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 firstname.lastname@example.org
• 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!
Photo couresty of http://www.muranakafarm.com/img/inside_products_spinach.jpg
Check out this info from The World’s Healthiest Foods!
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.
(lunch and dinner will be posted later, as I have a very busy and exciting afternoon ahead)
BSI Spinach Entries!
- Mara, from I Made Dinner: Steak and Spinach Almost Rolls
- VeggieGirl, from VeggieGirl: B-S-Cubed (Black bean, sweet potato, spinach, salsa)
- Biz, from the Biggest Diabetic Loser: Spinach Lasagna
- Shannon, from Tri2Cook: Spinach and Feta Dip
- Caitlin, from Healthy Tipping Point: Green Eggs and Ham Oatmeal
- Mel, from Bites of Life: Ricotta Spinach Bake
- Sabrina, from RhodeyGirl Tests: Eggplant Spinach Rollatini
- Jessica, from Johnstone’s Vin Blanc: Warm Spinach Artichoke Dip
- Victoria, from The Idle Loaf: Spinach Mac & Cheese
- Christina, from Dinner at Christina’s: Chicken and Spinach White Sauce
- Sarah, from Tales of Expansion: Citrus-Berry Spinach & Goat Cheese Ravioli with Balsamic Glaze
- Mel, from A Taste of Life: Turkey Ricotta Meatballs
- Beadie, from What I Ate Yesterday: Crabcake Quiche
- Emily, from Eating Chalk: Mediterranean Style Huevos Rancheros
- Becca, from Bites of the Day: Cheesy Spinach Cap
- Vani, from Fit For Free: Spinach, Mushroom, and Chick Pea Soup with Peppered Polenta Croutons
- Erin, from Life is Yumbo: Whole Wheat Spinach Focaccia
- Jess, from See Jess Run: Palak Paneer