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10 Delicious Recipes Made with Frozen Spinach

10 Delicious Recipes Made with Frozen Spinach

If you have a package of frozen spinach that’s been sitting at the back of your freezer for a while but you have no idea what to do with it, here are a few recipes that you can try out. By all means, feel free to experiment with them and customize them to suit your own leanings; these are just a few suggestions of how you can use the stuff.

Just as a note, ensure that the spinach is thawed out before you use it. Yes, that’s pretty much common sense, but it’s best to mention it anyway.

Smoothies

spinach smoothie

    For those of you who like to toss some greens into your smoothies, frozen spinach is pretty much ideal: you don’t have to worry about it wilting in your fridge, and you can even divide it into handy portions ahead of time so you can just defrost it and pop it into your blender when you’re making your favourite drink.

    If you’ve never added spinach to a smoothie before but would like to see what it’s like, try this combination: In your blender, combine 1 cup of chopped frozen mango, 1/2 a cup of frozen spinach, 1 teaspoon of grated fresh ginger, 1 tablespoon of fresh mint, and 1 cup of coconut milk. Puree that until it’s all blended well, and drink while still cold. This is a perfect smoothie for breakfast or as a refresher after a workout.

    Spinach Risotto

    spinach risotto

      Rather than cutting and pasting, let’s just send you to the original risotto recipe here. Once you’ve followed all the steps and your risotto is nearing completion, add 1 cup of drained, chopped frozen spinach and stir it in well until it’s warmed through and incorporated into the rest of the dish.

      Colcannon

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      colcannon

        This quintessential Irish dish is usually made with cabbage or kale, but it’s just as easy (and delicious) made with spinach instead.

        Peel 2 or 3 large russet potatoes and cut them into 1-inch cubes. Add them to a saucepan, cover with water, add a bit of salt, and simmer over medium heat until they’re fork-tender. While they’re simmering, drain a package of frozen spinach (about 2 cups’ worth), chop it very finely, and sautée it in 2 tablespoons of butter on medium heat for a minute or two. Add 1/3 to 1/2 a cup of milk, and keep simmering until the milk bubbles. Remove from heat, and set aside.

        Drain the cooked potatoes, pour them into a large bowl, and mash them thoroughly. Add the spinach mixture and combine thoroughly. Feel free to add a bit more milk and/or butter if you feel that they’re needed. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and eat while it’s warm. Leftovers can be made into patties and fried for breakfast the next morning.

        *Note: For a vegan version, use Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine) and soy milk instead of the dairy. 

        Vegetarian Crock Pot Lasagna

        lasagna

          Set this to cook in your crock pot before you leave the house to go run errands/take the kids to school, etc., and you’ll have an incredible dish waiting for you when you get home. We’re going to go for the quickest, easiest version available since few of us have much time to spare (or mental fortitude) first thing in the morning.

          Drain a package of frozen spinach and mix with a container of ricotta cheese. Season with salt and pepper ’til you’re happy with the taste. Take a jar of your favourite pasta sauce (store-bought or homemade) and spoon enough of it into the bottom of your crock pot to cover it well. Put down a double-layer of dry lasagna noodles, breaking them as needed to make them fit. Slather the noodles with a layer of the spinach/cheese mixture, and lay a single layer of dry noodles on top of that.

          Coat those in sauce, and top them with the vegetables of your choice: sliced mushrooms, eggplant, or zucchini all work really well in this. Top that with a bit more sauce, and add another layer of noodles. Guess what goes on top of that layer? More of the spinach and cheese mixture, topped with a final double-layer of noodles. Coat these with a thick layer of sauce, grate some mozzarella on top, and add some cracked pepper. Turn your crock pot on LOW and cook for 5-6 hours.

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          Artichoke and Spinach Dip

          artichoke and spinach dip

            Have there been any parties since 1950 in which this dip hasn’t been present? Probably not, and with good cause: it’s freaking amazing.

            Preheat your oven to 350F. Drain 1 can of artichoke hearts and either put them through a food processor until they’re finely chopped, or mince them by hand. Scoop that into a bowl and add 1 package of spinach (thawed, drained, and chopped finely), 1/2 a cup of sour cream or plain Greek yogurt, 2 tablespoons heavy cream, 1 cup of shredded mozzarella, and half a cup of parmesan cheese. If you like your dip garlicky, add 1/2 a teaspoon of raw, minced garlic. Blend all of these together, add salt/pepper to taste, and pour the mixture into a greased baking dish. Bake 20-25 minutes until it’s all bubbly and gorgeous, remove from the oven, and then hide somewhere with a bucket of tortilla chips or pita wedges so you can keep it all for yourself.

