Saturday, December 6, 2008

It Worked for Popeye!

Spinach tart served with a green salad and homemade rye bread

No matter how I try, I cannot convince my grandchildren that spinach made Popeye strong so it will do the same for them.

Nevertheless, I’m sure I can tell you out there, that spinach is exceptionally good for you. And I’m sure you believe me, ha!

Seriously, this leafy green vegetable is really very good for you. It overflows with nutrients, minerals and antioxidants. It also has significant levels of iron and calcium.

Chlorophyll, responsible for the vegetable’s green colour, also gives the body a good boost of oxygen. Spinach is a very good source of fibre.

A very popular South Africa way of cooking spinach is to wash the leaves well and towel dry. Cut them up and place in a saucepan. (I always fill the pot with spinach because as it wilts, it shrinks to almost half the amount) Add an onion, cut up roughly, a chopped tomato and one or two peeled potatoes. Season with salt. Cover with water and boil until all the vegetables are soft. Drain well, add a knob of butter and mash well. Lastly season with white pepper. Serve as an accompaniment to your meal.

Recently I discovered a delicious diet-friendly recipe from a weight-loss club for spinach tart. I serve it as a complete light meal accompanied by homemade rye bread.

Spinach Tart
400g (14 oz) cooked spinach (drain well)
500ml (16 ½ floz) skim milk
40g (1 ½ oz) whole-wheat flour
5ml (1 teaspoon) baking powder
Salt and black pepper
2 eggs
5ml (1 teaspoon) crushed garlic
10ml (2 teaspoon) dry parsley
200g (7 oz) onion, grated
140g (5 oz) low fat hard cheese
Few small blocks of feta, crumbled
2 green chillies (optional)

Beat the eggs and milk together.
Add the remaining ingredients, except for the cheese.
Spoon mixture into an ovenproof dish.
Sprinkle with grated cheese.
Top with crumbled feta.
Bake in preheated oven at 180 °C (350°F) for 25-30 minutes.
Serve with homemade rye bread and a green salad.

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