Some sales are harder to resist than others. Take for example, Kroger’s recent super deal on packaged spinach: 3 bags for $5.00.
In an unusually realistic move for me, I recognized that I would not be eating that much spinach in one week.
I could surely go through one bag in a week, but three? Not likely.
I supposed I could spike my consumption rate to a bag and a half within seven days by successfully incorporating spinach into at least two out of three meals a day.
Truly, I could probably find some way to the stuff even more of the stuff in if I reclassified it as an acceptable breakfast item. I already add 1 oz of cheese, and sometimes 1 tablespoon of pre-cooked crumbled bacon to my morning oatmeal. Why not spinach, too? As interesting as that thought was, it seemed a little ridiculous… even to me.
Besides, marathoning spinach would, at most, only deplete somewhere close to just shy of two bags.
Inevitably, I would run into a slime situation. I know this from experience culled purchasing romaine in multiply-packed bundles of three or more.
The likelihood of successfully chomping through the bargain load, was looking dismal.
Steaming and freezing fresh greens has never produced an effect I would enthusiastically eat.
I found simple instructions for freezing without blanching at the site listed below.
But, what really caught my eye was the pureed spinach. I thought it was pesto, and got pretty excited. It wasn’t, but a way over-excited revised search for spinach pesto yielded recipes in many shades of green; some with basil, some without.
I chose to go with. Mostly, because the pep of basil would be missed; but also because I just couldn’t consider calling it a pesto if there wasn’t any.
I also chose to skip the pine nuts. Partly because I so focused on the spinach I forgot to buy some. Partly because I was too lazy to trek out to the market again, and partly because I could never regret a little less fat.
Admittedly, kiboshing a key ingredient was a gamble along the lines of playing only one bingo card while the rest of the place is jam packed with players playing no less than four. If it’s not a good one, you’re pretty much limited, and there won’t be any options for saving your game. Still, I felt I would be able to offset the loss by using top-notch Romano, which I conveniently had on hand. Romano is my golden-chip, go-to fixer. If anything isn’t quite up to par, adding a little taste-bud glitter of this glorious cheese makes it palatable. Because not every meal is a rousing success, I’ve managed to save quite a few really-shouldn’t-even-make-it-to-my-dinner-plate disasters with this method of disguise. Because, waste not, want not.
Spinach improv has taught me learned a few interesting things.
When changing a recipe from 1 cup of leaf greens to 3 cups of leafy greens the natural result will be heavier and pastier than a light, delicate pesto.
I’m not disappointed. In fact, I think it will be more adaptable that way. Still, at the time, I had two recipe’s worth of super-bright pseudo pesto to preserve somehow. Most sites recommended use of an ice cube tray. I’ve found it to be tried and true with extra tomato sauce, chicken broth, or even pureed watermelon.
I now have a dozen cute little, big-on-taste, thick and tasty spinach pesto cubes. I will use them all.
I’ve been kicking around a few ideas. Others I’ve already experimented with.
I added one just-made tablespoon of Spinach Pesto to one tablespoon of bottled Kraft Sweet & Complex Balsamic Vinaigrette dressing. It was nice and mellow, and didn’t override or clash with my dinner-sized baked chicken and spinach salad.
I also envision creaming a defrosted cube with sour cream or naturally sour Greek yogurt for a snappy, savory dip. I suspect spooning over chicken before baking, will be lovely. I’m growing fonder of an oven baked, crispy chicken wing scenario. A water-thinned drizzle will perk up the plain things.
I’d like to try it on rosemary crackers with a sprinkling of additional cheese, or as an unusual sandwich condiment. I’ve seen rational suggestions recommending adding a cube to tomato or Alfredo sauce before warming.
Of course, it would make an awesome plain-old bread dip –paired with a little splash fresh olive oil, a squirt of lemon, and cracked black pepper.
There you have it, and here’s what you have to know to succeed at kitchen bingo:
Only take advantage of sales that make sense.
Do what you can, with what you have.
Fix it up with cheese, if necessary.
Adapt. Create. Enjoy!
Quote for the week:
“The only real stumbling block is fear of failure. In cooking you’ve got to have a what-the-hell attitude.”
― Julia Child
Enjoy this week’s discovery links:
Blanch-less Freeze: http://momonamission.me/how-to-freeze-fresh-spinach-2-ways/
Spinach’s surprising benefits and drawbacks: http://n-h-metclub.blogspot.com/2012/08/pros-and-cons-of-daily-spinach-diet.html
Julia Child: A Little Advice on Cooking and a Lot More on Important Stuff: http://leitesculinaria.com/76678/writings-interview-with-julia-child.html
Happily Romano: http://www.food.com/library/romano-cheese-496
(Click to enlarge recipe)