Tag Archives: spinach

Lighter Creamed Spinach.

Looking through my arsenal, it appears that I don’t have many recipes for side dishes.  As I’ve mentioned in the past, I either don’t make a side or just steam/roast some veggies or throw together a simple salad.  But those get pretty boring really quickly so it was nice to try something different for a change.

I spent a lot of time poring over the recipes from my assigned blog for the Blogger’s Choice swap but kept coming back to this one.  I always order creamed spinach pretty much whenever it is offered as a side at a restaurant.  It’s not the healthiest choice, hiding nutrient-packed spinach amongst all the cheese and heavy cream, but I was thrilled to have the chance to make it a wee bit better for you, hopefully without sacrificing the taste.

And it didn’t disappoint.  Although I have to admit I cheated just a little bit.  I served this alongside pan-fried bacon wrapped chicken (coming soon to the blog) and used the same skillet with some of the remaining bacon grease and pan juices to prepare it.  Other than that, I didn’t stray too far from the recipe.  I substituted 32 oz. of fresh baby spinach for the frozen chopped, doubling the amount of spinach to boost the nutrition factor and because 16 oz didn’t look like it was going to be enough once it was chopped.

Lighter Creamed Spinach.


  • 32 oz. Fresh Baby Spinach
  • 1 Tbsp. Butter
  • 2 Shallots, minced
  • 1 Clove Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Flour
  • 1 1/2 Cups 2% or Skim Milk
  • 2 Tbsp. Parmesan Cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 tsp. Black Pepper
  • 1/4 tsp. Nutmeg
  • 4 oz. Garlic and Herb Boursin Cheese


Add the spinach to the bowl of a food processor and pulse until chopped.

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook for 4-5 minutes.

Add the flour to the skillet and whisk until combined. Slowly pour in the milk, whisking constantly. Add the parmesan, pepper, nutmeg and Boursin and stir until smooth, then add the spinach and stir until combined. Cook an additional 1-2 minutes.

Serve hot.

Source -

Slightly adapted from The Cookaholic Wife via Skinnytaste


Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls.

In this week’s swap, we revisited pasta dish.  I was thrilled when I received this one from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks since I don’t have anything like it in my repertoire!  I was even happier when I realized just how easy this recipe is.  Lasagna is typically time consuming with a ton of ingredients and is all together a pain in the butt to make, but this one took less than an hour from start to finish!  And it was super tasty to boot.

One of my great food loves is spinach artichoke dip, so I decided to add artichokes to the mix and I’m glad that I did.  I also used whole wheat lasagna noodles in an attempt to up the health factor, but next time I think I’ll stick to regular old lasagna noodles.  I also decided to try baking the individual rolls in muffin tins, and while it worked fairly well, I thought they didn’t get enough extra sauce that way, but luckily I had enough leftover to serve over the top.

Spinach Artichoke Lasagna Rolls – slightly adapted from Hezzi D’s Books and Cooks

  • 12 Lasagna Noodles
  • 1 8 oz. Package Reduced Fat Cream Cheese
  • 1 10 oz. Package Frozen Spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 14 oz. Can Artichoke Hearts, quartered
  • 2 Cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 3 Cups Alfredo Sauce, divided
  • 3 Cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Oregano
  • 1/2 Cup Roasted Red Peppers, chopped
  • 1/2 Cup Parmesan Cheese

Preheat oven to 375.   Spray a muffin pan or baking pan with cooking spray.

Cook and drain the noodles, then set them individually on waxed paper to prevent sticking.

In a medium bowl, combine the cream cheese, spinach, artichokes, 1 cup mozzarella, 1 cup alfredo sauce, garlic and oregano.  Mix well, then spread evenly on top of each noodle.  Sprinkle with the roasted red peppers.

Roll the noodles up tightly and place into the muffin tin (or baking pan, seam side down).  Top with remaining alfredo and mozzarella and sprinkle with parmesan.

Bake for 30 minutes, or until heated through.

Recipe Swap: Garlic Parmesan Orzo.

The theme for this week’s recipe swap was Side Dish.  Nestie Moviegirl03 sent me this lovely dish.  Thanks, Jenna!

