Angie’s Creamed Spinach

Creamed spinach is such an old-fashioned side dish. Like something your great grandma would concoct for a family dinner. Old school but, there is a reason it is still around. It’s delicious and it is a comforting reminder of olden days. My mom made it. I always loved it but rarely make it. I guess I thought it was just too much work. Tonight, I attempted it using a mixture of recipes and it was delish with my pan-fried flounder. It’s a nourishing side that I know I will make again now that I have it figured out and gluten free, of course!

I think that if you double the cream cheese you could leave out the tablespoon of flour. I used white rice flour in mine. Or use more flour and no cream cheese. I used a box of frozen spinach, convenient and inexpensive. You cook it for a couple of minutes and drain it well. My recipe used a shallot, but onion will certainly work. The cream cheese is a thickener, but it also makes it so creamy. I used whole milk but saw recipes using half and half or even heavy cream; I went with a less rich approach. Up to you and your preferences. It reheats well, add a touch more milk to keep it loose and creamy. Enjoy!

I know; that’s a lot of creamed spinach! It was a small fillet of flounder. First creamed spinach in years so I kinda indulged myself…

Creamed Spinach (for 4)

Ingredients:

1 6×4 inch box of frozen spinach

2 Tbsp butter

1 small shallot or small onion, peeled and diced fine

¼ tsp garlic powder

1 or 2 Tbsp. rice flour

1-2 ounces cream cheese (one of each of rice flour and cream cheese or 2 of either of them)

¾ cup whole milk

1/8 tsp. ground nutmeg

½ tsp. sea salt and freshly ground black pepper if you like – 1/8 tsp of that

1/3-1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese; best quality

Directions:

Heat ½ cup water in a saucepan, add box of frozen spinach (I let mine thaw on countertop for nearly an hour first). Break up the spinach with a fork. Let it cook 2 minutes. Pour into a strainer and let it drain while you start the sauce.

Melt 1 tbsp butter in a 9 inch fry pan or even a wide sauce pan. Add the finely chopped shallots or onion. Cook 3-4 minutes on medium, add flour and stir, add cream cheese (I suggest you first soften it in the microwave) FYI: My stirring device was a flat whisk. Add the milk, whisk until it is well blended and smooth.  Sprinkle with nutmeg and salt/pepper and add that other tablespoon of butter. Stir while it cooks on low for 1-2 minutes. Add 1/3—1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese and stir it gently. Serve immediately.

Spinach Asparagus Garlic Saute

Don’t you just love finding new ways to make fresh, tasty veggie dishes?  I had some fresh spinach but didn’t want a salad.  I have enjoyed something like this in a Boston steak house, cost like $9 for a serving!  And there were a few spears of uncooked asparagus I wanted to use up. What to do….what to do? Wok it!

This is such a simple recipe but a great spring side dish.  I had it with some homemade chicken salad.  Good side dish if you are avoiding carbs like bread or pasta.  I have a few friends who are into low carbing so they should be thrilled.

spinach asparagus saute 017

Spinach and Asparagus Sauté

Serves 1; double or triple it as needed

Ingredients

1 big handful fresh spinach, rinsed

4 stalks of asparagus, snapped into 1 ½ inch lengths

1 garlic clove

1 tbsp. EVOL

Directions:

Steam asparagus in minimal amount of water, like 3 minutes in a small sauce pan.  Meanwhile, I used my mini wok pan to make the rest of it.  Heat pan, add olive oil.  Let heat, throw in spinach, stir once, add minced garlic clove, and stir a few times until it wilts. Add the asparagus which is barely done.  Stir for a minute and serve.

I made it another day with some kale blossom stems (unopened flowers) and that was yummy too.  You could add broccolini stems or broccoli rabe if you have some. If your asparagus is skinny you can add it with the spinach and only use one pan. This quick side dish is full of vitamins and great to enjoy with any sort of protein.