Cream Spinach You Can Love, From the American Institute for Cancer Research

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In its admirable effort to promote cancer-preventive lifestyle choices, the American Institute for Cancer Research and author Dana Jacobi have joined forces to create delicious and nutricious dishes that include the following, a steakhouse cream spinach you can love.

Steakhouses serve vegetables, of course they do, but they're always either loaded with creamy, not-good-for-you sauces or they're deep fried in some fatty batter. For that reason, Jacobi has created this creamed spinach plate the way a steakhouse vegetable should be:

Roasted garlic is the secret to this dish. Roasting turns garlic soft and creamy. Roasting also tames its flavor so you can use lots of it – a whole small head. Mashed to a paste, the roasted garlic both flavors the spinach and helps give the dish a creamy texture … The last step in this easy recipe is combining the spinach and garlic with sour cream. [Remember to shock the cooked spinach in cold water right after cooking so it retains texture and holds it bright green color. Without this step, the creamed spinach will be mushy and may look murky.

Remember, every recipe that is offered by the AICR has been vetted and approved by a registered dietitian.

Creamy Spinach

  • 1 small head garlic
  • 1 / 2 tsp. plus 1 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb. baby spinach
  • 1 / 4 tsp. salt
  • 1 / 4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Cut off top of garlic head crosswise, exposing tips of cloves. Place garlic in center of square of foil. Drizzle on ½ teaspoon of oil and rub to coat garlic. Seal garlic in foil. Bake until garlic yields to gentle squeeze, about 45 minutes. Open foil and set garlic aside.

In skillet or pot large enough to hold spinach, add ½-inch of water and bring to boil. Add spinach, cover tightly, and steam over medium-high heat for 4 minutes, or until spinach is wilted, still bright green and tender. Immediately drain in colander. To preserve color, run cold water over spinach until cool. A handful at a time, squeeze out water, and make cigar-shaped rolls. On cutting board, cut spinach rolls crosswise into ¾-inch slices. Rotate spinach 90 degrees and chop slices coarsely. There will be about 1½ cups chopped spinach.

Squeeze out roasted garlic cloves onto cutting board. Sprinkle with salt. Alternate chopping and smearing garlic using side of large knife to turn garlic into paste, about 2 minutes.

In medium skillet over medium-high, warm remaining oil. Add spinach, using wooden spoon to break up clumps and heat until warmed. Add garlic paste and mix to combine. Take skillet off heat and mix in sour cream. Season to taste with nutmeg, salt and pepper. Serve warm.

Makes 4 servings.

Per serving: 96 calories, 7 g total fat (2 g saturated fat), 7 g carbohydrate, 4 g protein, 3 g dietary fiber, 242 mg sodium.

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