Monday, December 20, 2010

Fertility Recipe: Creamy Spinach

The holidays are upon us and I know from experience this can be a very difficult time for those coping with fertility issues. It's also a time that makes sticking to a fertility diet sometimes challenging, with all the parties and festivities and goodies spread about. I have a couple of recommendations to make to help you stay on track with healthy eating: first, try to eat before attending an event, so you're not too hungry and can be more selective about what you eat once there. Second, make a couple of your own healthy dishes and bring them to the event. You can mostly eat those.

One dish that makes a great, healthy side-dish is my husband's, Pierre's, Creamy Spinach recipe. It's actually a combination of two recipes from our book (The Fertile Kitchen(r) Cookbook): the Sauteed Spinach and the Healthy B├ęchamel Sauce. You basically make the sauteed spinach and add a half-cup of the bechamel sauce to it. It makes spinach taste great, and of course, it's good for you too.

Now for the Creamy Spinach recipe. First, make the Sauteed Spinach.

SAUTEED SPINACH
Ingredients:

1 lb fresh spinach*
½ large onion, diced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 tsp of vegetable broth
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
¼ tsp of nutmeg
2 Tbsp of olive oil

*TIP: You can also use packaged organic spinach leaves, which shortens preparation time by 5 minutes.

Recipe:
  1. Cut spinach about 1 inch away from where the stems join.
  2. Clean spinach several times, until the water is clear and free of dirt.
  3. Dice onion, mince the garlic.
  4. Put oil into a deep non-stick pot and place on medium heat, add diced onion, and cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.
  5. Add in as much spinach as will fit in the pot (pict. 3), and cover. Let stand for about 30 seconds and then mix and add more spinach. Repeat this step until all the spinach is in the pot.
  6. Add minced garlic, vegetable broth, salt, pepper
  7. Mix well, cover and cook for 5 minutes, stirring regularly throughout.
  8. When finished, drain liquid and place in a dish to add the sauce.
Now make the Healthy B├ęchamel Sauce.


HEALTHY BECHAMEL SAUCE
This version of the sauce has no butter or cream; it's light and healthy.

Ingredients:

1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp of rice flour (or corn flour)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp pepper
1 Tbsp of vegetable broth powder
½ cup of soy milk or rice milk
½ cup of water

Recipe:
  1. Boil 1 cup of water (you will use only ½ cup of water) and let it sit.
  2. Separately, pour olive oil in a small non-stick pot on medium heat.
  3. Add rice flour and stir well.
  4. Add vegetable broth powder and stir well.
  5. Add ½ cup of hot water (which you boiled earlier), stir well, cook for 2 minutes and lower heat to medium.
  6. Add soy milk and stir well. When it starts to bubble, remove from heat.

CREAMY SPINACH
Now, just add a half-cup of the healthy bechamel sauce to the spinach. Ta-da. Done! What do you do with the rest of the sauce? Use it on meat, fish and other dishes.