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Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

I don’t know about about you but when June rolls around I am so ready to get my salad on! I actually love eating salads year round. But something about the warm, summer weather makes me crave salad.

And when it comes to dressing I am not a traditional girl. Ranch? No thanks. Italian? Blech. I used to always eat honey mustard (I even have over four versions of it on the blog!!), but when I had to give up mustard for two years I lost that taste too.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

My New Favorite

These days my salad dressing usually contains desiccated liver, fermented kale or aquatic greens…or all three if I’m really feeling the need to boost nutrients.

But there is one thing I always love on my salads – pesto! I usually make a really mild and simple version of pesto with peas (super kid friendly!!!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Recently I had the opportunity to try some Taylor Farms organic salad mixes. I went right for the baby spinach and popped it in the blender with olive oil, Stonyfield whole milk yogurt and seasoning. Amazing!

I served it with dinner on a bed of Taylor Farms mixed spring greens. The family loved it! My six-year old still isn’t a fan of lettuce salads. So he had cucumber, avocado and parmesan cheese topped with the creamy spinach pesto.  He sure was happy with his salad – and even asked for it again the next day!

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Kid-Friendly Greens

Creamy spinach pesto is a great way to get your kids to eat their greens. It does not taste like eating spinach (my son will vouch for that!). Plus it is combined with healthy fats like whole milk yogurt and extra virgin olive oil to help utilize the vitamins and minerals in the spinach.

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Even if your kids aren’t big salad eaters yet this creamy spinach pesto works well for dipping veggies or even chicken nuggets. We also like to eat it on noodles (pesto pasta!).

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Sometimes I’m sneaky and add a little desiccated liver. My kids don’t mind the taste since I add it to everything. It really boosts the Vitamin A content!

If you’re like me and craving a good summer salad this dressing is for you! Grab a big bowl, some Taylor Farms organic salad mix, your favorite salad toppers and a big helping of creamy spinach pesto! Summer has officially begun.

What is your favorite salad dressing? Do you make your own dressing creations?

Ready to dress up your summer salad? In less than five minutes this creamy spinach pesto salad dressing goes from the blender to your bowl!

Creamy Spinach Pesto Salad Dressing
Serves 6
A creamy green dressing the whole family will love!
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Ingredients
  1. 2 cups tightly packed spinach
  2. 1/2 cup frozen peas, thawed
  3. 2 Tbsp. plain, whole milk yogurt
  4. 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  5. 1/4 - 1/2 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  6. 1/8 tsp. garlic powder
  7. 1/8 tsp. onion powder
  8. optional: 1/8 tsp. desiccated liver, 1/8 tsp. fermented kale powder, 1 Tbsp. pumpkin seeds, 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Instructions
  1. Run warm water over the peas to thaw or let sit on the counter to thaw.
  2. In a blender combine the spinach, peas, yogurt, oil, salt, garlic, onion and optional ingredients if desired.
  3. Blend on high until smooth, scraping sides as necessary.
  4. Adjust seasoning to taste.
  5. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator up to one week.
Notes
  1. This dressing works well on salads, as a veggie dip, on pasta or for chicken nuggets.
  2. This recipe makes one cup of dressing and is easily doubled or tripled to serve at a picnic.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
I am working with Stonyfield Yogurt and Taylor Farms for this post. I have been compensated for my time but all opinions expressed are my own.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

Blueberry Spinach Smoothie: Jam Packed With Nutrients!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

School is under way. That means two things.

  1. Mornings are busy.
  2. The germs are spreading.

That doesn’t mean throw in the towel, buy boxes of cereal and say a prayer your child stays healthy.

No way! Now is the perfect time to get smart and start the day with a nutrient boost that supports the immune system. It also provides critical vitamins and minerals for focus and energy.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

The Ultimate Energy Drink

Kids need fuel for both their minds and bodies. Get it all in this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie. Fruits, vegetables and loads of vitamins and minerals.

I serve smoothies for breakfast several times a week. They are easy. And you’d be amazed how much good stuff I pack in there. This blueberry spinach smoothie is no exception.

Don’t worry – even with all that good stuff it still tastes great! All of my kids approve.

