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Szechuan Spinach

Szechuan Spinach

I’ve been traveling and therefore eating out for the last two weeks. Although I have been eating a lot of salad mostly via a hospital cafeteria, I haven’t been getting nearly enough dark leafy green vegetables.

Leafy greens are so good for you, but many people avoid them because they assume all greens taste like kale. If you don’t like kale, try spinach. This particular preparation is somewhere between raw and cooked. Wilting the spinach in this way leaves it a beautiful green color too.

When you start to prepare dinner, make this salad first, then let it soak up the Asian flavors of sesame, rice wine and ginger while you finish getting everything else ready.

If you can’t handle spicy food, leave out the crushed red pepper and don’t call it “Szechuan.”

Szechuan Spinach

Adapted from Creative Choices by Graham Kerr

4 cups fresh baby spinach leaves
8 cups water
2 scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 teaspoon honey
1 tablespoon low-sodium tamari or soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon rice vinegar
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1/2 teaspoon grated fresh ginger root
1/2 teaspoon sesame seeds, toasted

Place spinach leaves in a large heat-resistant colander. Rinse and let drain.

Bring water to a boil in a large pot. Pour over spinach in colander and let drain completely.

In a small bowl, combine scallions, honey, tamari/soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, crushed red pepper and ginger root.

Toss spinach with dressing and let sit for at least 30 minutes before serving. Garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

Makes 2 servings
Per serving: 63 calories, 2g fat (0g sat), 0mg cholesterol, 418mg sodium, 7g carb, 2g fiber, 3g sugar, 4g protein

Nutritional Analysis: Spinach is low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol. It is also a good source of Dietary Fiber, Protein, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Copper and Manganese, Niacin and Zinc. (Source: nutritiondata.com) The Sodium in this recipe is coming from the spinach itself and the tamari/soy sauce. If you are watching your Sodium intake, there’s no reason to make the recipe if you eliminate the spinach! Use a low-sodium tamari or soy sauce and replace some of it with vegetable or chicken stock if you’d like. You could also eat a smaller portion.

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