Sunday, February 24, 2013

Two veggie side dishes that will make you a spinach and sprout fan.

Hello, lovelies, and a happy Sunday to you all! I hope you're all having a relaxing, fun, and/or productive day. Sunday is usually the day when I catch up on laundry, cleaning, and TV shows. It's also an opportunity for me to make a more elaborate or time-consuming dinner. However, I still haven't figured out what I'm cooking tonight, so we'll leave this subject quite quickly :)

During the week, I don't have a lot of time to make a healthy meal after I get home from work. The easiest way for me to get veggies into dinner is to cook frozen broccoli or corn. However, there are two fresh veggie sides in my repertoire that are not only fast, but they make two highly unlovable vegetables into irresistible delights. Until very recently, I myself was NOT a fan of either spinach or brussel sprouts. I remember having frozen or even canned (oh my god, so disgusting) brussel sprouts and spinach as a child and absolutely hating them. Naturally, I avoided them both throughout my adolescence as though they were plagued. If you also turn your nose up at these two veggies, let's see if I can make you a believer.

First up is my Vinegar-Sauteed Spinach. This takes a grand total of 10 minutes from start to finish and only requires 3 ingredients: garlic, white vinegar, and fresh spinach.

Start with a medium frying pan over low-medium heat. When the pan is warm, pour enough vinegar in to coat the bottom of the pan. This may seem like a lot initially, but some of it will evaporate. Dice up 2 or 3 garlic cloves and plop them atop the vinegar.

Simmer the garlic until it is soft, about 4 minutes.

Add a TON of spinach. Spinach wilts down significantly. For two people, I filled the pan again once this first batch cooked down.

Allow the spinach to saute for 4 or 5 minutes, until all of it is wilted. You want to stir frequently to distribute the garlic and vinegar.

Done! 10 minutes later, you've created a delicious side dish. The vinegar brings out the natural flavor of the spinach. Trust me, it's so good!

Next, I have for you my Scorched Brussel Sprouts. Admittedly, these bad boys take awhile to prep, but you can easily prep them a night or two in advance by cutting the weird nub off of the sprout and then slicing it into two even halves.

When you're ready to cook the sprouts, put a large pan over high heat until it's pretty darn hot. Place just a bit of olive oil in the pan and let that heat up. Dump your sprouts into the pan. THEN LEAVE THEM ALONE. Let them cook undisturbed until they literally are burned on one side. This may sound crazy, but it tastes divine.

Once part of your sprouts are scorched, stir them around and let another bit of them burn. Now, you can turn the heat down to medium, add more olive oil, and saute the sprouts until they are soft.  This takes about 15 minutes, excluding the prep time.

Even Mr. J, who generally "forgets" to eat his veggies, gets excited when I cook spinach and brussel sprouts this way. Both recipes are very simple and they're great ways to get fresher vegetables into your diet!

On a totally unrelated note: I'm excited to report that I joined two new link parties today!

First, I linked my beautified storage unit to:  I Heart Nap Time

Next, I linked my handmade journal to:

Both parties have a lot of great cooking and craft links. Go check them out!

Enjoy! xo