National Spinach Day is on Friday, March 26th, making it the perfect day to incorporate this superfood into your diet. We can guarantee that this green leafy vegetable is loaded with lots of nutrients. It’s high in insoluble fiber, and maintaining a high fiber diet is important for supporting overall digestive health!
One of the other great things about spinach is that it’s a very versatile vegetable. It can either be eaten raw or cooked, and it’s available fresh, frozen, or canned. So, you can add it to dishes that you’re making, or even just eat it on its own. Since there are so many ways to prepare spinach, let’s take a look at a few easy lunch recipes that you can make yourself on #NationalSpinachDay.
This healthy vegetarian quiche recipe prides itself on its simplicity. The ingredients needed for this high calcium, low carbohydrate, and gluten-free (no crust) quiche are 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil, 8 ounces of mixed wild mushrooms (sliced), 1 ½ cups of thinly sliced sweet onion, 1 tablespoon of thinly sliced garlic, 5 ounces (or about 8 cups) of fresh baby spinach (coarsely chopped), 6 large eggs, ¼ cup of milk, ¼ cup of half-and-half, 1 tablespoon of Dijon mustard, 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme leaves, ¼ tablespoon of salt, ¼ teaspoon of ground pepper, and 1 ½ cups of shredded Gruyère cheese. Now that you have all of the ingredients that you need ready to go, it’s time to preheat your oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Then coat a 9-inch pan with cooking spray and place it off to the side.
Next, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, and swirl to coat the pan. Add the mushrooms first, which you’ll cook until they’re browned and tender (about 8 minutes total). Then you’ll add the onion and garlic about three minutes later and cook until they’re softened and tender (about 5 minutes total). Make sure to occasionally stir the mushrooms, as well as the onion and the garlic. Then when you have about one to two minutes to go, add the spinach and toss it constantly until it’s wilted (about 1 to 2 minutes). Then remove the skillet from the heat.
After that, whisk the eggs, milk, half-and-half, mustard, thyme, salt, and pepper in a bowl. Fold in the mushroom mixture and cheese, and then spoon everything into the prepared pie pan. Then you’re ready to place your pan in the oven, baking it until it’s set and golden brown, which will take about 30 minutes. Let it stand for about 10 minutes, and then you can cut into and try your delicious and nutritious Spinach & Mushroom Quiche. And if you want to really go above and beyond on #NationalSpinachDay you can eat your quiche with a side spinach salad.
Who doesn’t love spinach dip? That’s what we thought. This Spinach & Artichoke Melt recipe makes it easy for you and your family to eat your favorite creamy dip for lunch, while getting all of the benefits that spinach and artichokes (also loaded with nutrients) have to offer. The ingredients required for this meal, which will make four servings, are a ½ teaspoon of kosher salt, 10 ounces of baby spinach, a 14-ounce can of artichoke hearts, a large garlic clove (finely chopped), 2 ounces of Parmesan (finely grated), 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise, juice from ½ of a lemon, freshly ground black pepper, a dash or 2 of hot sauce, 2 ounces of chilled cream cheese (cut into ½-inch pieces), ½-inch thick slices of country-style bread, 6 slices of provolone cheese, and extra-virgin olive oil, which will be used for drizzling.
To prepare this lunch that’s sure to be a hit for the whole family, start by heating your broiler. Then bring a ½ cup of water and a large pinch of salt to a simmer in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Next, add spinach (a handful at a time), allowing it to wilt slightly before adding more spinach. Make sure to use tongs, or a heatproof rubber spatula to toss the spinach as you go. Continue to cook the spinach, tossing it occasionally, until all of the spinach is wilted. This will usually take around 2 minutes. After that, drain and let the spinach cool slightly. Then squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
You’ll also want to drain the artichoke hearts, once again pressing out as much liquid as you can. Then coarsely chop the artichoke hearts and spinach and place them in a large bowl. Add garlic, Parmesan, mayonnaise, lemon juice, hot sauce, and a ½ tablespoon of salt. Mix everything together well. You can also season with pepper, if you’d like. Then gently mix in cream cheese, making sure not to fully break up pieces. Taste what you have, and add more salt if you think it’s needed.
Then arrange the slices of bread on a foil-lined rimmed baking sheet and broil until the bread is lightly toasted (about one minute on each side). Then drizzle one side of each toast with oil and add the spinach mixture on top, packing it on and making sure to cover the edges so they don’t burn. Cut two slices of cheese in half, place a slice and a half of cheese on top of each toast, and arrange the cheese so that the spinach mixture is covered. Broil the toasts until the cheese is melted and browned in spots, which will usually take about two minutes. Let it cool a little and then serve.
Did you really think we’d leave America’s favorite food out? Not a chance. This quick and easy clean eating pizza (183 calories) uses pita bread for a thin and crispy crust. To make this pizza, you’ll need a ½ cup of natural salt-free tomato sauce, ¼ to ½ teaspoon of red pepper flakes (or to taste), 2 or 3 medium cloves of garlic (finely minced), 2 whole-wheat, sprouted-wheat, or gluten-free pitas, 1 cup of loosely packed spinach (finely chopped), 2 ounces of fresh mozzarella (thinly sliced into rounds), and 2 tablespoons of minced fresh basil leaves. You can also vary the toppings based on your personal preferences.
To get started, preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Then, in a small bowl, combine tomato sauce, red pepper flakes, and garlic. Make sure to stir these ingredients well. After that, place both pitas on a baking sheet. Using a pastry brush or a spoon, evenly divide the sauce mixture between the pitas, leaving a 1/4-inch border around the edges. Sprinkle with spinach, and then arrange the mozzarella rounds over the top of the leafy greens, dividing everything evenly.
Once your pizza is laid out, bake for around 8 to 10 minutes, or until the spinach greens are wilted and the mozzarella is melted. Then remove your pizza from the oven, sprinkle with basil (dividing it evenly), and serve immediately for best taste. If you’re only eating one pizza for lunch, you can loosely wrap the remaining pizza in aluminum foil or store it in a sealable container in your refrigerator for up to two days. You can then either heat it up in the oven or enjoy it at room temperature.
Other Ways To Incorporate Spinach Into Your Lunch
You can also add spinach to pastas, soups, and casseroles, or even add the leafy green vegetable to a wrap, sandwich, or flatbread. Another option is to lightly sauté spinach in a small amount of extra virgin olive oil, and then season it with freshly ground black pepper and freshly grated Parmesan cheese. And if you’re someone who’s always on the go, you can throw a handful of spinach into a smoothie and enjoy it that way. However you choose to eat your spinach is fine with us, as long as you have fun celebrating #NationalSpinachDay this year.