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

What makes it so nutritious?

I’m over at Kitchen Stewardship sharing this fool-proof way to get your child’s day started right. Bonus – it’s great mama fuel too! I make a blenderful in the morning and have some for my breakfast. Then when the kids get up I just puree for a few seconds again and their breakfast is ready. It really doesn’t get any easier.

Check out the full recipe here!

No need to sacrifice nutrition on busy mornings. In less than the time it takes to pour a bowl of cereal you can have this nutrient packed blueberry spinach smoothie on the table!

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew

Start the school year with nutrient dense creamy sprouted red lentil and sausage stew.  It is full of broth, vegetables and protein for a great lunch or dinner.

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

I am partnering with Bob’s Red Mill and Stonyfield for this post. I have been compensated for my time commitment to use these products. However, my opinions are entirely my own and I have not been paid to publish positive comments.

Ready or not, summer is over. The holiday has come and gone. It is back to school time for everyone.

It is also time for the weather to turn cooler and the days to be shorter.

After hot summer days it is time to return to a warm bowl of soup, freshly baked bread and hot apple cider.

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Soup is the perfect fall food. It is comforting and warm.  But it will also help boost your immune system if you include lots of homemade bone broth. Just what you need for warding off illnesses in the fall.

You can go the traditional route with chicken noodle and beef vegetable soup. Or maybe spruce it up a bit with squash or split pea.

But I’ve got a new soup for you that the whole family will love. The really great thing is that it is easy to make and packed with nutrients.

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

It starts with lentils.

Sprouted red lentil and sausage stew starts with Bob’s Red Mill red lentils. They contain lots of fiber, protein and iron. It is important to sprout them first for easier digestion and absorption of nutrients. It will also allow them to cook very quickly.

If you’ve never sprouted lentils it is so easy.  Just put warm water over them.  That’s pretty much all there is to it.

Now add bone broth, sausage and vegetables to these colorful lentils and you’ve got an amazing soup that comes together in no time.

Looking to add even more nutrition? Toss your favorite greens in during the last few minutes of cooking (I like spinach). Then top it all off with some plain Stonyfield yogurt for creaminess and healthy fat.

Your kids will love it.

Are you worried your kids won’t be willing to try lentils? No need for concern.  The lentils cook down and virtually disappear into the soup. It just looks like sausage and vegetables. But the lentils will give the soup a great texture and thickness. They make it really filling.

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Great for lunch or dinner.

You’ll want to make a big batch of sprouted red lentil and sausage stew. Have it for dinner one night. Then pack the leftovers in lunches. Simply warm it on the stove for a  minute in the morning and pack it in a thermos.

This stew also freezes well.  So you can make a double batch to eat some now and freeze a meal for another busy week night or easy lunches later on.

Red lentil and sausage stew is filling enough to be your whole meal. But we like some variety. So I serve it with crackers and cheese, bread with jam or a delicious sweet bread like pumpkin, zucchini or winter spice.

Have you ever had red lentils? Are you ready to try some?

Whether you’re new to lentils or they are a staple in your pantry, this creamy sprouted red lentil and sausage stew needs to be on your menu this fall.

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew | Homemade Dutch Apple Pie

Creamy Sprouted Red Lentil and Sausage Stew
Serves 6
A creamy, rich stew filled with sprouted red lentils and sausage.
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Ingredients
  1. 1/2 cup Bob's Red Mill red lentils
  2. 3 cups warm water
  3. 3 cups chicken broth
  4. 1/2 lb. ground sausage, cooked and crumbled OR precooked sausage, cut up
  5. 2 large carrots, cut up
  6. 1/2 cup sweet potato, cut up
  7. 1 small onion, cut up
  8. 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  9. 1 tsp. unrefined sea salt
  10. 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  11. 1/2 tsp. dried thyme
  12. 1/2 tsp. dried dill weed
  13. 1 cup plain, whole milk Stonyfield yogurt
  14. optional: 2 cups chopped greens (spinach, kale, chard)
Instructions
  1. In a small bowl combine the lentils and warm water. Let sit in a warm place or in the oven with the light on for at least 12 hours. Drain water and return to warm place for another 6 or more hours to sprout.
  2. In a large sauce pan saute the vegetables in olive oil 5 minutes.
  3. Add the broth and seasoning.
  4. Simmer 20 minutes.
  5. Add the sprouted lentils and cooked/cut up sausage.
  6. Simmer another 20 minutes.
  7. Add greens in last 3 minutes if desired.
  8. Top individual bowls with plain yogurt and stir into soup.
Just Take A Bite http://justtakeabite.com/
In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog.

