When you’re feeding a hungry crowd, you want easy appetizers that you can whip up in minutes so that you can focus on your family and friends or put the finishing touches on your main course. Spinach makes a wonderful addition to easy appetizers: It cooks fast or can be eaten raw. Incorporate spinach in appetizers to offer numerous nutritional benefits as well, including high levels of fiber, vitamins A and C, folate and iron.
Make a creamy spinach dip by combining spinach, sour cream and ranch-flavored seasoning mix. For additional flavor, add dill, sun-dried tomatoes and artichoke hearts. Provide an assortment of fresh vegetables, crackers and chips for your guests to dip. Even kids who think they don’t like spinach will love this dip.
Bake an easy spinach frittata. These egg dishes cook up fast and require only a few ingredients that you probably have in your refrigerator, including eggs, milk, butter, spinach and grated cheese. Add extra flavor by seasoning the eggs with a seasoning mix -- ranch, fajita or tomato-basil seasonings work well with frittatas. Slice the frittata into appetizer-sized portions for serving and provide salsa or a creamy dressing, such sweet onion or ranch, for toppings.
Prepare quick and easy spinach-stuffed mushrooms. Make a simple spinach stuffing with egg, garlic and chopped spinach. Or make a creamy, kid-friendly stuffing by combining spinach, cream cheese and salad dressing mix, such as ranch. Once you stuff the mushrooms, bake them for five to eight minutes at 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
Take advantage of fresh spinach when it’s in season during the early spring months by assembling an easy spinach salad. For a kid-pleasing version, top the spinach with mandarin oranges, chopped walnuts and a creamy ranch or Caesar dressing. Or make an elegant salad with dried cranberries, chunks of blue cheese, toasted pecans and a creamy tomato or balsamic dressing.
- “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian”; Mark Bittman; 2007
- “The Fat Flush Plan Cookbook”; Ann Louise Gittleman; 2003
- “1001 Low-Fat Vegetarian Recipes: Delicious, Easy-to-Make, Healthy Meals for Everyone”; Sue Spitler, et al.; 2006
- Food Network: Sweet Potato and Spinach Frittata with Fresh Sweet Onion Salsa
- Colorado State University Extension: "Health Benefits and Safe Handling of Salad Greens"; M. Bunning, et al.; June 2007
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