Creamed Spinach is one of those foods I consider to be grown-up food. That being said, I have loved spinach my entire life. My mother used to buy Stouffer’s brand frozen Spinach Souffle as a side dish pretty rarely but it was among my favorites (and I know it was one of her favorites); she also made spinach squares (sort of a cheesy egg casserole) and phyllo dough stuffed with spinach and cheese around the holidays. So, yes, spinach is healthy enough to eat year-round but I always think of it around the holidays. Maybe my mother purposefully pulled out the spinach recipes around the holidays to try to get us some healthy vitamins in the midst of all the face-stuffing with cookies.
I love creamed spinach, but it frequently harbors hidden carbs in the white cream sauce – sometimes a LOT of carbs. It makes sense – typically when you make a white sauce, you either start with a roux (butter and flour) or you thicken the sauce with cornstarch – both of which are full of carbohydrates. For this recipe, I replaced the flour with arrowroot, which worked so well that I am thinking we need to work on a biscuit recipe (maybe Carbquik?) and make up some sausage gravy and biscuits.
14 oz Spinach (one brick frozen, chopped spinach) or you can use fresh
1 tablespoon Butter
2 cloves Garlic, minced
4 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of Heavy Cream
2 tablespoons plus 2 teaspoons of Water
1 teaspoon Arrowroot
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan Cheese
1/8 teaspoon Crushed Red Pepper
1/8 teaspoon Nutmeg
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Start by prepping your spinach. If you’re using fresh, wash thoroughly, and then place in a covered skillet on medium heat, salt and cover. The spinach should be wilted in a few minutes – drain in a colander until it cools, then squeeze the excess liquid out by hand (or use a cheesecloth if you have one). Once you’ve squeezed the moisture out, chop the spinach. If you’re using frozen chopped spinach (which is easier), place it in a covered microwave safe dish with a small quantity of water and heat until warmed through. Drain in a colander to cool, then squeeze the excess liquid out. Set aside.
To make the cream sauce, start by melting butter in a small saucepan on medium high heat. Add the garlic to the butter. Mix the cream, water and arrowroot together separately in a different bowl/cup. When the garlic has been in the pan for a minute or two, add the cream, water and arrowroot mixture to the saucepan and start whisking. Keep a close eye on the mixture – when it seems as though it is close to boiling (the sauce will start thickening), add the cheese and seasoning. Keep whisking until the sauce comes to a boil and thickens. Take the sauce off the heat and add the spinach to the pan and stir until coated. Taste to make sure the seasoning is adequate. This recipe made about three generous servings for us, but we are people who can eat some serious spinach – you might get more mileage out of it. I served this alongside a Tofurky brand italian sausage and oven-roasted mushrooms.
Nutrition Information (per serving):
Calories: 181 kcal
Fat: 12.5 g
Saturated Fat: 8.5 g
Total Carbohydrate: 6 g
Fiber: 2 g
Protein: 5 g
Net Carbohydrate: 4 g