Spinach Speaks?!

Yes! To your body of course 🙂
Name(s): Spinach, Spinacia oleracea, Espinache
Fruit or Vegetable: Vegetable
Colors: Green
Origin(s): Ancient Persia (Modern Iran and neighboring countries)
Part(s) Used/Consumed: The entire leaf. 
Choose spinach that has vibrant deep green leaves and stems with no signs of yellowing. The leaves should look fresh and tender, and not be wilted or bruised. Avoid those that have a slimy coating as this is an indication of decay.
Family Plants:   Amaranthaceae Family (Swiss Chard, Beets)
Nutritional Facts-&-Values: 

Spinach

Spinach nutritional information

One cup of raw spinach contains 0.86 grams of protein, 7 calories and 0.7 grams of fiber. Potassium – 167 mg
Phosphorus – 15 mg
Magnesium – 24 mg
Calcium – 30 mg
Iron – 0.81 mg
Sodium – 24 mg
Zinc – 0.16 mg
Copper – 0.039 mg
Manganese – 0.269 mg
Selenium – 0.3 mcg
Also contains small amounts of other minerals.
Vitamin C – 8.4 mg
Niacin – 0.217 mg
Vitamin B1 (thiamine) – 0.023 mg
Vitamin B2 (riboflavin) – 0.057 mg
Vitamin B6 – 0.059 mg
Pantothenic Acid – 0.02 mg
Folate – 58 mcg
Vitamin A – 2813 mg
Vitamin K – 144.9 mcg
Vitamin E – 0.61 mg
Contains some other vitamins in small amounts.
 Fun Fact: “In 1533, Catherine de’ Medici became the Queen of France. She was so fancied by spinach that she insisted it be served at every meal. 
To this day, dishes made with spinach are known as “Florentine”, reflecting Catherine’s birth in Florence.”

Spinach:

Said to have originated from ancient Persia, making its way through most all of the European countries, including France, Spain, and England, Spinach is quite the site seer when it comes to its international job of keeping us well nourished and healthy.
Although spinach is available throughout the year, its season runs from March through May and from September through October when it is the freshest, has the best flavor, and is most readily available. 

Spinach has a high nutritional value and is extremely rich in antioxidants, especially when fresh, steamed, or quickly boiled. It is a rich source of vitamin A (and especially high in lutein), vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, folate, betaine, iron, vitamin B2, calcium, potassium, vitamin B6, folic acid, copper, protein, phosphorus, zinc, niacin, selenium and omega-3 fatty acids.

There are three different types of spinach generally available:
Savoy- Crisp, creased curly leaves that have a springy texture. 
Smooth-leaf- Flat, unwrinkled, spade-shaped leaves, while semi-savoy is similar in texture to savoy but is not as crinkled in appearance. 
Baby Spinach- Great for use in salads owing to its taste and delicate texture.

Eating these green leaves will help your vision, bones, blood pressure, immunity, skin, brain and nervous system. Plus, it curbs overeating!
Sure to satisfy any picky palette, Spinach is loved world wide, from the U.S and beyond!

If Popeye the Sailor-man hasn’t inspired you to swallow a whole can of this delicious and wholesome veggie, here are some more ideas to add to your kitchen cooking revenue:
Recipes:
Inside-Out Lasagna
INGREDIENTS
  • 8 ounces whole-wheat rotini or fusilli
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves cloves garlic, sliced
  • 8 ounces sliced white mushrooms (about 3 1/2 cups)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1 14-ounce can diced tomatoes with Italian herbs
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
  • 3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

PREPARATION

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add pasta; cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
  2. Meanwhile, heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until soft and beginning to brown, about 3 minutes. Add mushrooms, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until the mushrooms release their liquid, 4 to 6 minutes.
  3. Add tomatoes, spinach and crushed red pepper (if using). Increase heat to medium-high; cook, stirring once halfway through, until the spinach is wilted, about 4 minutes.
  4. Toss the sauce with the pasta and divide among 4 bowls. Dollop each serving with 3 tablespoons of ricotta.

NUTRITION

Per serving: 364 calories; 9 g fat ( 3 g sat , 4 g mono ); 14 mg cholesterol; 55 g carbohydrates; 0 g added sugars; 16 g protein; 7 g fiber; 588 mg sodium; 786 mg potassium.

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin A (90% daily value), Vitamin C (50% dv), Folate (25% dv), Potassium (22% dv), Calcium (21% dv), Iron (20% dv).

Carbohydrate Servings: 3

Exchanges: 3 starch, 2 vegetables, 1 lean meat, 1 fat

Ricotta & Spinach Pasta Alfredo

300g tomato flavored pasta (I used rotini, as the sauce goes nicely between the helix)

1 tablespoon olive oil

250g smooth ricotta

3 tablespoons Turkish or Greek yogurt (mine had 10% fat)

70g baby spinach, washed

50g parmesan cheese, grated

3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

small handful of fresh thyme

salt and black pepper to taste

Bring water to a boil in a large saucepan. Cook pasta according to the package instructions in salted water.

Heat up the oil in a large skillet. Add the ricotta and yogurt and bring to a simmer. Add parmesan and let it incorporate.

Add the spinach and cook for 2 minutes more. Season with lemon juice, thyme, salt and pepper.

Mix the drained pasta with the sauce and serve with parmesan cheese and some more fresh thyme.

Recipe Links:

HTTP://WWW.EATINGWELL.COM/RECIPES/INSIDE_OUT_LASAGNA.HTML

http://aboutsouffle.tumblr.com/post/24945705925/light-ricotta-spinach-pasta-alfredo

Also, to find out more about Spinach and its history and benefits please reference :
Related Links/Artwork:

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