Making the Most of Salad...or Spinach!

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As a Registered Dietitian people think that I eat salads all the time. FALSE! Sure, they taste great and are good for a diet, but poking at the lettuce a thousand times just to get a bite (or the good stuff) annoys me! However, it's still important to include greens in my diet so I put together a list of things I do to make sure I'm not missing out on the health benefits of salad!
  1. I buy spinach in bulk to save money. However, I will freeze it if I know I won't be eating it right away. Then when I'm ready to use it, I simply break off the amount of frozen spinach that I want and add it to whatever I am cooking. When the spinach thaws it basically melts down to nothing and can be mixed into rice or pasta dishes. 
  2. Buy canned or frozen greens. They can be stored until ready for use and can come already seasoned. 
  3. Just add fresh greens to whatever you are cooking, anything. I add spinach to eggs, stir-fry, sauteed veggies, baked rice dishes, meatloaf, meatballs, soup, chili, stews, pasta sauce, etc. Anything! The heat will wilt it down to virtually nothing.
  4. Stop boiling rice and start baking it. This is a great way to add greens and other veggies with little effort. 
Ingredients:
2 cups brown rice, uncooked
4 cups chicken or beef broth or as much liquid as the directions call for
1 can (15 oz.) chopped tomatoes, juice and all
4 cups chopped veggies, your choice
2 cups spinach, chopped

Instructions:
Combine the rice, tomatoes (with juice), and broth in a 13X9 baking pan and stir to prevent the rice from clumping
Spread the spinach and then the veggies on top of the rice and bake at 350F for about 45 minutes, or until the rice is cooked
Stir to combine the dish, season to taste, and enjoy

-Nick Fischer, RD, LDN

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