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Posts Tagged ‘spinach salad’

Cannellini Beans with Wilted Spinach and Bacon “Just what the doctor ordered,” I said as I dished out a savory salad onto my plate. With white beans, spinach, and a few chopped dates thrown in for good measure, I easily fulfilled one of the four daily servings of potassium-rich food that my cardiologist recommends. Why take supplements when you can eat delicious food?

Cannellini Beans with Wilted Spinach and Bacon
Recipe adapted from Bon Appétit: 12 Easy Ways to Cook a Can of Cannellini Beans

INGREDIENTS
Cannellini beans (canned), rinsed and drained
Onion, thinly sliced
Bacon slices, chopped and cooked
Garlic, minced
Red pepper flakes
Baby spinach leaves
Olive oil
Fresh lemon juice and zest
Chopped dates

DIRECTIONS
1. Cook chopped bacon in a skillet until bacon is brown and crisp. Transfer to paper towel-lined plate to drain.

2. Add sliced onion to fat in skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until soft and golden.

3. Add minced garlic and a pinch of crushed red pepper flakes and cook, stirring occasionally, until fragrant.

4. Add cannellini beans and cook until heated through.

5. Put spinach leaves in a large bowl and using a slotted spoon to drain off the bacon fat, spoon the cannellini bean mixture into the spinach and toss. The spinach will begin to wilt from the heat of the beans.

6. Drizzle with some olive oil and fresh lemon juice, and toss to combine.

7. Add chopped dates and lemon zest, and toss again.

8. Add salt and pepper to taste.

9. Top with bacon.

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. To reduce sodium levels, I used cans of reduced-sodium cannellini beans.

2. I “doubled” the recipe: I used 2 cans of cannellini beans, 1 medium onion, 10 slices of bacon, 2 small garlic cloves, and about 8 ounces of baby spinach leaves. This quantity should yield six servings.

3. The next time I make this salad, I will add more crushed red pepper flakes to give it a little more kick.

4. I chopped about 5-6 pitted dates and added them to the salad. This was not part of the original recipe, but dates are high in potassium and offer a nice sweet counterbalance to the tart freshness of the lemon juice.

5. The lemon zest was not part of the original recipe either, but why waste this most fragrant part of a lemon?

6. To reduce the fat content and make this salad healthier, omit the bacon. Instead, sauté everything in olive oil.

Enjoy!

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Blueberry Tamari Greens Bowl A bowl of salad should contain wholesome and healthy ingredients. Not all do. With spinach, tofu, almonds, blueberries, and cucumbers as its primary ingredients, this Asian-inspired salad is loaded with nutrients and exotic flavors. Plus, this recipe is actually three recipes in one: a salad with salad dressing, Lemongrass Tofu, and 5-Spice Tamari Almonds. All the parts are wonderfully versatile and will enliven your ho-hum salad repertoire.

Blueberry Tamari Greens Bowl
Recipe from Salad Samurai by Terry Hope Romeo

INGREDIENTS
For the Salad
1 pint blueberries
3 Persian cucumbers, diced into 1/2-inch cubes
2 scallions, green parts only, thinly sliced
4 cups baby spinach, washed and spun dry
3 tablespoons tamari
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup
2 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
1 teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup 5-Spice Tamari Almonds (recipe below)
Lemongrass Tofu, chopped into 1-inch cubes (recipe below)

For the Lemongrass Tofu
1 pound extra-firm tofu or super-firm tofu (no pressing needed)
2 tablespoons maple syrup
4 teaspoons tamari
1 heaping tablespoon finely chopped fresh lemongrass
1 clove garlic, minced
2 teaspoons peanut oil or olive oil

For the 5-Spice Tamari Almonds
1½ cups raw whole almonds, roughly chopped
2 tablespoons dark agave nectar
3 tablespoons tamari
2 teaspoons Chinese 5-spice powder
About 1/2 teaspoon coarse salt (such as Maldon)

DIRECTIONS
For the Salad
1. Place the blueberries, cucumbers, scallions, and greens in a large salad bowl.

2. In a glass measuring cup or bowl, whisk together the tamari, maple syrup, sesame oil, sesame seeds, ginger, and red pepper.

3. Pour the dressing over the salad, toss to coat, and divide among serving bowls. Top with almonds and tofu, if using, and serve.

Serves 2

For the Lemongrass Tofu
1. If using extra-firm tofu, press the tofu first:
A. Slice 1 pound of tofu in half and slice each half again. Slice each remaining piece in half for a total of 8 slabs of tofu of equal thickness.slicing tofu

B. Layer a large cutting board with clean towels or paper towels. Arrange the tofu slices in a single layer on the towel.tofu slices

C. Spread another towel over the tofu, and then press another cutting board on top of the towel. Stack a few heavy things on the cutting board: cans, cast-iron pans, 300-page cookbooks, etc.Pressing tofu

D. Press tofu for 20 minutes, or up to an hour. Tofu will ooze water, so it’s best to arrange this near a sink, propped on a slight angle on the edge of the sink to drain.

2. Slice the pressed tofu into thin 1/4-inch strips.

3. Preheat the oven to 400° F and coat the bottom and sides of a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish with cooking spray.

