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I always buy the giant tub of baby spinach, and always end up throwing away 1/3 of it, but the smaller tub is just not enough!  Bittersweet irony! Finally, one day I noticed that my spinach was looking a bit peaked, and decided to cook something with it, so I wouldn’t end up tossing it.  That was the first time I make creamed spinach, and it changed my life–sounds dramatic, totally true.

Once I untapped my love of quinoa, I decided to marry the two into a beautiful, tastey dinner treat.

The original recipe was Emeril’s, and it took a while to find one online that used fresh spinach instead of frozen.  His also called for nutmeg, shallots, and heavy cream.  I subbed in half and half, and skipped the shallots and nutmeg.

Ingredients:

  • 2 pounds spinach (not really measured precisely, I used what I had left) washed.
  • generous splash of extra virgin olive oil–Emeril called for 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp minced garlic (the kind in the jar)
  • 1/2 cup half & half

Directions:

Bring pot of salted water to a boil, add spinach and cook until bright green (about two minutes).  Dump into fine mesh strainer and press to release as much water as possible.  Chop finely and set aside.

–Note: I rinsed the spinach in cold water before dumping in the strainer so I could squeeze it out with my hands–hard to get all the water out.

Pour olive oil and garlic into sauce pan, and turn heat to medium. swish around until garlic is distributed, then add spinach.  Stir to coat spinach in olive oil garlic mixture, then slowly pour in half & half.  Keep stirring until all or most of the liquid is absorbed.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

Then, dump the creamed spinach into another container–a “holding” container, if you will, and use the same pot to prepare the quinoa.  Fewer large dishes!  What’s better than that?

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup qunioa to 1 cup water (that’s what it says on my package, anyway)
  • 1 cube vegetable bullion (adds salt and flavor to the quinoa, I’m a genius)

Rinse the quinoa thoroughly using french press or other fine sieve, add to saucepan, add water.  Once it’s heated up a bit, add the vegetable bullion cube.  Stir, stir, stir until it’s broken down, then cook until quinoa are uncrunchy.

–Note, I ended up having to add more water than the recipe called for.  That might have something to do with the salt in the bullion (?), either way, be prepared to add more.

Serve delicious spinach on a bed of quinoa, open a beer, and watch LOST season 5.