Frozen Spinach -- what to do with it?
As I've mentioned before on this board, I am very lucky in that I have 2 small chowhounds (ages almost 3 years old and almost 11 months old). They eat everything!
When my husband was out the other night, I was feeding them dinner, which consisted of turkey meatballs and little spanakopita that I buy at Trader Joe's. I keep the spanakopita in the freezer, just to mix things up once in a while. My son, almost 11 months old, couldn't really eat the flaky pastry part (too flaky) but I was giving him the spinach/feta filling on a fork and he loved it.
So it got me thinking about how I could prepare frozen spinach in order to make it tasty, without adding a lot of fat. The only thing that I could come up with was to make a spinach/cheese bake kind of thing, so I bought low-fat cottage cheese the next day. The recipe that I have includes, frozen spinach, cottage cheese, eggs, bread crumbs (actually it really calls for matzoh meal, since it's a Passover recipe!) and some spices. It's very easy and good, but I was wondering if anyone else has any suggestions for a tasty, easy spinach dish?
Easy spinach casserole:
Sautee an onion in a couple of tablespoons of olive oil. Add a couple of cloves of chopped garlic and sautee until garlic is fragrant. Add 1/2 teas. each dried basil and oregano, optional pinch red pepper flakes, and lg. can tomatoes, either diced or whole, which need to be crushed. Simmer for about 30 min., until sauce is slightly thickened. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add 10 oz. package defrosted chopped spinach and stir. Meanwhile, cook about 3/4 lb. of your favorite short pasta in salted water until very slightly underdone. Mix pasta and sauce together, and mix in most of an 8 oz. bag of shredded mozzarella, reserving rest for top. Place pasta mix in a casserole, cover with reserved cheese, add parmesan and/or romano to the cheese on top, and bake cheese is lightly browned.
Thanks for all of the suggestions. I should have mentioned that there are some limitations at this point, since my son is only 11 months old. He can't have eggs yet, so frittatas/quiches are out. Also, he can't eat nuts yet -- not so much for allergy reasons -- more because he only has 2 teeth!
I will try some of the other suggestions, and file the rest away for the next few months when he can start eating eggs. Maybe this week I will make a baked ziti and mix the spinach in there...
Not really before around 12 months as it could lead to egg allergies. Not the yolks, but the whites.
Honestly, I don't really get it, since babies eat foods with eggs as part of the ingredients all the time, but I guess why chance it by giving them actual straight eggs -- scrambled, frittatas, etc.
I use the frozen chopped spinach from Traders in a number of ways:
- cook just enough to thaw, squeeze dry, and season with soy sauce, salt, sugar, vinegar, sesame seeds to make a Japanese style salad
- creamed spinach
- Spanish style with nuts and raisins
- Spanish style with chick peas
- cook some with rice to color
Works great for quiche. 1 package thawed and water squeezed out. Saute w/ a little chopped shallot, add S&P and nutmeg. Put into (unbaked) pie crust, top with mix of 3 large eggs and enough milk (skim is fine) to make 1 1/2 cups. Top this w/ a little grated Swiss cheese and more nutmeg. Bake at 375 for 35 mins.
A million things!
mixed into pasta
baked eggs with spinach and tomato sauce
Caldo Verde (spinach and chick pea soup)
egplant involtini filling
between baked fish fillets for a fish florentine dish
cream of spinach soup
tossed into a bean salad
stirred into mac and cheese
mixed into a chicken cacciatore dish
off the top of my head.....I love frozen spinach