The Dukan Diet : The revolutionary French solution for permanent weight loss

Friday, May 9, 2014

Spinach recipes

Many women under 50 are iron-deficient

Iron is important for energy because it helps deliver oxygen to every cell in your body, but it’s tricky to get because it comes in two types. Spinach and other plant sources are rich in what is called non-heme iron. Only about 2% to 20% of non-heme iron is absorbed, versus 15% to 35% of the heme iron found only in animal foods, specifically meat. Chicken liver has the most (13mg), followed by oysters (4.5mg), and beef (about 3mg).

What to do: Vitamin C helps increase your body’s uptake of non-heme iron from foods.  Add grapefruit segments to the spinach salad.

WILTED
With Skirt Steak
Sear 8 ounces skirt steak in a large skillet over high heat, turning once. Remove, let pan cool a bit, then add 2 tablespoons butter and chopped spinach; stir until it wilts, 30 seconds or so. Add 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 2 chopped tomatoes and 1/2 chopped red onion and cook another minute. Toss and top with the sliced steak; 1/2 cup crumbled blue cheese makes a nice garnish.
With Bacon
Render 4 thick bacon slices in olive oil until nearly crisp, then remove. Toss spinach with a sprig of tarragon in the rendered fat to wilt; add 1/2 pound chopped mushrooms instead of tomatoes and onion; skip the cheese and top with bacon.
With Chicken
Substitute chicken breast for steak; cook in olive oil, browning well. Wipe pan clean. Melt 3 tablespoons butter and add spinach to wilt. Add tomatoes and a handful of chopped scallions; skip the rest. Top with sliced chicken and fresh lemon juice.
STEAMED
With Parmesan
Put washed-and-still-wet spinach in a covered pot over medium-high heat. Put 2 to 4 tablespoons butter in a small saucepan over medium heat; stir occasionally until foam subsides and butter turns nut brown. When spinach is tender, after 3 to 5 minutes, drain, drizzle with butter and add 1/2 cup each toasted bread crumbs and shaved Parmesan; toss to combine.
With or Without Anchovies
Toast 2 cloves garlic in the butter, then add 1/2 cup raisins and 2 tablespoons pine nuts. (Anchovy lovers: now’s your chance.) Toss the spinach with this mixture instead of the bread crumbs and cheese.
With Cashews
Use 2 tablespoons sesame oil instead of butter, and stir in 1 chopped green chili. Add 3/4 cup cashews; cook until the cashews brown lightly. Toss with spinach, then add ¼ cup chopped scallions and 2 tablespoons lime juice. Garnish: Lime wedges.
BRAISED
With Eggs
Put 4 tablespoons butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. When it melts, add spinach, one handful at a time, stirring, and sauté until it wilts, about 5 minutes. Form 4 nests in the spinach and crack an egg in each. Cover and cook until egg whites are set, about 4 minutes. Garnish: Shaved Parmesan.
With Mussels
Chop 1 white onion and sauté it in the melted butter; add 3 tablespoons white wine. Cook spinach in this as above, and substitute 1 pound mussels for the eggs; cook until they open. Garnish: Fresh parsley.
With Soy and Ginger
Skip the butter. Put 2 tablespoons sesame oil in a large saucepan, along with 2 cloves minced garlic, 1 tablespoon freshly grated ginger and 1 tablespoon soy sauce. Add spinach and braise until completely wilted and soft, about 10 minutes.
SUPERSLOW-COOKED
With Cream
Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a deep skillet over medium-low heat; add a quarter of the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, until the spinach has absorbed the butter; then add another tablespoon butter and more spinach and stir; repeat until the spinach is all used. Add 1 cup cream and cook until the cream is thick, at least 15 minutes. Optional: Grated nutmeg to taste.
With Indian Spices
Skip butter; use neutral oil. Sauté 2 onions and 1 clove minced garlic with 1 teaspoon each cumin, coriander and cardamom. Add 1 cup coconut milk, a few tablespoons at a time, alternating with handfuls of spinach. Cook, stirring occasionally, until coconut milk is thick, 1 hour. Add 1/2 cup chickpeas and heat through.
With rice and Carrots
Put 1/2 pound carrots and 6 cups water in a pan on high heat. Bring to a boil, then add 1/2 cup rice. When it returns to a boil, add spinach and simmer. Cook, stirring, until carrots are tender, 1/2 hour. Add 3 cloves minced garlic and 2 tablespoons butter.

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