Posts Tagged ‘spinach’

Crockpot Spinach Lentil Stew

1 med onion, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped (or use baby carrots sliced if you have them)
1 bag dry lentils
1 large can chicken stock
10 o.z bag of frozen spinach (use fresh chopped if you want)
15 oz. can of petite diced tomatoes
1-2 bay leaves

Chop onion and carrots, add to the pot.  Rinse the lentils and pick out any stones, add to the pot.  Add whole can of diced petite tomatoes along with the liquid to the pot. Stir.  Add salt, pepper, and thyme to taste.  Add bay leaves.  Add spinach.

If you have a 5-qt crockpot, add enough chicken stock to come up to just 1″ below the rim.  If you have a larger crockpot, add the whole large can of chicken stock.

If you want a little tang, add a few dashes of Worcestershire sauce (I don’t usually).

Cook on low for 6-8 hours.  It’s done when the lentils are soft and tender.


Turkey Spinach Artichoke Quesadilla

These stemmed from trying to create a version of one of my favorite sammiches.  Panera has a turkey artichoke pannini that’s simply delicious!  It’s sliced turkey, an artichoke spread, and caramelized onions on a thick bread.

I always wanted to try making a spinach-artichoke dip, so
I thought, why not just try making a spread and use it on a sammy?

So, tada!  Easy-easy.

1 package of frozen spinach
2 cans of artichoke hearts
1 cup of shredded cheese (parmesan, cheddar, monterey…  use what’s on hand)
1/4 cup mayonnaise

Defrost spinach and squeeze out the excess water.  Chop the artichoke hearts into small pieces.  Add the cheese and Mayo.  Mix together.  That’s it.  (Well, that was my original attempt.  Last night making the quesadillas, I added a can of black beans for interest…)

If I was to make this into a dip, I would put it in the oven and heat it so that the cheese melts.  Using it as a spread in the sammy, the cheese melts when it’s cooked in the pan.

I took some leftover Thanksgiving turkey, spread the mixture on the flour tortillas, folded them, then put them in the skillet.  The golden-brown, crispy outside provided the perfect crunch to remind me of the pannini, but without all of that extra thick bread.

This version has more filling inside and less bread, whereas the Panera pannini has more bread and less filling.

This is a nice way to get some extra veggies in…

spinach-tortellini-soupSpinach Mushroom Tortellini Soup

5 or 6 large button mushrooms
1 large Vidalia onion
1 clove of Garlic
1 tsp Thyme
1 large can of diced/petite diced tomatoes
1 large can of chicken stock
1 12 oz. package of frozen spinach (thawed) or fresh equivalent
1 small package frozen tortellini
Salt and pepper

Slice the mushrooms. Cut in half into bite-size slices if necessary. Chop the onion. Finely chop the garlic.

In a large soup pot, heat olive oil. Cook the onions until translucent and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a minute or two more.

Add the sliced mushrooms. Add a little more oil if necessary. Cook until they get a little color. I like my mushrooms to have a good bite to them — meaty — so I don’t cook them down too much.

Add the can of diced tomatoes. Season with salt and pepper. Stir well to incorporate and heat through.

Add the chicken stock and bring back up to a simmer. Add the Thyme and continue to cook.

Add the spinach. Season to taste. I usually add a little more pepper at this point.

Once the soup comes back up to a boil, add the package of frozen tortellini. Keep the soup at temperature and stir in well.

Lower heat to simmer.

Remove from heat and cover.   Check and stir every few minutes or so until the tortellini is done.  It shouldn’t take too long to cook the tortellini through, about 8 to 10 minutes.  Once done, remove the cover and let cool.   It’s done.

This soup is easy, fairly quick, very healthy, and clean.

What’s really nice about this soup is that the base is just onions, mushrooms, tomatoes, and spinach. You can add anything else you want to it — tortellini, other pasta, Cannellini beans… Red, white, and green. What could be more molto bene?   🙂

Meat is not necessary in this soup. By not cooking the mushrooms too much, they retain a nice texture and act very “meat-like” in this dish. You don’t even miss it. Use vegetable stock instead of chicken stock if you want a completely vegetarian version.

For a little more flavor, sprinkle with some grated Parmesan on top.

Add a nice crusty bread to sop up the broth, and you have a very easy, healthy, yummy meal.

Perfect to keep you warm in this wonderful New England weather!

Important Tip:

When I make this, like today, I always make a double batch.  If you decide to make a double batch, please note that you will need a 12+ qt stock pot or larger.  This will NOT fit into an 8 qt soup pot.  I know first-hand…  😉