Category Archives: Spinach

Homemade Spinach-Basil Pasta

Our Best Bites just posted a great recipe for making homemade pasta using fresh spinach and basil. It looks worth trying!


Quinoa and Sweet Potato Stuffed Shrooms

I recently discovered a recipe post online from a local aspiring chef, Tasting Independence, and HAD to try it!

You’ll Need:
2 large or 3 medium sized Portabella Mushrooms
1 Sweet Potato, cubed
0.25 cup Quinoa, uncooked
1.5 cups Spinach, fresh, lightly coated in oil
1.5 TSP Olive Oil
Salt & pepper

1. Preheat oven to 450 F and cook quinoa in 3/4 cup water.
2. Coat the potato cubes in oil.
3. Bake the potato cubes on a cookie sheet, single layer just like you do when making baked sweet potato fries.
4. Bake the potatoes for 15-20 minutes on first side. Flip and continue to bake for 10-15 minutes.
5. Add spinach on top of the potatoes and bake for 5 minutes.
6. Mix spinach/potato mixture with cooked quinoa in a large bowl.
7. Lightly oil portabella tops.
8. Stuff portabella tops with spinach/potato/quinoa mixture and bake on cookie sheet at 400 F for 15 minutes.
9. Serve!

Easy Tomato Soup

Last summer my daughter and I were on a Girls’ Day Out with some extended family. We ventured over to a little tea house and had quite a delightful afternoon (followed with some much needed window shopping). The new owner of the tea house was quite friendly and shared her recipe for our favorite tomato soup! (Needless to say I had been trying to recreate it for about a year at this point!!!)

I was shocked with how easy it was to prepare and a bit disappointed that she used canned tomatoes… but have since found the recipe to be a true delight (and lifesaver) on those rough days when the kids need lunch and I’m clearly spinning too many plates and can’t focus. It truly is my son’s FAVORITE soup of all time. (Funny… since it’s a tea house recipe.)

Of course, I had to tweak the recipe a bit, to add some health to it. Here’s what we’ve got:
2 cans of Greenwise Basil, Oregano and Garlic Diced Tomatoes (she uses Hunts)
dash or two Dried Basil
3-5 oz Baby Spinach (Beet Greens would also work well)
1 cup Heavy Cream (milk works too)
Salt (~1 TBSP)
Sugar (~2 TBSP)

Blend the tomatoes, basil and spinach in a food processor for approximately 20 seconds or until most of the chunks are gone. Pour the mixture into a pot and heat. Add salt and sugar, tasting frequently until you like the flavor. If too salty, add more sugar. If too sweet, add more salt. (Be careful not to go overboard.) Add cream (or milk) if desired and continue to heat. No need to bring to a boil after the cream has been added. Just stir thoroughly and serve.

About the Teahouse:
The original name of this delightful tea house (when I first tried the soup) was Tea by the Sea, in Berlin, MD (where Run Away Bride was filmed!!!). I believe its current name is Main Street Enchanted Tearoom. I’ll try to find some pictures of Berlin, just for fun, to add to this post real soon.

Spinach Fettuccine White Wine Alfredo with Asparagus and Fresh Spinach

You’ll Need:

8 oz. Spinach Fettuccine, cooked
1 TBSP Butter
3 Scallions, chopped
2 cloves Garlic, chopped
1 cup White Wine of choice (optional)
0.5 to 1 cup Heavy Cream
1 TBSP Flour
0.25 to 0.5 cup shredded Parmesan Cheese
0.5 lb Asparagus, steamed
2 cups Baby Spinach, raw
Salt and Pepper to taste
Cherry Tomatoes to garnish

1. Make Alfredo Sauce: Brown garlic and scallions with butter in a skillet. Add wine and cook for 10 minutes. Reduce heat to ‘low’ and add cream. Using a wire wisk, stir  in flour, parmesan, salt and pepper until lump free.
2. Pour sauce over pasta and veggies.
3. Allow pasta to steep so that spinach will steam.
4. Garnish with tomatoes if desired.
5. Serve.

Note, by adding the flour, you will have a thick alfredo sauce instead of a thin white wine sauce in this recipe.


Rainbow Chard and Goat Cheese Tart (all right… pizza)

Last night, the kids wanted pizza – and I wanted to eat it without feeling guilty.  For a few weeks now, I’ve been trying to replace the processed food that we usually eat with wholesome and clean homemade dishes.  Who needs the artificial dyes, corn syrup, and preservatives?  The up-side to homemade pizza is that you can create a healthier version that makes you feel a little less guilty about eating pizza.  I also decided that if I called it a “tart” nearly all guilt could be erased.

