This is another of our healthy vegetarian recipes that is more of a side dish, but a very appetizing and nutritious one.
Anyone who has seen Popeye will surely know of the reputed strengthening powers of spinach. Raw spinach is one of the best ways to get the bowels moving, while cooked spinach contains valuable quantities of iron and chlorophyll, helping produce healthy red blood cells. It also contains large amounts of vitamin A, which is important for eye health. If you add a little butter to a recipe containing spinach it can help reduce its acidity.
Garlic is a member of the Allium family of plants, which also includes onions and leeks. We all know its pungent taste, used to such good effect in Mediterranean and Indian food, but this small bulb is also incredibly useful to the body. It acts to kill unwanted microbes that cause disease (one raw garlic clove is as effective as 100,000 units of penicillin!), lowers cholesterol and destroys parasites in the digestive system. Studies have also shown that garlic helps to remove toxic heavy metals from the body. Really, with so many health benefits we should all be eating a lot more healthy vegetarian recipes with garlic, both raw and cooked, and this recipe is an excellent place to start!
Black pepper is also helpful for the digestive system, stimulating the production of digestive juices that are integral in breaking down food in the stomach so its nutrients can best be utilized. Like garlic, black pepper is also effective as an antioxidant and antibacterial agent, so this dish is a good way of keeping yourself free from colds and unwanted microbes. The combination of flavors, with lemon, garlic and black pepper, is classic and very tasty, demonstrating that you can do a lot with a single vegetable to turn it into a delicious meal.
Photo: Laurel Fan
|Prep Time||5 minutes|
|Cook Time||5 minutes|
1 1/2 pounds baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons sea salt
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
lemon juice to taste
Rinse the spinach well and spin in a salad spinner. Heat the olive oil over medium heat in a large Dutch oven or pot. Saute the garlic for 1 minute. Add the spinach, salt, and pepper, stir to combine with the garlic and oil. Cover and let cook for 2 minutes. Raise the heat to high and cook uncovered for another minute, stirring, until all the spinach is wilted. Remove spinach with a slotted spoon and place in a serving bowl. Top with butter, a squeeze of lemon, and a little more salt.
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