            Spanakopita

            Spanakopita

              It sounds like a fussy dish that requires a lot of work, but this Greek snack is actually super-easy to make. Cut phyllo pastry lengthwise into 2 or 3 long strips per sheet, and use a pastry brush or spatula to slather olive oil all over it. Drain a container of frozen spinach, chop it up finely, and mix it with a tablespoon of minced onions, and about half a cup of feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper, and adjust the onion/cheese if you think it needs a bit more.

              Place a heaping tablespoon of the spinach mixture in one corner of a phyllo sheet, and fold the bottom over to create a triangle. Keep folding back and forth in those triangle formations until you have a multi-layered triangular pocket of pastry with the spinach mix nestled happily in the centre.

              Stuffed Mushroom Caps

              stuffed mushroom cap

                If you’re ever at a loss for something to bring to a potluck party, just make a batch of these little guys and you’re set.

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                Preheat your oven to 350F. Take a dozen or so button mushrooms and pull the stems off. Wipe the tops clean with a dry cloth and then place them on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drain a package of frozen spinach, mince it very finely, and spoon it into a medium-sized bowl. Add in 1 cup of breadcrumbs, 1/4 cup of grated cheese (Fontina works amazingly well here), a pinch of thyme, and salt/pepper to taste. Beat an egg and add that to the bowl, then stir all ingredients until they’re well mixed.

                Fill each mushroom cap with this mixture, and then bake them for about 25 minutes until the mushrooms are tender and the filling is heated through. Crack pepper on top and serve warm.

                *Note: You can make an even simpler version of this by making a box of instant stuffing and adding the chopped spinach and a bit of cheese to it to use inside the caps.

                Spinach Omelette

                spinach omelette

                  This is one of those fabulous breakfast dishes that never goes out of style. To prep, just thaw a few tablespoons of frozen spinach, drain them well, and chop very finely. Mix this with 2-3 tablespoons of cheese, such as feta, chèvre, grated cheddar or gouda, or even brie. Season with salt and pepper.

                  For a single serving, crack 2 eggs into a bowl and beat well with a bit of salt and pepper. Feel free to add a dash of cayenne or Tabasco sauce if you like things spicy. Heat a small dab of butter in a non-stick pan (over medium heat), and stir it around with a spatula. When the butter begins to bubble, pour in the eggs and let them cook for a couple of minutes, pushing slightly on the edges with your spatula. When the edges of your omelet are firm and a light golden brown, sprinkle the spinach mixture on one side and use that spatula to fold the other side over to make a pocket.

                  Let this cook on low heat for a minute or so to allow the cheese to melt, and serve immediately.

                  Tomato, Spinach, and Tortellini Soup

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                  spinach soup

                    Soup one of the easiest dishes to make, and this one is perfect for a quick meal after work or school.

                    Sautee one small onion in a bit of olive oil until it turns translucent. Add about 6 cups of stock (vegetable or chicken—your choice), 2 chopped tomatoes, 1 cup of drained canned chick peas, and 1 cup of drained, chopped spinach. Simmer this on medium heat for about 5 minutes, and then add a couple of handfuls of fresh or frozen tortellini, and crank the heat up a bit. When it gets to a rolling boil, turn it down to low and simmer until the pasta is tender.

                    Season with salt and pepper, and feel free to adjust the flavours to suit your own tastes by adding things like a tablespoon of chopped fresh basil, or some grated Parmesan cheese. If you’re not feeling well, add some cayenne pepper or sriracha for a warming kick.

                    Creamed Spinach with Croutons

                    creamed spinach

                      Although the thought of creamed spinach might scare a few people off, this is actually a really lovely side dish that’s quick and simple to make, and is perfect for using up bread that might be going stale.

                      Take a few slices of bread, cut them into cubes, toss them with butter, salt, garlic powder, and a bit of pepper, and bake them at 350F until they’re golden. Set them aside. Drain and press 2 cups of frozen spinach, chop it finely, and then sautée it in butter with about a tablespoon of minced onion until the onion goes translucent. Add a pinch of nutmeg, a light splash of lemon juice, and a bit of salt/pepper. Remove from the heat, and stir in a few tablespoons of sour cream. If it seems a bit too thick, add milk a tablespoon at a time until it’s a consistency that you like. Serve with the croutons sprinkled on top as an accompaniment to grilled chicken, or roast beef.

                      More by this author

                      Catherine Winter

                      Catherine is a wordsmith covering lifestyle tips on Lifehack.