I typically don’t make pasta as a side dish, so I served it alongside a basic baked chicken and a nice green salad.  I halved the original recipe and reduced the butter quite a bit.  I also added extra garlic and upped the veggie factor by eliminating the parsley and adding fresh chopped spinach.

All in all, I liked this dish.  It took less than 25 minutes to prepare, and most of that time was spent boiling the water and cooking the pasta.  I’m looking forward to eating the leftovers as a main for lunch this weekend!

Oh, and here’s the link to the roundup of last week’s Pasta Swap recipes!

Garlic Parmesan Orzo – adapted from All Recipes

  • 1 Cup Uncooked Orzo Pasta
  • 1 Tbsp. Garlic, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Unsalted Butter
  • 2 Cups Spinach, chopped
  • 1/4 Cup Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 Tbsp. Milk
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste

Cook orzo according to package directions.  Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat and add garlic.  Saute until tender, about 4 minutes, then add the spinach and cook, 1 minute.

Add the orzo, parmesan and milk and season with salt and pepper.  Stir until parmesan has melted and and everything has heated through.

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach and Meatballs.

Happy Friday, everyone!  This blog update is actually a two-fer.

A few weeks ago, we had some spaghetti and meatballs that a friend had made.  Turns out, the Fruitaholic really went crazy for the meatballs.  When I asked my friend for the recipe the other day, she kind of laughed and said that they were from Trader Joes!

So, I was all set to run over to TJ’s to stock my freezer when I came across a recipe for a pasta bake with mini meatballs.  BINGO.  I had found tonight’s dinner, and already had most of the ingredients at home.

I tweaked the recipe a bit for both the meatballs and the pasta bake and they came out great. I added an entire bag of baby spinach, which allowed me to “sneak” another vegetable into the Fruitaholic’s diet.  I’m really glad that we decided to split the dish into two small casserole dishes and freeze one so that we have another one waiting for a day when I’m too lazy to cook!  We used all of the meatballs in the pasta bake (except for the 6 or so that the Fruitaholic gobbled down) so I’m going to make another batch for the freezer this weekend.

This recipe can be made even healthier by using whole wheat pasta, adding additional vegetables, and subbing ground turkey or chicken for the ground beef.  It’s super adaptable, which I love!

Baked Meatballs – inspired by The Parsley Thief

  • – 1 Lb Ground Beef
    – 1/2 Cup Panko
    – 1/4 Cup Parmesan
    – 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
    – 1 Egg, Lightly Beaten
    – Generous Splash of Milk
    – Generous Splash of Worchestershire
    – Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Preheat oven to 425.

Combine all ingredients and mix gently by hand.  Form into balls (size of your choice) and place on a lightly oiled, foil lined baking sheet.  Bake for 12-25 minutes, until browned and cooked through.

Baked Rigatoni with Spinach and Meatballs – inspired by and adapted from The Parsley Thief

  • – 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
    – 1 Onion, Chopped
    – 4 Cloves Garlic, Smashed and Sliced
    – 1 Can Diced Tomatoes, Drained
    – 1 Jar Pasta Sauce
    – 1 Box Rigatoni, Cooked Al Dente
    – 1 16 oz Bag Baby Spinach, Chopped
    – 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley, Chopped
    – 1 Container Ricotta
    – 1/4 Cup Parmesan
    – 1 Container Baby Mozzarella Balls, Halved
    – Baked Meatballs (see above recipe)
    – 1 Pinch Nutmeg
    – Salt and Pepper, To Taste

Preheat oven to 350.

Warm olive oil over medium heat.  Add onions and garlic and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.  Add tomatoes and cook 10 minutes.  Reduce heat to low, add sauce and cook an additional 10 minutes.

In a large mixing bowl, combine spinach, parsley, ricotta, parmesan and nutmeg.  Add pasta, meatballs and sauce and mix to combine.  Reserve some sauce for serving.

Transfer to baking dish and top with mozzarella.  Cover with foil and bake for 20 minutes.  Remove foil and bake until browned, about 5 minutes.