Hi everyone! I hope your week has gotten off to a great start. Mine kicked off a little later than normal, and you probably just now read my “morning” post… if at all. Whoops.
Anywho, this afternoon I have something pretty simple I have been wanting to share with you for a while now, and it has everything to do with eating your greens. Any spinach fans out there?
I am sure a lot of you have heard the eat your spinach speech from many people throughout your life, and I must share that I used to be one of those who just brushed the concept off.
I mean, what if I don’t yearn to have those big Popeye arms?
You probably already know this, but the leafy green has an extremely high nutritional value and is very rich in antioxidants. Spinach is also a great source of iron and calcium, and the best way you can eat it is steamed or quickly boiled.
Keeping this in mind, I have put in an effort to get on board with it and throw it into my meals as much as I can. And you know what? Not only have I learned to tolerate it, I actually love and crave it.
Easy Ways to Eat (and love!) Spinach
(Not so new) Newsflash! You can make almost any meal effortlessly “better for you” with the addition of vegetables.
My experimenting started with throwing anything into scrambled eggs and smoothies, and over time I have come to learn that there are several ways to incorporate more greens into every day quick, impromptu meals.
Here are my favorites!
• egg scrambles and omelets
Lets begin with how my taste buds starting appreciating the green: on the stove top. Believe it or not, spinach actually tastes great in eggs.
If you are skeptical, start small by adding a tiny handful of it and mixing it with tomatoes and feta cheese. Or, you could always go Greek and add in some red peppers, onions and olives!
These days, I am prone to throw anything into my egg scramble, but spinach is almost guaranteed ingredient.
Also, don’t forget that you can order it the same way out!
• green smoothies
Three cheers for green smoothies!
I have to admit that I too was skeptical of adding the leafy green into my fruit smoothies. It just doesn’t seem to make sense, right?
Take it from me… it does, and is probably one of the easiest, less noticeable ways to start introducing spinach into your diet.
Some of my favorite smoothie combos can be found here, here, and here.
• power bowls
When I have no idea or motivation to create anything elaborate for lunch or dinner, I turn to power bowls. Basically, I throw a mixture of healthy carbs, veggies, and protein in a bowl with a little bit of cheese and hope it all tastes good together.
I love turning to containers of pre-cubed sweet potatoes or butternut squash to start with and steam those separately. Often times, I will also add quinoa or brown rice, and vegetables (which I also cook all separately).
I prefer to use ground turkey or chicken sausage, but if I am not feeling the addition of meat or tofu, I will substitute a half a can of black beans and/or chick peas instead.
The possibilities really are endless!
• monster-mix salads
Okay, this is an obvious one. But I wanted to include it for all of those lettuce, romaine and spring mix only eaters out there.
If you aren’t keen on using spinach as your base, try making a mix of it instead. While stocking up in the produce department, I always buy a variety in greens for a base. Sometimes I branch out with a container of power greens or kale, but most of the time I buy spring mix, romaine, and baby spinach all washed and ready to go.
Have you ever noticed the combos already put together for you?
Most of the time, I still wash the pre-washed greens, but that’s probably just because I am being dramatic. I promise that putting together monster salads really can be easy!
Similar to the power bowls, simply choose the veggies, protein, healthy carbs (if desired), and cheese that make sense together and you’re good to go.
(i.e., combine anything fresh and ready at your disposal.)
• wraps and sandwiches
Spinach tastes refreshing and great in wraps!
All of these pictures are self explanatory… but hey, there was also a spinach flavored tortilla thrown in there as well. (An added bonus, in case you missed it.)
• pasta, sauce and soups
Disclaimer to anyone we invite over for dinner: I try to add anything to sauces without people noticing… especially spinach. A little extra greens never hurt anyone, right?
Since Scott loves spaghetti and pasta, I have learned different ways to enjoy it without it having to be labeled a “cheat” meal. The easiest move is to use spinach or veggie noodles.
(Recipe: Healthy, Easy Chili Over Noodles.)
On top of that, I like to get creative with my sauce and throw in fresh mushrooms, peppers, and spinach if we have it on hand.
Marinara sauce with fresh spinach, tomatoes, and ground turkey on top of veggie noodles with Parmesan cheese.
If I am just not into cooking whatsoever, I will heat up a can of soup and it isn’t uncommon for me to throw a little fresh spinach in there as well.
Is that weird?
Maybe it is, but it tastes great to me!
On top of these easy ways to get you to eat spinach, they are also useful tips on how to use it once you buy it. I have to admit that I will often buy more than I need and instead of throwing it away when I think it might be turning, I throw it into a plastic bag and freeze it!
I will use this fresh frozen spinach for green smoothies, or even as an addition to sauces and soups just like I mentioned above. In fact, after scoping out the freezer food I have available, I sometimes get the inspiration to eat healthier and proceed to make something using it.
So you see? Spinach isn’t all that bad. I hope this post has helped inspire you to give it a try if you aren’t yet a fan!
Questions of the Day
• Do you eat spinach? If so, do you really enjoy it?
• What is your favorite way to cook, eat, or drink it?
Strength and Sunshine
Spinach is awesome! But lately I have been switching up my greens for more variety. And you are not crazy with re-washing “pre-washed” greens. It is much safer food safety wise to wash them yourself always!
My favorite way to eat spinach is most DEFINITELY in my green smoothies every morning! 🙂
Ashley @ My Food N Fitness Diaries
I love spinach! We pretty much always have a big bag of spinach on hand for smoothies, eggs, sandwiches/wraps, salads, etc. There’s so many great ways you can sneak it in!
I love almost all things green, and spinach is one of my favorites!! Depending on my mood I’ll drink it, or I’ll eat it!! It’s about being creative (just as you are)
Ashley @ A Lady Goes West
Oh yes, I’m a huge spinach fan. Many times I buy it frozen and pre-chopped, then throw it in smoothies, pasta, eggs, quinoa mixes or anything at all.
This is a great list you’ve prepared here, and hopefully you’ll get a few more people turned on to the great green leaf. 🙂
Runner Girl Eats
I sneak spinach into everything: salad, meatloaf, pasta, stir fry, you name it! It’s tasty and sooo good for you.
Such great healthy meal ideas here! Thanks 🙂
Krista @ Krista Mae's Healthy Ways
Mmmm all of the food looks so yummy! I love adding spinach to my smoothies…it’s such an easy way to incorporate it. No one believes me when I say you can’t taste it but it’s true!!
I love spinach! Green smoothies and chicken spinach salads are my two favorite ways to eat it!
Yay! Glad you also love to go green 🙂
I’ve been tossing spinach in a lot of different things lately (scrambled eggs, smoothies, etc), but was starting to get burnt out. This post had great timing for me, as I needed a little “spinspiration.” : )