Tag: spinach

breakfast frittata

Frittata for breakfast
Half a bag of spinach to use up …

Diced two rashers of back bacon, a few mushrooms, half a green pepper* and half a red onion, and put them in the shallow pan of the Remoska with a little olive oil for 15 minutes (switched it on, obviously!).

Beat four eggs with some seasoning and a splash of water, stirred in about 30g of Gruyere and poured that in. Added the spinach leaves and stirred it about a bit, and cooked for another 20 minutes. It made a very fine breakfast.

*I’m not especially fond of green peppers, but They always put one in a mixed bag. The other half has been diced up and put in This Week’s Soup.

a bag of spinach

bag of spinach

A bag of spinach is currently £1 in our local Sainsburys, and it’s remarkably versatile. Tonight, we shall be having half a bag with some mushroooms fried up in Indian spices, one of our stalwarts. The other half a bag was left over from the lasagne we had on Wednesday.

Spinach is delicious thinly sliced into an omelette, or stirred into pasta and and feta, or made into a salad (if you must; I don’t really see the point of salad, to be honest). Make your own sag aloo – it’s dead simple. Add spinach to a chickpea curry. Be adventurous!

It’s cheap, nutritious, packed with iron – what’s not to like?



smoked salmon, spinach and goat's cheese omelette

We’re going to be away for a couple of days, so I’m Using Stuff Up. Aldi had some smoked salmon at half price last week, so I bought a pack. About 2/3rds went into a pasta dish, and the rest was still in the fridge. As was about half a bag of baby spinach.

I won’t tell you how to make an omelette – you’ll all have your own way, and anyway, I’m not very good at them 🙂 But I made a 4-egg omelette, scattered the salmon, spinach and  about a quarter of an Aldi goat’s cheese over the mix, folded it, and we scoffed it. And it was dead good.

About 410 calories, as far as I can tell.

mushroom, spinach and mozzarella wraps

About half a punnet of chestnut  mushrooms and some spinach needed eating up, so I deliberately made last night’s cabbage dish with only half a mozzarella ball, and saved the rest for today’s lunch.

Finely chopped the mushrooms and set them to cook down slowly in some olive oil. Put the wraps on individual plates, and scattered some raw spinach leaves on them. Chopped the mozzarella quite small. When the mushrooms were done, added salt and black pepper and the rest of the spinach, and stirred till it wilted. Then added the mozzarella.

Bunged the resultant gloopy mess onto the wraps – as always I’d made to much, so some of it oozed out, but that didn’t affect the fab flavour one iota!

About 360 calories, I reckon.

leek, spinach and goat cheese flan

leek, spinach and goat's cheese tart
Two fat leeks, a bit wrinkled, looked accusingly at me every time I opened the fridge. There was also about 1/4 of a bag spinach left, and some rather elderly eggs.

I trimmed and washed the leeks, and sliced them up, then sauted slowly in olive oil and butter; threw in some fresh thyme part way through. I was going to do some garlic, but I forgot! I shredded some spinach, and when the leeks were softened, I hurled in the spinach and turned the heat off.

Made some pastry with 6oz of wholewheat flour, 2oz of Trex, and 1oz of margarine, rolled it out and lined a rectangular flan tin (such a useful thing – much easier for serving than a round one). I beat three eggs with a dash of milk and some seasoning (I’d normally use cream, but we didn’t have any in). Poured the veg mix into the pastry case, then poured the egg mix on top.

Then, with what I will describe as a flash of genius, I crumbled half a pack of goat’s cheese that was lurking at the back of the fridge and sprinkled it on the top. Into the oven for about 25 minute at 200 in a fan oven. It really was lovely.

supper 2 Sept 2010 – lentil bake

supper 2/9/10

We eat a lot of this sort of thing – cheap and tasty. This one started with a tub of lentils from the freezer – no point in cooking just one meals’ worth. I finely diced carrot, red pepper and onion, and some garlic, fried them off, then added some ras el hanouh, and cooked it all through for a couple more minutes.

Then about a mugful of red lentils, and probably three mugs of water (although start with two and check as it goes). Sometimes I put a splash of red wine in; it’s a remarkably versatile base recipe. Bring to a slow boil, and cook for about 40 minutes. That will do us at least four servings, and probably six, depending on how much veg went in it. So that was the lentils.

I sliced an aubergine, put it on a tray covered in tin foil (saves washing up), drizzled with olive oil, and bunged in a gas 8 oven for about half an hour. Made a white sauce (with wholemeal flour – always use that for pretty much everything) while that was going on.

Then into an ovenproof dish: half the lentils, half the aubergines, a layer of spinach, half the white sauce, then the rest of lentils, aubergines, white sauce, and topped with grated parmesan. At least it should have been topped, but I got a bit confused 🙂 and put the parmesan on before the last bit of white sauce. No matter. Baked in a hot oven for about 25 minutes.