I used 2/3 of the dough to make a plain cheese kids pizza.  What follows are my directions for one Rainbow Chard and Goat Cheese Pizza Tart using 1/3 of a dough recipe.  As always, the ingredients can be adjusted according to your taste and veggies on hand.  You could also replace rainbow chard with kale, spinach, or any other green you might like.  If you really want to be healthy and wholesome, make your own whole wheat crust.

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • About 1/3 of a dough recipe OR 1/3 of pre-made Publix dough
  • Spaghetti Sauce or Tomato Sauce
  • 1 Bunch Rainbow Chard (washed really well to remove grit, center stems removed, and chopped).
  • Olive Oil and Garlic
  • Red Onions
  • Cherry Tomatoes
  • Goat Cheese
  • Fresh Basil
  1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.  Oil a pizza pan and line with cornmeal or ground flax seed.   Using ground flax seed adds a little nutty flavor and is really healthy.  You can find it in the organic section in Publix either in pre-ground, single-serving packets or by the bag.
  2. Roll out the pizza dough until its fairly thin and place on pan.
  3. Spread some olive oil on it and bake for just a few minutes until its a bit cooked.  This keeps the pizza from getting soggy when using toppings that tend to be soggy.
  4. In the meantime, saute the rainbow chard with olive oil and garlic until its wilted – around 10 minutes.
  5. When the crust is finished precooking, spread a thin layer of tomato sauce over it, add the chard (I used the ENTIRE bunch of chard), sliced cherry tomatoes, sliced red onions, and goat cheese.  I added salt and pepper on top as well.
  6. Cook until the crust is golden and the cheese starts to brown.
  7. Right after you take it out, add fresh chopped basil.  It’ll wilt from the heat.  You could also add a good parmesan for a little extra saltiness.

Asparagus, Chicken and Rice Soup

This is a very quick and easy recipe. Our entire family enjoyed it this evening, making it kid friendly in our home. 😉

You’ll Need:
0.5 lb of Asparagus, cut into half inch segments
8 Crimini Mushrooms, cut into quarters
2 Scallions, chopped
1 cup Brown Rice, steamed
2-3 oz of Baby Spinach
1 Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breast, cooked, chopped
32 oz. Chicken Broth

Combine the rice, chicken and broth in a pot and bring to a mild boil. Add remaining ingredients and allow to cook for 3-5 minutes. Serve immediately.

What’s even better… this is a low glycemic soup. Eat up and enjoy.

Creamed Spinach and Parsnips

Photo borrowed from

When preparing spinach for the dinner table I prefer to serve it raw or steamed. However, it’s always nice to find a new serving style. Creamed spinach is a pretty popular dish, but the addition of parsnips caught my attention. Hmmm… par-snips. 🙂 Nice. Yes, I do believe Creamed Spinach and Parsnips is worthy of a place on our dinner table.
AND… I bet you could substitute the parsnips for TURNIPS if you happen to have them lingering in your refrigerator from last week’s box. What do you think? Worth a try?

Palestinian Spinach Pie

Photo borrowed from

I absolutely LOVE spinach pies. Infact, I used to frequent a local middle-eastern cafe for the pure enjoyment of the their lentil soup and spinach pies. This Palestinian Spinach Pie recipe by is the closest spinach pie recipe I can find to those locally baked pies I have enjoyed for the past 9 years. Enjoy!

Caramelized Shallots on Homemade Pizza


Caramelized shallots make a great topping for pizza, brie en croute (like Angela’s post minus the apples), pasta, and so many other things.  Its really easy to do:

Slice the shallots into thin  circles starting from the root.  Melt about a tbsn of butter in a pan and add the shallots.  Saute until they become clear.  Add a pinch or two of sugar to the shallots and continue to saute until they become brown and a bit sticky.  That’s it!

As for the pizza, I used dough from Publix.  I used a bit of non-stick spray on the pizza sheet and then dusted the sheet with ground flax seed instead of cornmeal.  I like the crunch it adds to the crust.  I topped the pizza with caramelized shallots, sautéed spinach, and tomatoes, and finally, some Nettle’s Sausage.  The shallots gave it a great smoky taste while the Nettle’s added a bit of spice.

Nettle’s is a brand of sausage made in Lake City.  If you haven’t tried it, you must.  Its available at Ward’s in Gainesville.


Angela’s 15 Bean Soup

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One of our family’s favorite soups is an enhanced 15 bean soup. I find the bean mix at the local store, soak it over night and begin cooking the beans according to package the next day. After the beans have … Continue reading