The Great Vegetable Hunt

Feed a kid a lump of green, heavy, stringy spinach and you're likely to get a look of disgust. Feed a kid spinach hidden in a dip, a pastry, a sauce or an omelet, and you'll most likely get requests for more. This same argument goes with a myriad of other vegetables...and not just for your kid, but for your husband, your wife, your neighbour, or even you!

Like I've said in my previous posts, I'm a huge fan of vegetables...especially spinach. I love it because it's dense, it tastes good, it's packed full of nutrients, vitamins and fiber and it's easy to add to a variety of dishes...making it easy to hide. Oh...and it's CHEAP! You know those frozen boxes of spinach? Those, my friends, can be as cheap as 79 cents! 79 cents for a pound of already cooked, cut, or even chopped, spinach that will make YOUR life easier and healthier!

So what exactly can you do with this leafy green? Well, I thought I would give you a few of my favourite recipes and a couple ideas. So sit down, grab your fork an knife, and try not to tuck the table cloth into your pants this time, okay?

A few things you can effectively hide spinach in (or at least make it look more palatable):

Spaghetti Sauce
Meatballs (or meatloaf)

Just use chopped spinach for these things...it's small, so even if it's noticed, it's not stringy (thus scary!) After your frozen spinach thaws, make sure to wring it all out, squeeze out ALL the water! I love this stuff because it's so cheap and versatile, but it involves no preparation besides this!

Spinach as a whole leaf is also a great substitute for lettuce. Lettuce, for the most part, is a nutritionally empty food, especially the light versions like iceberg. But spinach, as baby spinach or whole leaf spinach, has more nutrients, fiber and vitamins than lettuce, and is pretty unnoticeable, too. If you are using whole leaf spinach, make sure to cut off the long stems, or your trick will be found out!

Try using the whole uncooked leaves in:

A bed for food like tuna salad, egg salad, etc.

When it comes to washing the leaves, they can be riddled with sand or dirt. The best way to rinse them is to fill your sink with water, put the leaves in, and swish around. The leaves will float, and the dirt/sand/debris will sink to the bottom. Trust me on this one, I once had chicken and dirt and fully learned my lesson afterward. :-)

A pound of fresh spinach yields 96 calories, 352 mg of sodium, sixteen, yes, sixteen grams of fiber, and another whopping 16 grams of protein. It's also rich in Vitamin A, providing 53% of your daily value.

So try something new, or at least trick the kids into eating healthy. Spinach is easy to hide, tastes really yummy, and is healthy, but cheap!

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