Yes, it’s been a while. The Christmas holidays were a whirlwind affair of parties and trips – not that I’m complaining. But now that it’s all over and done with, my clothes seem suspiciously tight. So in honour of all those attempting New Year diet adjustments, here is my first recipe of the year: spinach with peanut dressing.
I know that spinach is good for me – but unlike my husband, I don’t like eating it raw. So when I discovered that I loved spinach blanched with almost any kind of dressing or in soups, I was ecstatic! It also helped that the recommended daily serving of 2 cups of fresh spinach shrunk to about a quarter cup when cooked. Hoorah!
The trick to blanching spinach is to NOT OVERCOOK it. What I found works best is to get the water in a pot to a rolling boil, drop handfuls of spinach leaves into the water, and press them down into the water with a slotted spoon. As soon as the spinach has wilted enough to be able to stir (about 10-45 seconds depending on how much spinach you’re using), quickly drain away the hot water. The spinach will be bright green.
This recipe serves 2 people as a side dish.
Spinach with Peanut Dressing
- 4 large handfuls of spinach
- water for boiling (about 4 cups)
- 5 tablespoons organic crunchy peanut butter
- 3 tablespoons light or reduced salt soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon sugar (dark or white)
Bring water to a rolling boil in a pot large enough to hold the spinach.
Next, prepare the dressing by mixing the peanut butter, soy sauce and sugar. It should be a thick paste. To thin the paste, you can add about 1-2 tablespoons of the boiling water to the mix – the dressing should be slightly thicker than heavy cream.
Add the spinach to the boiling water. Quickly push the leaves into the water with a slotted spoon. Watch the spinach carefully so that it doesn’t get over cooked. This only takes seconds!
As soon as it is wilted, drain away the water.
Add all but 1 tablespoon of the dressing to the spinach in the pot. Turn quickly with a spoon until the spinach is coated.
Transfer carefully to a bowl and top with the reserved tablespoon of dressing.
Enjoy as a healthy side dish!