Rachel Ray's White Beans and Spinach Side Dish


Ok, so dear Rachel serves this as a side, but I'd be lying if I didn't admit that I've both eaten and served it as a main dish because it is so freaking delicious, and FAST. Moreover, I bet you didn't think you'd ever hear the words "spinach" and "comfort food" in the same sentence. Well, you just did. Did I mention this whole dish should cost you about 3$ if you already have nutmeg and olive oil on hand? Well, it will.

For a healthy, filling, and totally comfy side to any meal (she recommends chicken - I say eat this somewhere between breakfast and desert):

You'll need:
  • A can of white beans, rinsed and drained.
  • As much spinach as you intend to eat in four servings, usually, a whole package of frozen spinach (500g) or a bag of spinach as sold in grocery stores. Really though, the proportion of beans to spinach depends on how much you love spinach. I fall into the "a lot" category. Adjust accordingly - this recipe might change your mind anyways. Spinach can be frozen and thawed, or fresh; baby spinach works wonderfully.
  • Sliced garlic (about 2 cloves, minced is also fine)
  • 2 tsp-tbsp olive oil
  • 2 healthy tbsps of nutmeg (Rachel asks for less than this, but I've found that particularly when using frozen spinach, more is advisable)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and lightly fry the garlic on medium heat until golden.
Add beans and heat, stirring gently, for about 2-3 m.inutes.
Add fresh or thawed frozen spinach to pan and mix; about 5 minutes or until wilted or heated through.
Season with nutmeg, salt, and pepper.
Serve warm. Or cold. Or on pasta, rice, with tofu, or couscous. Or all the time. With everything.

Health note: White beans are rich in soluble fibre, and can help lower your cholesterol and your blood pressure. They're an excellent source of protein, and are rich in magnesium, which humans diets are increasingly deficient in. They are also a good source of iron (never mind all that spinach you just ate), and are recommended for people with a history of diabetes.

Speaking of spinach, remember that many nutrition experts recommend taking in some vitamin C with a vegetable iron source to absorb it more completely. Spinach, thankfully, is high in vitamin C, along with other important elements like calcium, Vitamin K, fiber and carotenoids.

Happy eating!

Image from The Well-Seasoned Cook
Recipe derived (but adjusted) from Rachel Ray's excellent book Express Lane Meals

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1 Response to Rachel Ray's White Beans and Spinach Side Dish

February 7, 2011 at 9:58 AM

Let me just say that I'm not a big beans fan and I really enjoyed this dish!! :)

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