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It's National Spinach Day❗

Today we celebrate the leafy green vegetable with many health benefits.


According to nationaldaycalendar.com, "An annual plant, spinach grows natively in central and southwestern Asia. Thought to have originated in ancient Persia, Arab traders carried spinach into India and later introduced it into ancient China. There it was known as "Persian vegetable." The earliest available record of the spinach plant was found in a Chinese document. It noted that the spinach plant was introduced into China via Nepal.


During her reign as queen of France, Catherine de Medici enjoyed spinach so much that she ate it at every meal. Today, dishes made with spinach are known as Florentine, reflecting Catherine's birth in Florence. 


Spinach is:

  • Eaten raw or cooked and is available fresh, frozen, or canned.

  • One of the best sources of iron.

  • An excellent source of calcium, folic acid, fiber, protein, calcium, and vitamins A, C, and K.

  • Loaded with cancer-fighting antioxidants

  • Believed to help improve cardiovascular and gastrointestinal health.


FUN FACT: There are many different types of spinach:

📍Savoy: This dark green spinach has curly leaves, and producers usually sell it in fresh bunches. 

📍Flat or Smooth Leaf:  You know this spinach by its broad, smooth leaves. It's mainly grown for canned and frozen spinach, soups, baby food, and processed foods. 

📍Semi-savoy: Its crinkly leaves have more texture than other spinach. Producers sell this hybrid variety fresh and processed.


  • Following China, the United States produces the world's second-largest spinach crop. 

  • California, Arizona, and New Jersey are the top spinach-producing states in the United States."


In honor of today, here's a few ways you can pay homage:

📍Plant some spinach in your spring garden

📍Throw out the iceberg lettuce🤮 (which has no nutritional value) and add spinach as the base for your salads.

📍Try this recipe: 𝗖𝗿𝗲𝗮𝗺𝘆 𝗦𝗽𝗶𝗻𝗮𝗰𝗵 𝗥𝗮𝘃𝗶𝗼𝗹𝗶

Refrigerated cheese-filled ravioli and vegetables are tossed in a velvety sauce for a meatless dish that comes together in no time.


Ingredients

1 package (8 ounces) mushrooms, sliced

1/2 cup chopped onion

1/2 cup diced red bell pepper

2 packages (9 ounces each) refrigerated light cheese-filled ravioli

2 garlic cloves, pressed

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

3 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese (Neufchatel)

1/3 cup fat-free evaporated milk (see Cook's Tip)

1 package (10 ounces) frozen creamed spinach in low-fat sauce, thawed

Grated fresh Parmesan cheese (optional)


𝗗𝗶𝗿𝗲𝗰𝘁𝗶𝗼𝗻𝘀

Slice mushrooms using Egg Slicer Plus®. Chop onion using Food Chopper. Dice bell pepper using Chef's Knife.

Cook ravioli according to package directions in (4-qt.) Casserole. Drain using large Stainless Mesh Colander and return to casserole; cover and keep warm.

Meanwhile, lightly spray (10-in.) Skillet with canola oil using Kitchen Spritzer. Heat on medium heat 1-3 minutes or until shimmering. Add mushrooms, onion, bell pepper, garlic pressed with Garlic Press and black pepper. Cook and stir 3-4 minutes or until vegetables are tender and all liquid is absorbed.

Reduce heat to low; add cream cheese and evaporated milk. Stir until cream cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Stir in creamed spinach. Simmer over low heat 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Pour vegetable mixture over ravioli; stir gently. Serve immediately with Parmesan cheese, if desired.


𝗬𝗶𝗲𝗹𝗱: 𝟲 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴𝘀


𝗡𝘂𝘁𝗿𝗶𝗲𝗻𝘁𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴: Calories 340 (27% from fat), Total Fat 10 g, Saturated Fat 6 g, Cholesterol 45 mg, Carbohydrate 44 g, Protein 18 g, Sodium 580 mg, Fiber 4 g


𝗨.𝗦. 𝗗𝗶𝗮𝗯𝗲𝘁𝗶𝗰 𝗲𝘅𝗰𝗵𝗮𝗻𝗴𝗲𝘀 𝗽𝗲𝗿 𝘀𝗲𝗿𝘃𝗶𝗻𝗴: 2 1/2 starch, 1 medium-fat meat, 1 vegetable, 1 fat (2 1/2 carb)


Your Pampered Chef Cook’s Tips:

The cooking time for fresh pasta is shorter than for dried pasta, so follow the package directions carefully.

Use evaporated milk to add a creamy texture and richness to dishes without adding fat. It is sold in cans and is shelf-stable for up to 6 months, making it a welcome addition to any pantry. Once open, evaporated milk should be stored in the refrigerator and used within 1 week. Be sure not to confuse evaporated milk with canned sweetened condensed milk, which contains sugar and is often used for desserts.


Egg Slicer Plus # 1182

Food Chopper # 2585

10" Stainless Steel Nonstick Skillet # 2087

Don't have these item on hand, don't panic. Pick them up here⬇️


ACTION STEP: Cook up a pan or a pot of this palette pleasing dish, throw in a sourdough rosemary bread loaf, invite friends and family over . Then let me know in the comments how it turned out or kick your kitchen up a notch by booking your cooking show here:

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