The BSI Envelope Please….

I was given the pleasure of hosting the Blogger Secret Ingredient contest this week, and I am SO excited to see what recipes are sent in!

My choice was based on the following:
•    This is an ingredient that everyone has access to, in some form
•    This ingredient is affordable
•    This ingredient is versatile

If you’re not familiar with the BSI contest, I’m about to announce the ingredient and you can create a recipe using it for a chance to win a prize!

To enter, you can:
•    Email me the recipe and photos to branappetit@gmail.com
•    Post it on your blog (if you have one) and send me the link

The DEADLINE for this week’s contest is Sunday, February 8th. I will be announcing the winner (and the prize!) sometime on Monday, February 9th.

Okay, enough rules.

Are you ready for the big reveal????

The BSI this week is SPINACH!

spinachPhoto couresty of http://www.muranakafarm.com/img/inside_products_spinach.jpg

Check out this info from The World’s Healthiest Foods!

foodchartphp

(http://www.whfoods.com/genpage.php?tname=foodspice&dbid=43)

A little spinach history and facts!

Spinach is thought to have originated in ancient Persia (Iran). Spinach made its way to China in the 7th century when the king of Nepal sent it as a gift to this country. Spinach has a much more recent history in Europe than many other vegetables. It was only brought to that continent in the 11th century, when the Moors introduced it into Spain. In fact, for a while, spinach was known as “the Spanish vegetable” in England.

Spinach was the favorite vegetable of Catherine de Medici, a historical figure in the 16th century. When she left her home of Florence, Italy, to marry the king of France, she brought along her own cooks, who could prepare spinach the ways that she especially liked. Since this time, dishes prepared on a bed of spinach are referred to as “a la Florentine.

•    Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables like spinach with its delicate texture and jade green color provide more nutrients than any other food.

•    Spinach helps protect against osteoporosis, heart disease, colon cancer, arthritis, and other diseases at the same time.

•    Researchers have identified at least 13 different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as antioxidants and as anti-cancer agents.

•    The vitamin K provided by spinach-almost 200% of the Daily Value in one cup of fresh spinach leaves and over 1000% of the Daily Value in one cup of boiled spinach (which contains about 6 times as much spinach)-is important for maintaining bone health.

•    Spinach is also an excellent source of other bone-building nutrients including calcium and magnesium.

•    Spinach is an excellent source of vitamin C and vitamin A, These two nutrients are important antioxidants that work to reduce the amounts of free radicals in the body.

•    Spinach is also an excellent source of folate.

All in all, spinach is definitely a super food and one that I should be eating more often!

One reason I picked this ingredient is because I don’t cook with it very often, and I want to see what you all come up with!  I love spinach salads, but I know I need other tasty ways to eat it.

I don’t care if you use fresh, frozen, or canned as long as it’s spinach  ☺

I’m looking for creative recipes that are also ACCESSIBLE for most people – I live in a pretty small town without a TJ’s or Whole Foods (gasp!), like a lot of other people in this country, so I want some awesome recipes that use ingredients I can buy!

I can find some exotic stuff, and we do have a few little health food stores here – just don’t go too crazy  ☺

I’ll be posting the entries on this page as I receive them.

Happy Cooking!

(lunch and dinner will be posted later, as I have a very busy and exciting afternoon ahead)

BSI Spinach Entries!

29 comments

  1. yayyyyyyy, excellent choice. i love spinach!! and you’re right — everyone has access to it, so there’s no excuse for not participating!

  2. I’m really excited! LOVE spinach!
    http://theidleloaf.wordpress.com

  3. Hooooray for spinach!

  4. Woo hoo!!! Can’t wait to play with spinach this week :-)

  5. Ohhh, i’m so excited! Love spinach and always have some!

  6. so stoked! ill be posting my recipe tomorrow i think!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. Awsome BSI – I love spinach! In fact, I am using it in a recipe tonight :-D

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  9. lurve spinach, in fact i just posted a spinach feta dip :)

  10. Great idea!! Very versatile indeed!

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  12. Great ingredient choice! Spinach is always a staple in my fridge, I’ll definitely be participating this week. And I love that one of the requirements is accessibility…nothing is more frustrating than reading about a great recipe and not being able to find an ingredient!

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  15. I love spinach! I can’t wait!

  16. Great pick this week! Please find my entry linked below, you’ve got some tough choices to make!
    http://johnstonesvinblanc.blogspot.com/2009/02/ceimb-warm-spinach-artichoke-dip.html

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  19. I emailed you, but I’m submitting the recipe post here too: http://eatingchalk.wordpress.com/2009/02/08/mix-n-match/

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  24. wow you got some fantastic recipes!! no wonder, you did choose a great BSI :)

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