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Garden Fresh Recipes: Spinach recipe

David’s Spinach with coconut cream and shrimp recipe

If you’ve never liked spinach, then get ready for a recipe revelation. This is one of the most delicious dishes you will ever try. I even leave out the shrimp!

This recipe was discovered by Shauna’s husband, David Johnson, who is a pretty sweet cook.

Spinach originated in Persia and came to Europe in the 15th century and then on to North America in the 19th century. It makes an excellent diet dish as it is low in calories and fairly high in nutritional value, although its reputation as a source of iron is overblown. However, half a cup of spinach can give you enough vitamin A for a whole day.

The virtues of spinach

• High in lutein, which helps us see details and colours
• Low in saturated fat
• Good source of niacin and zinc
• Good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, vitamin K and vitamin B6
• High in thiamin, riboflavin, folate, calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, copper and manganese.

Growing spinach

Plant as soon as frost leaves the ground. Spinach does best in cool weather. And can germinate at temperatures as low as 5 degrees C (40 F), although the average germination temperature is 7 degrees C to 23 degrees C (45 to 75 degrees F). Expect seeds to sprout in six to 21 days. For earliest plantings, use a cloche to protect tender new growth. Matures in 35 to 45 days.
Plant seeds about one cm or ½ inch deep in cooler weather, deeper when it’s warmer. Spinach is a heavy feeder that likes a rich soil with a neutral pH.
Pick when leaves are three to four inches long.

1 lb jumbo shrimp

1 tbsp lemon juice

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp cumin

1/2 tsp ginger

1 ½ tsp butter

1 large onion, chopped

spinach recipe

1 lb. spinach

1 vegetable stock cube (optional)

1 fresh chili (optional)

Grind or two of nutmeg

1 can coconut milk or coconut cream

OR 2 tsp concentrated coconut cream

Salt and pepper

Combine lemon, garlic, cumin and marinate shrimp for one hour. Cook shrimp in half the butter until just pink. Set aside. Sauté onion in rest of the butter until translucent. Add spinach and stock cube (if using). Stir and cook until spinach is just wilted. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix well. Serve with the shrimp or leave it out for a great vegetarian side dish.

spinach recipe

How to cook shrimp

The biggest challenge with shrimp is to cook it all the way through, but not to overcook it. Most shrimp are sold frozen in these parts, so defrost thoroughly by putting the package in a bowl, covering it with water and leaving it in the fridge overnight. For fast thawing, submerge package in cold hour for one hour.

spinach recipe

Leaving the shell on improves the flavour. If the shrimp have not been de-veined, you may want to remove that black vein before cooking. Simply trace the line of the vein down the shrimp with a sharp knife and rinse under a running tap. This method can also be used with the shell on.

spinach recipe

Shrimp can be boiled or grilled, but I like to pan fry them 3 to 5 minutes over a high heat with a bit of garlic, being careful not to scorch the garlic. Do this quickly until they are just turning pink and beginning to curl. Then add some white wine, lots of fresh chopped herbs and some tomato bits for colour.

spinach recipe

You know they are done when they turn opaque.

spinach recipe

Coconut Cream

The concentrate is pure coconut with no water added. It contains more fiber per gram than oat bran.  Coconut Cream Concentrate may be packaged in jars or boxes.

Commercial coconut milks and creams are generally sold in cans or packages and contain added water. If the fat content is under 17%, it is called “coconut milk.” If the fat content is 24% or higher, it is called “coconut cream.”

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