katie Waldeck

Katie is a freelance writer focused on pets, food and women’s issues. A Chicago native and longtime resident of the Pacific Northwest, Katie now lives in Oakland, California.

192 comments

+ add your own
3:30PM PDT on Jul 2, 2014

I love spinach, thank you Katie.

6:09AM PDT on May 28, 2014

Thanks-I use spinach everyday. It's great in sandwiches+soups too!

7:16PM PDT on May 3, 2014

Thank you Katie for all your wonderful recipes. I like yours more than anyone else who posts recipes on the Food sight.

7:01AM PDT on Apr 20, 2014

This is by far my favorite leafy food!

5:46PM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

Thanks for sharing !! :)

5:20PM PDT on Apr 18, 2014

thanks

5:49AM PDT on Apr 16, 2014

Thanks for sharing.

4:58PM PDT on Apr 14, 2014

Love spinach.

3:41PM PDT on Apr 14, 2014

Love spinach strata and spinach dip, but you should be aware that eating a fair amount of raw spinach on a regular basis can scavenge certain needed minerals out of your body, so you'll need to make sure you're taking a good trace element supplement.

4:03AM PDT on Apr 14, 2014

Thank you

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