When planning a quick, box-centric meal on a weeknight, I seem to always gravitate toward the spinach. Leafy greens, spinach included, are excellent sources of vitamins and minerals. Spinach is packed with Vitamin A (for healthy eyes), Vitamin K (for healthy bones and blood), and it's a good source of iron. With my meatless diet, I know that it's important to seek out iron from other sources; historically, I have gone through periods of iron deficiency, so it should be a priority for me. Well, with the CSA box, we've been getting spinach and other leafy greens pretty frequently! I just feel great about all that green.
So tonight we had a little bit of the angel and the devil for dinner - sauteed spinach and grilled cheese sandwiches! I ran 3 miles at the gym, so a grilled cheese sandwich wasn't too overboard, especially when tempered by the delicious spinach. Also, it's a quick and tasty meal that is easy to whip up after a long day at work and the gym. On a side note - I have found a great way to regulate my cheese intake is by using pre-sliced cheese. I know exactly how many calories are in each slice. My preferred brand is the Finlandia cheese from Costco - it's a 2 pound pack (ugh!!) for about 7 bucks - that is an insanely good price for real, tasty cheese! It lasts a long time, and there are four different flavors, which keeps things exciting: colby jack, swiss, monterey jack, and cheddar. Each slice is 80 calories - so if I have two or two and half in a cheese sandwich, that really isn't too bad. Gives me a little wiggle room for some real butter!
We made two different sandwiches and split them in half. One had multigrain bread, and the other was sourdough. Both were divine, but I think I prefer sourdough for grilled cheese.
To make the spinach, I washed the leaves well and spun them in my salad spinner. Then I heated about a tablespoon of olive oil in a wok-like saute pan, adding one cube of frozen garlic (equal to one teaspoon of minced garlic) and cooking for about one minute. I then added the spinach, sprinkled with sea salt and fresh grated pepper, and stirred it almost constantly until it was wilted and very much reduced in volume. A huge bowl of spinach cooks down into two portions of the size on my plate above! When wilted, I added a dash or two of balsamic vinegar and some red pepper flakes. Delicious!
Then I'm sure I swung the scales a bit more toward the devilish, because I'm pretty sure I ate some M&Ms for dessert!