4. Combine the maple syrup, tamari, lemongrass, garlic, and oil in the baking dish and whisk together. Arrange the tofu slices in the marinade and set aside while the oven is preheating, about 15 minutes. Occasionally stir the tofu strips.Marinating pressed tofu

5. Bake the tofu for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and flip the strips over. Bake another 15 to 20 minutes, until the strips are golden and the marinade is absorbed.IMG_2433

6. Serve warm or chilled. Store chilled and consume within 2 days for best flavor.

Serves 2 as a salad topping

For the 5-Spice Tamari Almonds
1. Preheat the oven to 325° F.

2. In a 13 x 9-inch metal or ceramic baking dish, combine the almonds, agave, tamari, and 5-spice powder. Stir until the nuts are completely coated. Sprinkle with salt.

3. Roast the nuts for 16 to 18 minutes, stirring occasionally, until a sticky glaze forms. Remove from the oven and immediately transfer the nuts to a lightly oiled sheet of parchment paper or aluminum foil, and use a fork to break apart any clumps of nuts.

4. Once completely cool, store the nuts in a tightly covered container. Use within 2 weeks.

Makes 1½ cups

LINNELL’S NOTES
1. Chinese 5-spice powder is a blend of star anise, cinnamon, fennel, cloves, and Sichuan pepper. Jars of it can be found in the spice aisle of Asian markets.

2. Tamari is a Japanese soy sauce. If you follow a gluten-free diet, look for bottles of tamari that are wheat-free/gluten-free.

3. Save yourself a step and purchase pre-toasted sesame seeds at your Asian market.

4. I made the 5-Spice Tamari Almonds, the salad dressing, and the Lemongrass Tofu the day before serving.

5. My Lemongrass Tofu had absorbed the marinade and was golden-dark brown by the end of the first 20 minute cook time.

6. I felt that making the nuts not only added work, but also an added another tamari-flavored ingredient. The next time I make this salad, I will add freshly toasted plain almond pieces to the salad.

7. I added a splash of rice vinegar to the salad dressing, because I felt like it needed it.

8. Do not toss the salad with all of dressing. You will only need a fraction of the dressing or it will overwhelm the other ingredients. Keep in mind, also, that all the ingredients will take on the color of the dressing.

Enjoy!

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Cavatappi withSpinach, Beans, and Asiago Cheese

Part green salad and part pasta salad, but all parts delicious and fresh! Pair this Italian-influenced salad with rustic artisan bread for a quick and healthy meatless supper or throw it together for easy entertaining. With only nine simple ingredients, this salad is big on taste and big on convenience.

Cavatappi With Spinach, Beans, and Asiago Cheese
The Best of Cooking Light

Ingredients:
8 cups coarsely chopped spinach
4 cups hot cooked cavatappi (about 6 ounces uncooked spiral-shaped pasta)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 can cannellini beans or other white beans, drained
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1/2 cup (2 ounces) shredded Asiago cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)

Directions:
Combine first 8 ingredients in a large bowl, and toss well. Sprinkle with freshly ground black pepper, if desired.

Yield: 4 servings.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Cavatappi is also known as cellentani, spirali or tortiglione.
2. Maybe I packed too much chopped spinach into each cup while measuring it out, but this made much more than 4 servings.
3. I thinly shaved the Asiago instead of shredding it.
4. In a side note, the recipe states, “The warm cavatappi slightly wilts the spinach and softens the cheese during tossing.”

Enjoy!

Update (6/24/13): I made this salad again, but with some substitutions and additions.  I used cavatelli instead of cavatappi and replaced the regular olive oil with Meyer lemon infused olive oil. Cherry tomatoes, fresh off the vine, were sliced in half and added to the salad along with some toasted pine nuts. Very nice!

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The famous Iron Chef Masaharu Morimoto recently lost 40 pounds in three months. How did Morimoto manage to lose so much weight? In a Food Network Magazine interview he said that he cut calories, took walks, sweat as much as he could, limited his alcohol intake, and had his wife do the cooking at home. High-protein tofu was a big part of his new diet. His wife Keiko’s easy recipe for Mashed Tofu and Spinach Salad combines great-for-you tofu with good-for-you spinach. It’s a winning recipe that would make Popeye proud!

Mashed Tofu and Spinach Salad (Shira-Ae)
Recipe by Masaharu Morimoto

Ingredients:
One 14-ounce package firm tofu
Kosher salt
8 cups spinach leaves
1 tablespoon sesame seeds
1½ teaspoons sugar
1 teaspoon mirin (sweet rice wine)
1 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Drain the tofu and wrap in paper towels to absorb excess water. Puree in a food processor until smooth, then transfer to a bowl and set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Fill a bowl with ice water. Cook the spinach in the boiling water until wilted, about 2 minutes, then drain and plunge it into the ice water. Drain and squeeze out the excess water.

3. Toast the sesame seeds in a skillet over medium-low heat, tossing, until golden, about 3 minutes. Cool, then grind in a spice grinder. Stir the ground seeds, sugar, mirin, soy sauce and spinach into the tofu. Season with salt.

Serves 2.

Linnell’s Notes:
1. Please note that this recipe only serves 2 people. 8 cups of spinach leaves cooks down to nothing, especially since you squeeze it out after cooking it. I cooked 9 cups of spinach leaves, but after looking at the tofu-spinach ratio, I probably should have cooked 10 cups.

2. One cup of cooked unsalted spinach already has 126 mg of salt in it, so I did not add the full teaspoon of salt at the end. I only added a pinch of salt.

3. I make life easier by purchasing containers of pre-roasted sesame seeds at Asian markets. I keep these seeds in my freezer until they are needed.

4. Adding a little bit of crushed red pepper flakes would give this recipe a little kick.

Enjoy!

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