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                      Last Updated on June 2, 2020

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      8 Reasons Why Goal Setting Is Important to a Fulfilling Life

                      The importance of effective goal setting cannot be overstated on our personal journeys towards success. This is why there are countless articles out there on how to set your own SMART goals and even why it’s a skill commonly taught to a small degree in classrooms.

                      Learning the importance of goal setting and the benefits of sticking to those goals can be the defining factor determining whether we truly embrace the importance of goal setting. The more willing we are to embrace this method, the more likely we become to reach our personal definitions of personal and professional success.

                      Thus, today’s article is going to walk you through some of the benefits you’ll see from learning to set goals for yourself and answer the question, “why is goal setting important”.

                      1. Goals Guide and Align Our Focus

                      It’s hard to get to where you want to be in life if you don’t know what you’re aiming for. Some people believe avoiding goals means living a more care-free life. How many times have you heard the phrase “If I have no expectations, then I can’t be disappointed”?

                      But is that really what our lives have come to? Living just to avoid disappointment? It doesn’t seem like an overly optimistic view in my opinion. And since you’re reading this article, I’m willing to bet that you agree with me.

                      Without goals, we lack a degree of direction and focus. Sure you may be able to avoid disappointment, but just avoiding disappointment doesn’t mean you are necessarily happy.

                      Without goals, we will pointlessly waste our time, energy, and efforts. Listen to anybody who is the top of their field and they’ll tell you something like this,

                      “Yes talent is important, but often your success depends much more on what you decide to do with that talent.”

                      And what you will do with your talent largely depends on your focus.

                      Your goals give you direction. Your goals give you something to shoot for. This direction and target you create in your mind will help you to progress towards your main life goals rather than simply wander around aimlessly. These goals will help you align your actions and behaviors as you continue moving forward.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Because it gives you direction, alignment, and purpose!

                      2. Goals Help You Avoid ‘Shiny Object Syndrome’

                      Basically, shiny object syndrome is always being in pursuit of the next big thing, constantly switching your goals based on what you feel is most fun and interesting at the given moment, but never actually giving yourself time to accomplish any of those goals.

                      You don’t get anywhere because you continually change the direction you are heading in. This is one of the consequences that may result if you decide to live a life without goals.

                      Your goals can sometimes help you to create mental barriers, or blinders, that help you to remain focused on what you think is important and avoid the things that are second priority. When you outline goals for yourself, you are better able to avoid things that distract you from achieving and accomplishing those goals.

                      Setting goals helps you to step around the other shiny objects because you’ve taken the time to make some mental notes that remind you what it is that you want from your life. Your goals act as subconscious deterrents to anything less than your main priorities. This is what helps you to reach your personal definition of success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because not only do goals tell you what you want from life, but they also help you realize what you need to give up and avoid to achieve that.

                      3. Goals Turn Our Largest Goals into Manageable Steps

                      A lot of us have big hopes and dreams. It’s one of the things that make our lives exciting!

                      But a lot of us never take the time to figure out how we can effectively get from point A to point B. So, sadly, we never fully achieve those goals. We look at our dreams and convince ourselves that only a select few people ever achieve them, so we write ourselves off as people not meant to reach that level of success. Looking at the end product of a goal can be intimidating, daunting, and discourage us from even pursuing them.

                      Thankfully, goal setting helps us break large intimidating goals into smaller ones. These small steps and more achievable goals will help us to build momentum and will encourage us to keep working towards the next phase of our goal. The form the foundation from which we can begin building the life that we truly hope to have for ourselves, our families, and may even for our communities depending on how big your goals are!

                      Whenever I get talking about this aspect of goal setting, I can’t help but think about the mountain climbing analogy, and that the easiest way to climb a mountain is simply step by step.

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                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting gives you a list of manageable steps that you can take in order to take your life from where it is now to where you want it to go both effectively and efficiently.

                      4. Goals Encourage You to Take Action

                      This builds on the last benefit of goal setting. Not only does effective goal setting help you break down your larger goals into smaller, more manageable ones, but it also encourages you to actually begin taking action on those goals. After all, a plan is completely worthless if you aren’t willing to invest the effort required to execute it.

                      Setting your goals and putting your plan in place motivates you to begin taking action towards achieving them. These goals give you something to plan and work towards. Essentially, they help propel you forward.

                      What I like to do is write out and place my goals somewhere that I’ll regularly see them. This constantly serves as a reminder of my top priorities. It allows me to focus on taking small progressive actions towards achieving these goals daily.

                      This ensures that I don’t fall into the trap of setting a goal, beginning to work towards it for a while, but then having my motivation fade resulting in me falling off track. This is exactly what many people see happen when it comes to their “New Year’s Resolutions.”