This post is linked to Savoring Saturdays.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Baked Spinach (grain free, egg free, nut free, GAPS-legal)

I made quite a spread for our Christmas brunch this week.  But I did take one item off the menu because I just didn’t have time to prepare it.  So I made it for dinner last night – baked spinach.  I found the recipe on Breakfast and Brunch Recipes.  It is super easy.  I really liked it.  I think I ate half the pan last night 😛  Justin thought it would be better as a dip than as a side dish, but still thought it was good.  This can be GAPS legal if you use homemade raw sour cream.  It’s a great way to get more veggies in your diet.  As expected Rebecca didn’t eat much…too stringy.  But she did really like the flavor.  Preparing this was even easier for me last night.  I had a bunch of leftover ranch veggie dip (just a mix of sour cream and homemade ranch mix).  So I just mixed that into the spinach instead of sour cream and separate seasoning.  For cheese I used a mix of parmesan, sharp cheddar and mont. jack.  I only made a half recipe.

This post is linked to Fat Tuesday at Real Food Forager.

Baked Spinach

3 packages, frozen, chopped spinach (10-ounce package size)
2 cups sour cream
1 package dried onion soup mix (I used homemade ranch dressing mix)
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, or more (I used more than this.  Any kind of cheese will work)

Take the spinach out of the freezer the night before. When it has been thawed, place it between layers of paper towels and squeeze the water out of it until dry.

Mix together the spinach, sour cream and soup mix.  Add the grated Parmesan cheese and stir until well combined.

Grease a 9″ x 9″ square baking dish.  Press the spinach mixture flat with a spoon or spatula.

Bake for 45 minutes at 350 degrees.

Serves 6.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Pesto (grain free, GAPS-legal)

Yesterday I made a batch of pesto.  And I realized I don’t have a recipe for it posted on my blog.  I guess I don’t normally use a recipe.  I just toss in what I have on hand and taste as I go.  But I figured it might be a good idea to post a base recipe.  So I’ll do my best to give quantities.  Yesterday I used basil, spinach, walnuts and pine nuts.  You can really use any combo of greens/herbs and nuts you like.  Pesto is good on so many things (pasta, pizza, quiche, sandwiches, salads, etc.).  I realized yesterday it’s a great way for me to get more evoo in my diet.  I LOVE pesto.  I eat it plain…by the spoonful 😛  So I’ll be making it more often now I think.  The veggies are pureed, so easier on my tummy.  Plus lots of healthy fat.  And no sugar.  And ready to go any time.  Exactly what I need.  I had it yesterday for lunch mixed with avocado and raw egg yolks.  YUM!!

Pesto

1/2 cup crispy nuts (pine nuts, walnuts, pecans, pistachios or almonds work well)
3-4 cups spinach or basil (or any other green/herb you like) washed well
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 cup cold pressed EVOO (you may need more or less depending on what consistency you like)
celtic sea salt to taste
chopped garlic or garlic powder to taste

Process nuts and greens and seasoning in food processor until smooth. Pour in EVOO while processing until pesto is desired consistency.  Add cheese and process again.  Adjust seasoning if needed.  Store in the refrigerator or freezer.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Paremsan Spinach Bread (grain free, nut free, GAPS-legal)