This was using up a wrinkly aubergine, some spinach that doesn’t look as though it’s going to last long, and some grated parmesan I bought for our camping trip – I’d normally put feta on top of this.

aubergine, spinach and lentil bake

lentil and aubergine bake

Using up: aubergine, some red wine that had gone vinegary, 1/3 of a bag of spinach

We love this sort of food, and eat it often.  In the fridge was an aubergine, spinach, and some feta cheese, and Pete had  opened a bottle of red wine last week and inexplicably failed to drink most of it, and it had gone over, despite being properly stoppered.

So … I fried a roughly chopped onion and some garlic in a pan until it was soft, then put in about 1 tablespoon of Ras El Hanout spice mix, a fab standby in the cupboard, and fried that round.

Then I added two mugfuls (mugs full?) of red lentils and stirred, 2.5 mugfuls of water, and about 2/3 mug of red wine.  Stirred well, brought to the boil and set on a low light to cook for about 45 minutes.  You might need to add more fluid – lentils can go splurp and stick to the pan in an unexpected way.

While the lentils were cooking, I sliced an aubergine fairly thinly and fried it till browned, in batches, in olive oil, and set to drain on some kitchen paper.  Then I made some basic white sauce with nutmeg grated into it.

Then into an ovenproof dish went the lentils, then the washed and drained spinach, then the white sauce, and topped it off with the aubergine slices.  Then we put half a block of feta cheese, diced up small, on top of all that, and bunged it in a hot oven for about 25 minutes.

Cheap (because it works perfectly well with water, or vegetable stock, rather than wine) and delicious.

That amount of lentils made enough for six servings, by the way, so two tubs went into the freezer.  You can use it for a faux lasagne too, should you wish – works very well.

And I split the rest of the red wine into two small boxes and froze that too – it might not be good enough to drink, but it’ll be fine to cook with!

another potato bake

potato bake with chicken, mozzarella and spinach

using up: cold roast chicken, half a bag of spinach, a mozzarella past its sell-by date

A proper Reactive meal – first for a while.  We are still ploughing through Sunday’s chicken, and had some other stuff that needed eating up.  This worked really well, although next time I would poach the chicken in the cream for a few minutes – it somehow didn’t meld in properly.

Grease an ovenproof dish (I use an olive oil spray for this).  Ideally, get someone else to slice some potatoes very thinly, or otherwise you’ll have to do it yourself, and it’s a bit tedious without a mandoline (which I don’t have, unaccountably).

Wash some spinach, and chop up the cold chicken into small pieces.  Chop a couple of cloves of garlic finely.  Layer half the potatoes in the dish, then add the spinach, the chicken, the garlic and some double cream.  Grate some nutmeg over it.  Add the rest of the potatoes, and add some more cream. Dot the mozzarella, torn into chunks, over the top.

Bake at Gas 5 for about an hour – it will take longer than you think.  Worked really well.

a fish pie

fish pie filling

using up: a piece of fish, a bulb of fennel, the last third of the bag of spinach.

We’re having a fairly traumatic week, and the reason for this was the cause of the existence of one not very big fillet of anonymous white fish.  One of our cats, our beloved Bada, has been and remains exceedingly ill, and a pair of fish fillets was bought to tempt her (it didn’t work).

When I’m unhappy, I cook, and I don’t like to waste food as you know, so here’s what I did.

I poached the fish in milk and water and a little black pepper for a few minutes, then set it aside on a plate to cool. I put the chopped up fennel in the fish water, and simmered it for, oh I don’t know, maybe 12 minutes with no lid, so it cooked and the milk reduced down.

Then I made some white sauce, chunked the fish, and added fish, fennel, and a pack of prawns from the freezer.  Put that in an ovenproof dish^H^H tin (the lasagne dish is broken, remember).  Piled a layer of spinach on top. Boiled some potatoes, and mashed them with Red Leicester cheese, and added that.

Baked at gas 5 for 25 minutes.  Scoffed – gorgeous comfort food.

in praise of spinach


Spinach is wonderful stuff – I don’t know why more people don’t like it.

This post is a bit of a cheat really, as I wasn’t using anything up per se; it’s more that I fell upon the spinach with cries of glee, and immediately got a tub of bolognese sauce (home made, of course) from the freezer.

This is because we have discovered that, if you put a layer of spinach inside the lasagne, between the bechamel and the pasta, the whole dish is raised from the “isn’t that nice” to the “gorgeous” level.  So that’s what we do.

I’ll be using up the rest of the spinach tonight.

peaches and grapesWe followed it up with a small fruit salad-ish affair, just chopped up peaches and grapes.  I do wish we were better at fruit …