                      If you want to learn about some of the golden rules for goal setting that will help you set and achieve your goals successfully check out this article: How to Use SMART Goal to Become Highly Successful in Life

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because goal setting actually motivates you to stop thinking about your goals and actually get out there and achieve them!

                      5. Goal Setting Helps You Continually Improve

                      This is something that a lot of personal development and self-improvement writers talk about, continual improvement. For those of you who are not aware of the term, continual improvement is exactly what it sounds like — taking small steps towards improvement as frequently as you can to develop into the person you want to become.

                      What’s the point in improving a little bit each day if you’re not improving in the areas that you want to improve in after all?

                      The goals that you define for yourself will inevitably shape you into the person who you want to become. They’ll shape your character. Your goals can help you measure your progress as you strive for this type of development.

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                      Essentially, having goals helps you determine where you started, where you are now, and how much further you need to go. In this manner, your goal setting can serve as milestones and benchmarks that help you determine how well you’re progressing towards your most important goals!

                      So, why is goal setting important? Goal setting helps you make improvements each day that will slowly transition you into the person you want to become.

                      6. Goal Setting Keeps You Accountable

                      Not only does setting goals help you measure your progress, but it also is a means through which you can keep yourself accountable. Too many goals fail because they lack this crucial aspect of outlining accountability.

                      For example, if I have the goal to do 50 push-ups, that’s great. Most people would support that goal. However, this goal lacks accountability. When do I want to accomplish this goal by and what steps do I take to get there? These are important questions that the original goal leaves unanswered.

                      A much more descriptive and specific goal could be to do 50 push-ups within the next 3 months by starting at 5 push-ups, and then adding 5 each week. This goal outlines the deadline as well as the steps I’m going to take to achieve it. This plan will keep me accountable because if I fail to retain my progression schedule, I will know that I’m not going to achieve the goal on time.

                      Additionally, it can serve as a marker helping to signify when something is impeding my progress that I may not have initially accounted for. This tells me that I need to re-evaluate what I’m doing and figure out what adjustments I can make to facilitate my success.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Setting goals is key to keeping ourselves accountable and on-track towards accomplishing our goals according to the schedules and deadlines we set for ourselves.

                      7. Goals Make You Feel Good

                      Trust me, the progress you feel as you set and achieve goals can become super motivating and super addicting (in a good way)! The dopamine release you get from achieving your goals is like a little reward for our brains that continually motivates us to try and hit that next goal!

                      Having some clearly defined goals will help you to feel better about yourself and your life in general, especially when you stick to those goals, actively work towards achieving them, and end up accomplishing and surpassing your initial expectations. I’m not the oldest book on the shelf myself, but I can attest that there are not many feelings quite like the one you experience when you truly get on a roll!

                      Additionally, our goals give us an endpoint to shoot for. Rather than progress for progress’s sake, you can actually see where you’re heading! That’s so much more rewarding. Think about a long car trip as a kid. You ask “if you’re there yet?” ever 20 minutes. It seems like the drive drags on forever.

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                      If you don’t know where you’re going, you risk the journey becoming tedious. It doesn’t tend to be much fun wandering around aimlessly. Goals make us feel good about where we’re directing ourselves.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because setting goals and accomplishing them plain and simply make us feel better about ourselves and our lives!

                      8. Goals Help You Live Your Best Life

                      I’ve talked a lot in this article about how goal setting helps us progress towards our top priorities and live the way we truly want to live. So I think it’s fit to end the article with this goal because, in the end, I feel it’s the most important one.

                      Setting your goals and clearly defining what they mean to you will help you live a life that is tailored to your beliefs and values. Your life will become directed towards the things that you most want to achieve.

                      Life is a tricky game and only in very rare circumstances are things handed to us on a silver platter. Often it takes a great degree of work, planning, and effortful execution of both.

                      There is no point clinging on to things in your life if they don’t bring you happiness or help you accomplish something that, in some way, aligns with your goals.

                      Simply put, setting goals helps us live a life that allows us to pursue the challenges and rewards that we truly want to achieve.

                      So, why is goal setting important? Because our time is always limited, and setting clearly defined goals can help ensure that you make the most of your life and live to the fullest!

                      Final Thoughts

                      These are just a few of the benefits of goal setting that outline why it truly is so important. If you take a moment or two, I bet that you can even think of a few more benefits yourself that you could add to this list.

                      If I could leave you with something, it would be this:

                      Goal setting has the potential to take us to some amazing places in life because we all have talent and ambitions. To achieve your biggest dreams, you need to be willing to sit down and create a life design uniquely tailored to you that will help you achieve them!

                      More Tips About Goals Setting

                      Featured photo credit: Unsplash via unsplash.com

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