April 8, 2014

Spinach for spring

A wonderful spring vegetable, spinach is growing in many farmers' greenhouses right now. Enjoy its mineral rich content and know that your digestive tract will thank you for eating green fiber! You can substitute chard if you like, which is another delicious green member of the chenopodium family.

Spinach Rosemary Soup
Rosemary adds a complex flavor to this simple soup while helping to boost brain function and immunity.

You will need:
2 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 tablespoons rosemary, fresh
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
sea salt and black pepper to taste
2 cups red potatoes, rinsed and cubed
4 cups chicken or vegetable broth
6 cups fresh spinach (or chard)

To prepare:
Add oil to a large saucepan over medium heat. 
Add onion, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, salt and pepper, reduce heat to medium-low and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. Stir in potatoes and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes. 
Pour in broth.. Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook until the potatoes are soft, about 15 minutes. Stir in spinach (or chard) and continue to simmer until the greens are tender, about 10 minutes more.
Puree the soup with an immersion blender or regular blender (in batches), leaving it a little chunky if desired.
Serve the soup garnished with nutmeg, if desired, and topped with a spoonful of yogurt (cow or almond).

Mung Bean and Spinach Stew
This fresh spring stew will nourish you and re-vitalize your senses! Breathe in the aromas of ginger and chiles and savor their digestive power.

You will need:
3 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger

2 cloves minced garlic
1/2 teaspoon chile powder
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 teaspoons Tamari or soy sauce
4 cups mung beans, soaked overnight and cooked
1 cup water
1/2 cup fresh cilantro
2 cups fresh spinach
1 cup cooked quinoa
1/3 cup toasted pumpkin seeds

To serve:
Freshly squeezed lime juice

To prepare:
Rinse and drain mung beans. Cook in 8 cups water, skimming any foam that rises to the top. Once tender, drain and rinse once more.
Rinse and cook quinoa in 2 cups water with a pinch of salt.
Place minced garlic and ginger in a skillet with coconut oil. Saute on medium heat for 3 minutes, or until fragrant. Add chile, paprika, and Tamari. 
Reduce heat to low. Add cooked mung beans and stir together.
Add water, cilantro and spinach.
Cook on medium heat until spinaceh is wilted, about 3 minutes.
Turn off the heat, stir in the rest of the ingredients, and serve in bowls garnished with fresh cilantro and lemon juice.

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