Sunday, June 12, 2011

A peaceful day, spinach, naps, My Gardner Guy is better than Popeye....

"When Popeye was fed up with this treatment in life or exhausted, he would eat spinach, which would instantly restore and amplify his strength to an even greater level. In the comic strips, spinach is presented as a panacea, infusing Popeye not only with his extraordinary strength, but also making him invulnerable to all sorts of threats (including bullets, a basilisk's petrifying gaze, or aliens' weapons) and even capable of feats like flight or extraordinarily fast swimming (usually with the aid of his pipe as a propeller)." Well thanks to Popeye I ate my spinach when I was younger, but like most children cooked spinach from the can or cooked in strong vinegar just did not appeal to me but, to be strong like Popeye I ate my greens.

Facts from Wikipedia tells us...The popularity of Popeye helped boost sales of the leafy vegetable. Spinach consumption increased 33 percent in the United States between 1931 and 1936 as Popeye gained popularity, saving the spinach industry in the 1930s. Using Popeye as a role model for healthier eating may work; a 2010 study revealed that children increased their vegetable consumption after watching Popeye cartoons. The spinach-growing community of Crystal City, Texas, erected a statue of the character in recognition of Popeye's positive effects on the spinach industry. There is another Popeye statue in Segar's hometown, Chester, Illinois, and a third in Alma, Arkansas, which claims to be "The Spinach Capital of the World," and is home to Allen Canning, which markets Popeye-branded canned spinach. In addition to Allen Canning's Popeye spinach, Popeye Fresh Foods markets bagged, fresh spinach with Popeye characters on the package.

Thank you Popeye...And thank you Fresh and Bagged Spinach, you've come a long way Popeye!!!
Georgie


Cream of Spinach... yum yum...



Ingredients:

20 ounces of fresh spinach (or 16 ounces frozen chopped spinach)
3 tablespoons butter
1 small onion diced very fine
3-4 cloves of garlic diced very fine
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1/4 cup flour
3 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules (or 3 cubes)
1 1/2 cups water
1/2 cup of heavy cream
1 1/2 cup of milk (may use can milk)
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon of nutmeg, to taste
1/4 cup of shredded Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

Preparation:

In a large sauce pan saute onions and garlic, until tender and transparent in color.

Add olive oil and stir in spinach, it will reduce in size quickly, cook until tender.

Stir in flour, salt and pepper until smooth.

Whisk in hot milk, water and bouillon.

Cook until beginning to thicken, add cheese, season with nutmeg to taste.


Get ready to enjoy a delicious creamy spinach treat!!!
Serves 3-4


Wilted Spinach Salad with Bacon & Balsamic Vinaigrette



This makes a nice meal served over a grilled chicken breast...a few pieces of garlic bread with pesto makes it a hit!!! My Gardener Guy likes it...

Ingredients:

6 cups (5-ounces) fresh spinach leaves, washed, dried, and chilled
2 slices bacon, cut into 1/4-inch pieces
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 cup minced red onion
1/4 teaspoon coarse or sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly-ground pepper
1/8 teaspoon granulated sugar
1 tablespoon good-quality aged balsamic vinegar
1 hard boiled egg
feta cheese

Preparation:

Remove stems from spinach and tear into bite-sized pieces; place spinach in a large bowl.

In a small frying pan over medium heat, fry bacon approximately 5 minutes or until crisp; transfer with slotted spoon to paper towel-lined plate, leaving fat in pan.

Return frying pan to medium heat; add oil, onion, salt, pepper, and sugar. Cook 2 to 3 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onion is slightly softened. Add balsamic vinegar; blend well.

Pour warm dressing over spinach and toss gently to wilt (when properly wilted, the leaf edges soften slightly, but the spinach retains some crunch). Sprinkle bacon over spinach, I also garnish this salad with feta cheese and a hard boiled egg chopped up, serve immediately.
Makes 3-4 servings.
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