Four Quick and Easy Lunches with Frozen Spinach
Spinach is sometimes described as a "superfood" with tons of health benefits. To take one example among many, the popular pregnancy book What to Eat When You're Expecting recommends that a pregnant woman get five servings a day of what it calls the "Green/Yellow Group," which includes tomatoes, pumpkin, squash, broccoli, and, you guessed it, spinach.
But how to work it into your diet?
Chopped frozen spinach can be bought by the bag or the box and is one of the cheapest items in the grocery store. You can keep it in your freezer almost indefinitely, breaking off a chunk whenever you want to use some. There are plenty of frozen-spinach recipes out there, some of them very elaborate. In this article, though, you will find four super-simple, easy ways to incorporate frozen spinach into a meal. All of these meals can be made in fifteen minutes or less. Their quick prep time makes them ideal for a healthy, filling lunch.
All of these lunches call for roughly a quarter cup of frozen spinach (though, by all means add more if you like). You do not need to thaw the spinach for these lunches. If you do choose to thaw it, put it in a small strainer, run some water over it, and let it sit while you begin the rest of the recipe. Then squeeze it out before using.
Healthy Asian-style Ramen Lunch
When I lived in Asia, this dish could be bought on the street as a short-order snack.
In a small saucepan, add two cups of water, a quarter cup of frozen spinach, and the noodles and seasoning from a Ramen packet of your choice. Bring to the boil; boil one minute.
After one minute, use a fork to slightly loosen the noodles. Crack an egg on top of the noodles, cover, and boil two minutes more. Transfer to a large bowl and serve.
You will have a noodle dish with spinach and a poached egg ... vegetable, protein, and plenty of fluid. If desired, top with Sriracha or the hot sauce of your choice.
Five-Minute Mock Italian Wedding Soup
Open a can of chicken noodle soup (such as Campbell's) with star-shaped noodles. Add to a saucepan with water.
Add a quarter cup frozen spinach. Heat through.
At the last minute, squeeze in some lemon juice. Serve.
Simple Spinach Frittata
Crack one to two eggs. Beat with a little milk or water. (I like to beat the eggs in a glass measuring cup, using a fork for the beater. It makes cleanup easier.) If desired, add a sprinkle of pepper and salt.
Cook in a small frying pan with a touch of butter. While the top of the eggs are still wet, crumble a quarter cup of frozen spinach and sprinkle on to the frittata. When the bottom of the frittata is very firm, flip it over and cook for about a minute on the other side.
Serve. If desired, top with shredded cheese, or the hot sauce of your choice.
Suggested side dishes: fruit, toast.
Simple Spinach Alfredo
Bring salted water to a boil, add one serving of your favorite pasta, and cook until al dente (7 to 11 minutes, depending on the type of pasta you use).
While your pasta is cooking, in another saucepan heat one serving of your favorite canned Alfredo sauce (such as Ragu). Stir in a quarter cup of frozen spinach and, if desired, a sprinkle of Parmesan. Heat through.
Serve. Top with ground black pepper.