Monday, April 26, 2010

Spinach Sunday

Sunday turned into a very restful day - a nice thing after the shop and chop. I was able to catch up on some of my studies and hear some very enjoyable music. Great ways to refresh the inner me !

The guys left very early for two singing commitments and decided they would grab breakfast on the road between them. It was more of a lure to help Nick adjust to the idea of singing two services than a nessesity, so it left me to fly solo. I grabbed a serving of the coconut salad, topped it with pumpkin seeds . I added a cup of coffee and I was ready to go !

After a morning of singing and studying, the guys came back for lunch. The first of the spinach meals of the day- Popeye would be proud !

Lentil sweet potato salad
(originally found at Kath eats real food)

1/2 cup green lentils -- rinsed
2 small or 1 large sweet potato
1/4 cup walnuts
5 dates
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
1 tsp maple syrup
1 Pinches kosher salt + ground pepper
Sprinkle of cinnamon
Baby Spinach to serve

Cook lentils in a pot until tender using a 4:1 water to lentils ratio.
Bring to boil, reduce to simmer and cook for about 30 minutes on low.
Meanwhile, dice sweet potato, spray with cooking spray and sprinkle with
cinnamon, salt and pepper, and bake cubes at 400* for about 30 minutes.
Chop dates and toast walnuts in the microwave (1 minute on high) or in a
dry skillet.When lentils and potato are done, toss everything together
and serve over chopped baby spinach.

We have all learned that spinach is good for you, but did you know the real reason this is so ? It's not the iron, but the flavinoid compounds that help to protect against so many diseases. Spinach helps to protect against stomach, prostate and ovarian cancer, supports cardiovascular and bone health, improves mental function, eyesight and more. It is low in calories, high in flavor and just plain does your body good. That is my excuse for inadvertently planing two spinach meals in one day ! ( and doing this is proof that lately I need all the spinach I can get !)

Italian Sausage Soup (crock pot)

1 lb Sausage -- cut into pieces
4 cups hot chicken broth
1 tablespoon tomato paste
1 clove garlic -- minced
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1/2 cup whole wheat mini pasta shells
1 box frozen chopped spinach
Grated Parmesan cheese

Combine broth,tomato paste, garlic and red pepper flakes in 4 1/2-quart
CROCK-POT® slow cooker.Add sausage slices. Cover -- cook on LOW 5 to 6
hours. Thirty minutes before serving add pasta and spinach
Ladle into bowls -- sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and serve immediately.

This one may be the best crock pot recipe I have ! It is the kind that I would plan to use even if I did not need to use the crock pot for convenience. When we must be out or run a late afternoon errand I plan a crock pot meal - and a good one- because if you know that dinner is waiting all ready for you at home , you will not fall into fast food temptation.That can save money AND your health in the long run.

It's going to be a very interesting week here. One of the eight festivals of my spiritual path happens this weekend, and there is a kind of tension in the air that is making me antsy. I don't think it is any different than for those who walk a Christian path as they approach Christmas. The excitement, the preparation, and the general spiritual awareness that something big is about to happen makes for a tense but happy time. Same is true for me now, but that tension is coming from the very earth itself. I just have to remember to breath and remind myself that my observations may not be based in the reality of the situation. My family means me no family means me no harm....


Marisa (Loser for Life) said...

I didn't know that about spinach! I love it; now all the more reason to eat more of it!

Leslie said...

Yum to both the recipes, and also the first picture that had the lima beans?? I've gotten some great recipes at Kath's blog too. I'd love your stuffed peppers with lentil bulgar filling if you have it at easy access sometime! I always just wing the peppers according to mood and what I have on hand.

I also didn't know about the spinach. But I love it and don't need any more reason than that to eat it!

Jeremy Logsdon said...

I love raw spinach; I haven't quite developed a taste for cooked. And I'm going to have to start writing your recipes down. We made the mango-pepper "salad" you did a few days ago, but as we don't care for mango, we substituted apples. Still good. :)

Diane Fit to the finish said...

I hope they did well with their singing commitments. I like having a bit of time to myself. It doesn't happen often - but I do like it!

Your spinach facts are perfect! I do enjoy spinach but it's been an acquired taste as an adult!