Spinach Cubes

spinach cubes

My life is so boring right now I’m going to blog about making spinach cubes. I know. I hate to blow the air of mystery I have around here but seriously, I’ve got nothin’ going on. It’s just parks and grocery shopping day in and day out. If I’m not counting to one thousand while I push Bug on the swing then I’m probably writing up a grocery list and plotting how I’m going to zig-zag across town getting the best deal on groceries.

The highlight of my week this week was going to the local Persian market and buying a giant pillowcase-sized bag of raw spinach. I’m not kidding! The bag was so huge I should have taken a picture. I didn’t want a bag that big. I wanted one one-fifth the size but they didn’t have any and the GIGANTIC one was only $3.49. I must have wheeled my rusty metal grocery cart up and down the crowded narrow aisles of that market eight times trying to weigh whether or not I could actually use as much spinach as a small restaurant.

In the end I decided I could. I figured I’d call up my neighbor and give her some. I’d eat probably a quarter of the bag raw and then cook the rest. Cooking spinach is like some kind of circus show where the clowns pile into an impossibly small car. You can add handful after handful of raw spinach to a boiling pot of water and it just magically disappears. My mom says there is a great debate over whether raw spinach is more healthy than cooked and now I know why. You are probably getting 10 times the amount of vitamins when you eat it cooked simply because it condenses down to such a small size. Five bowls raw probably equals one bite cooked. It’s pretty amazing.

popeye

Of course, enjoying cooked spinach is probably key. Which I do. I don’t love it but it’s not bad. I especially like it drenched in lemon juice. Lately, what I’ve been doing with my raw spinach (and the reason I was buying it in the first place) is making smoothies. Cheeky Lotus Shakes to be specific. I don’t know if this diet works. I can’t stay on it long enough to tell you but I can say that I like drinking super-healthy smoothies after I’ve binged on Pop-Tarts for a week. Nothing soothes a bloated tummy and a guilty conscience better than a delicious fruit smoothie packed with ground flax seeds and raw spinach.

smoothie ingredients

I know a lot of people will think this breakfast is disgusting and it is if you think about it too hard. But you don’t taste the spinach at all. Everything is sweet. Blended bananas cover a multitude of healthy fibery things. The texture is funny but I’m not one of those people who is bothered overly much by textures. I’m weird that way.

breakfast

So that is my breakfast. A smoothie (or shake) and my big cup of coffee. And now you know why I made spinach ice cubes. Because I want to use them in my shakes. I can’t tell you how they tasted yet because today is Pop-Tart day but I’m sure I’ll be able to let you know by the end of next week when my third-of-a-pillowcase-sized bag of raw spinach runs out or gets slimy.

Vegiladas and Muddy White Russians, though not necessarily together

all done!

I’ve been tweaking and tweaking my old enchilada recipe and I think I’ve finally settled on a dish that everyone likes. Except now it’s not very much like the original chicken enchilada dish and we’ve been calling it Vegiladas because it has so many vegetables crammed into it. It’s not vegetarian, it just has a lot of vegetables.

So here it is if you are interested.

Vegiladas

Ingredients:

  • 1-1.5 lbs boneless skinless chicken (breast or thighs will work)
  • 1 large (28-oz?) can of enchilada sauce (mild or spicy, green or red—your choice)
  • about 16 10-inch tortillas (flour or corn, your choice)
  • 2-4 cups shredded Mexican-blend cheese
  • 1 15-oz can of black beans
  • 1 head of broccoli
  • handful of asparagus
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 stalks of celery
  • 1 bell pepper (I like orange or yellow)
  • olives and sour cream for garnish

Directions:

1. Put your chicken in a slow-cooker set on high with about 3/4 of the can of enchilada sauce. Reserve last 1/4 of can for later.

2. Let it cook, let it cook, let it cook! (for 4-6 hours while you get on with the rest of your life)

chopping up the vegetables

3. A half-hour before you’d like to have dinner turn off your crock pot. Chop up all your vegetables into bite-sized pieces. You can preheat your oven now to 350 F if you like.

4. Pour a little olive oil into a skillet set over medium heat and saute the onions, celery and bell pepper until soft.

5. With two forks shred the chicken right there in your slow-cooker.

6. Add drained and rinsed black beans to pot with chicken.

7. Add 3/4 of cheese (save some for garnish on top).

8. Add sauteed vegetables and broccoli and asparagus.

9. Mix together. Cheese will begin to melt.

not very appetizing looking

Don’t worry contents of slow-cooker are far yummier than they appear.

10. Scoop a large spoonful into a tortilla, roll it up and place in a 9×13 baking dish with the seam side down.

11. Repeat until baking dish is full of rolled enchiladas. They should be in there pretty snug; usually that size dish will fit 16 filled and rolled tortillas.

12. Top with remaining enchilada sauce, cheese and sliced olives.

13. Bake at 350 for 30-40 minutes or until sauce bubbles.

baking

14. Serve with sour cream as a garnish.

Enjoy!

I was supposed to have a photo here of a nicely garnished plate but we were so hungry we gobbled them all up and forgot completely about the camera.



adding the cream the wrong way attempting to make a White Russian

Later on that night Troy and I decided to attempt to make a White Russian. I’d seen the recipe earlier on Jora’s website and have been wanting to try one ever since. We didn’t have the right kind of glasses so no matter how hard I tried, I couldn’t keep the cream separated from the vanilla vodka and Kahlua.

Muddy White Russians

Nevertheless, they were quite delicious even if they were muddy. Especially when paired with Bethany’s freshly-baked black and white cookies (care of Smitten’s recipe). I might not have seen all the tourists sights while I’ve been on vacation but I have definitely tasted a lot of yummy food! Going home is going to be very sad and diet-filled.

So, tell me, what do you like to eat when you are on vacation?