I believe in healthy eating just as much as the next person, especially as I age. But let’s face it: if eating healthier means upping the quantity of vegetables in your diet, it takes some effort. Fresh vegetables have to be purchased, well, fresh. From the store or farmers market. Often. I remember that when I was growing up, my mother complained about making salads because she had to make them fresh each time. These days I have a little trick to combat that woe: I wash and spin a whole head of lettuce, torn and ready to go, then store it in my salad spinner in the fridge, taking out only what I need each evening. It lasts for a few days and alleviates the labor of washing and spinning the lettuce each night. As we add more vegetables to our diet, it’s also important to note that we should be getting as much nutrition out of them as possible in order to maximize the benefits of this diet change. (Not to mention justifying the extra work of keeping them in the house!) I came upon this great article at one of my favorite sites 10 Surprising Ways You Are Making Your Vegetables Less Nutritious and it has some great tips for preparation and storage as well as some interesting facts (canned tomatoes are more nutritious than fresh, say what?!).
Working more vegetables into my home menus has not been easy, since everyone has their favorites as well as those they despise. One easy recipe that everyone seems to enjoy is Garlic Sautéed Spinach. Try adding it to your rotation this week and maybe make one of your dinners meatless, like the entrée on this week’s Menu, Linguine with Green Olive Sauce and Zesty Breadcrumbs, as we all try to move toward healthier options.
Garlic Sautéed Spinach
Slice 1-2 garlic cloves and let sit 10 minutes. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in wide, deep skillet or dutch oven over medium heat and add garlic, sautéing until fragrant but not browned. Add 1 pound washed baby spinach leaves, or as much as you can fit into the pan and cover with a lid. After 2 minutes, stir, and add any remaining spinach you could not fit in the pan before. Cover pan again and cook for another minute. Stir, bringing wilted leaves to top. Cover and cook 1 minute more. Remove lid and add 1/2 tsp kosher salt, stirring well. Remove pan from heat. Optional: Add 1/2 tablespoon unsalted butter to pan before placing spinach in serving bowl. This helps cut any bitterness in the spinach.