A while back I saw a “bread” recipe on Nourished and Nurtured that I knew I had to try.  I finally got around to it last night.  This isn’t your typical bread.  It’s basically a very thin quiche.  But it holds up well like bread.  And is VERY good.  It pairs well with a lot of things.  You could top it with chicken, eat it plain, etc.  I served it plain yesterday along side pesto pea salad (topped w/ bacon and hard boiled egg).  What a great combo!!  The flavors work so well together.  Even better…spread the pesto (I made basil spinach walnut pesto with basil and spinach from our garden and crispy walnuts…I can (and do) eat that stuff by the spoonful) on the bread.  Oh my is that ever good!  I know what I’ll be snacking on today 😉  I’ll just have to try not to eat the whole loaf of bread and whole dish of pesto 😛  I will make this again for sure!  It’s a great snack for me to have on hand that isn’t sweet…something I’m having a hard time finding these days.  It’s nourishing and it tastes great.  Love it.  Justin liked it too.  Rebecca…well, she wasn’t a huge fan.  But that’s because “it has strings.”  She didn’t like the spinach in it.  She won’t eat any food with “strings.”  I think she’d like it without the spinach.  Just the eggs and cheese.  Maybe I’ll try that sometime.  I’m sure it would be very good and even more versatile.  Or you could use a little bit of pureed veggies too I bet.  If you can’t have dairy I’m guessing this would taste just fine without the cheese.  Maybe just season it with a little extra salt to compensate.  So glad I tried this.  I’m always so happy to find something I can eat for snacks and lunches to give me some variety and that agrees with my tummy.  And I love how easy/quick it is to make.

Parmesan Spinach Bread

1/2 cup frozen spinach, thawed and drained well
6 eggs, preferably from pastured hens
2 cloves fresh garlic, minced or pressed (I just used some garlic powder)
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
1 tsp. dried basil
1/4 tsp. celtic sea salt
2Tbsp. butter, at room temperature

With the exception of the butter, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Use a fork to beat all ingredients together until well-combined.

Grease a glass pie plate or 8X8 glass dish with the butter. This will make a nice thick layer of butter that will melt into the egg mixture.

Pour egg mixture into greased dish and bake at 350 degrees F until set – about 20 minutes.

Cool slightly and serve.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.

Spinach Pie

The other day Rebecca was talking about spinach pies.  I have no idea where she even heard of them.  We’ve never had them at home before.  But it actually sounded good to me (rare these days that anything sounds good).  And I remembered I had some puff pastry in the freezer (I know, not the healthiest, but not horrible when you eat it once or twice a year 😛  And right now I’ll eat anything that I can stomach.).  So I decided to come up with a spinach pie.  I did a search for recipes.  Pretty much every recipe I saw uses phyllo dough.  And almost all of them use feta…which does not appeal to me (and may not be safe?) right now.  So I came up with my own recipe.  And it turned out great!!  All 3 of us loved them.  I even managed to eat one for breakfast this morning!  First day this week eating something besides toast and peanut butter.  I didn’t measure anything while I was making them.  Just added what looked/tasted right.  So I’ll try to estimate quantities.  Definitely something I’ll make again.  Very easy and tasty.  And a great way to get some spinach into our diets.  You could prep them ahead and bake later.  These were so easy to make that Rebecca could help me.  I love that.  While prepping the filling I was worried it would be kind of mushy.  But the egg really holds everything together well.  It firmed up nicely while baking.  Almost like a quiche…but not nearly as eggy.  You could easily add some cooked bacon or ham to get more protein in these.  But they are plenty satisfying without meat.

Spinach Pie
makes 4 individual pastries

1 sheet puff pastry, thawed
1/3 cup red onion, chopped
10 oz. frozen chopped spinach, thawed, drained
1 cup ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded mont. jack cheese
salt and garlic powder to taste
1 egg

Saute onion in olive oil until soft, about 5 min.  Add spinach.  Cook until soft.  Season to taste.  Put mixture in bowl.  Add cheese (enough to make a creamy mixture) and extra seasoning if necessary.  Add egg.  Mix.

Heat oven to 400.  Roll puff pastry on floured surface until big enough to make 4 large squares.  Use pizza cutter or knife to cut into 4 squares.  Place 1/4 of filling in middle of each square.  Fold in half to make triangle.  Pinch edges with fingers.  Seal well with edge of fork.

Place on parchment or silpat lined baking sheet.  Bake for 35 min.  Let cool about 5 min. before cutting into pastries.

In order for me to support my blogging activities, I may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for my endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this blog. It will not change the cost of any products or services for you.