“Foods for the Blues” was the theme for this recipe. Winter brings short days and chilly temperatures; this may affect our moods and energy levels. Certain foods can help diminish the winter blues and boost your energy. Many of the ingredients in this dish are recommended for the cold winter months. It’s an easy recipe, yet so very tasty. I got great reviews!
For a more comprehensive list of foods recommended for the winter blues, visit:
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup chopped onions
2 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
1–2 celery stalks, diced
1 (10-ounce) package frozen cut spinach, thawed (or the equivalent fresh)
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon black pepper
¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper (optional)
¼ teaspoon dried rosemary
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
8 cups water
2 vegetable bouillon cubes (or to taste)
3 tablespoons nutritional yeast
¼ cup quinoa, rinsed
1 (14–15-ounce) can white beans (northern or navy), rinsed and drained
Heat oil in medium-size soup pot over medium heat. Add onions and garlic. Sauté for a few minutes, until onions turn translucent. Add celery and cook briefly. Add chopped spinach, salt, pepper, red pepper, rosemary and thyme. Cook for a few minutes, then add water, bouillon, nutritional yeast and quinoa. Cook for approximately 30 minutes, then add beans. Cook for 5–10 minutes, until flavors are well combined. Serve warm or hot. Serves 6–8.
Health Benefits of Spinach
The benefits of spinach are many. Leafy greens like spinach provide more nutrients than any other food, when compared calorie for calorie. Here are some spinach facts to consider:
- The nutritional value of spinach indicates it to be a very nutrient-dense food. It is low in calories yet very high in vitamins, minerals and other phytonutrients. When you consume this healthy food, you don’t need to worry about your weight-loss diet as you take in abundant, good-for-you nutrients. This leafy green is an excellent source of vitamin K, vitamin A, magnesium, folate, manganese, iron, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin B2, potassium, and vitamin B6. It’s a very good source of protein, phosphorus, vitamin E, zinc, dietary fiber, and copper. Plus, it’s a good source of selenium, niacin, and omega-3 fatty acids.
- One of the benefits of spinach is that this green is readily available, nearly all over the world. Even though, with its abundant nutrient profile, it sounds like an amazing super food, it’s still easy to find in the market or easy to grow. In addition, it’s affordable.
- This is a versatile food. It can be eaten raw in a salad (and is much more nutritious than iceberg lettuce) or a spinach smoothie. Or it can be cooked (lightly, please) and eaten as a dish on its own or added to soups and other dishes. If boiling, use the least amount of water possible for the shortest time.
- Spinach is loaded with flavonoids which act as antioxidants, protecting the body from free radicals. Researchers have discovered at least 13 different flavonoid compounds that act as anti-cancer substances. The various nutrients offer much in the way of disease protection.
- Another of the health benefits of spinach is that this is a heart-healthy food. It’s an outstanding source of vitamins C and A which are antioxidants that help reduce free radical amounts in the body. The antioxidants work to keep cholesterol from oxidizing. In addition, folate is good for a healthy cardiovascular system, as well as magnesium, a mineral that helps to lower high blood pressure.
- Gastrointestinal healthcan be guarded by eating more of this food. The beta-carotene and vitamin C work to protect the cells of the body’s colon from the harmful effects of free radicals. Also, DNA damage and mutations in colon cells may be prevented by the folate that’s present in this green leafy vegetable.
- Some conditions that are identified asinflammatory, such as arthritis, osteoporosis, migraine headaches, and asthma, may be helped because of the anti-inflammatory propertiesof some of the nutrients found in spinach.
- Studies have shown that consumption of green leafy vegetables such as spinach may slow the age-related decline in brain function. So, eat your greens and keep working those crossword puzzles to keep your brain young and agile.
- Have you heard of lutein? It’s a carotenoid found in spinach that is protective against eye diseasessuch as age-related cataracts and macular degeneration. There is some indication that it might be absorbed better if you eat it with a little fat, such as a sauce made with tahini, or the food that you’re eating it with may contain some fat.
- The mineral iron is particularly important for menstruating women and growing children and adolescents. In comparison to red meat, spinach provides a lot less calories, is fat and cholesterol free, and an excellent source of iron. Because iron is a component of hemoglobin, which carries oxygen to all body cells, it’s needed for good energy.