I am on a spinach tear. Or so it seems. The darker the greens, my brother says, the healthier they are. He is younger and, of course, wiser. Instead of iceberg lettuce or romaine lettuce, for example, he suggests I use deep, leafy spinach in my noontime salads. He might be onto something.
Spinach, I discover, is full of vitamins A, C and K and potassium, which helps to lower blood pressure and decrease the risk of stroke. It’s also high in fiber and folate. According to university researchers, the antioxidants, lutein and beta-carotene, can also lower the risk of heart disease, cancer and memory loss. Not too shabby a nutritional profile, I tell myself, for a vegetable that likes to wedge itself between my teeth.
The thing is, though, when I buy spinach, I tend to buy the jumbo sacks from Costco. This means I am often up to my ears in spinach leaves and looking for ways to incorporate them into my meals. In addition to salads, I make spinach omelets, toss it into soups or stews, use it in place of Swiss chard or kale and stir-fry it when my parents come to dinner.
By Christina Eng, a food writer in Oakland, Calif.