Posts Tagged ‘spinach’


While I have a healthy obsession with spinach and cheese, palak paneer tends to be a dish that often looks better on the menu than it tastes on most restaurants’ plates. I found myself sloshing through the murky and over-pureed sauce to pick out the few cubes of paneer cheese oh so generously bestowed by the chef. I fixed these problems at home and found a way to make a palak paneer with a vibrant green sauce that still says “spinach.” The amped up flavor will excite your palate. And most of all, you won’t be searching for the cheese… well, at least not until you’ve finished it all.


  • 1 large yellow onion, diced Salt
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tablespoon garam masala (Indian spice mix)
  • 1-2 dashes of cinnamon
  • 1 tablespoon ginger paste
  • 11 ounces baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoon goat cheese spread/ plain yogurt (optional)
  • 3 ounces of heavy cream
  • 5 ounces low-sodium paneer, cubed


In a medium-sized pot over medium-high heat, sauté the onion in enough butter to coat the bottom of the pot and a drizzle of olive oil. Add a sizeable pinch of salt and cook until the onions are translucent.

Add the garlic, the garam masala, a shake or two of cinnamon and the ginger paste. Continue to cook while you make the spinach.

Heat a large sauté pan on high and coat with some water. Add the spinach and salt to taste. Cook down until the spinach is soft yet still bright green. In a blender or food processor, purée half the spinach from your pot. Add the purée to the onions.

Incorporate the goat cheese spread/yogurt (optional) and the cream until you are happy with the consistency and richness. It should be thick but not too chunky. Cook with paneer and salt to taste.

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Poached eggs look so much nicer than any other type and they are the most pure in flavor. Without ever touching a pan, they can be cooked more evenly without tasting bitter and turning brown.

1. Boil water in a sauce pan and add a teaspoon of white vinegar; this causes the egg whites to congeal faster. Crack the eggs into individual ramekins, so that one bad egg doesn’t spoil the lot.

2. Bring the water to a simmer and add the eggs without crowding them. Sometimes, I use a ladles to hold my egg, so fewer whites can escape, but they seem to turn out well drifting unchaperoned in the water.

3. Time for 3 1/2 minutes; this will be sufficient to completely cook the whites, but leave the yolks completely oozy. The safe zone is 3-4 minutes.

4. I prefer mine on a bed of spinach, mushrooms, and onions sautéed in olive oil with garlic—add a dab of butter at the end. Use any toast you have on hand, it’s fun to make new combinations.

My sister said: “What’s the point of eating poached eggs. They’re mushy and disgusting”. That may be true for some, but to others, poached eggs mean a new level of sophistication, compared to over-easys. In the former, a  gently swipe of the fork will open the purse of yolks instead of sawing to puncture the unyielding whites of the latter. Plus, the silky yellow yolk flows down into the spinach and toast rather than pooling on the plate, causing one to chase after it with bread in hand. Finally, just the appearance of the egg: sitting with dignity on a throne of spinach raised even higher by a toasty foundation. However, some do prefer to have their egg flat against the plate, shunned to the side by a preeminent slab of home-fries.

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I whipped this dish up in about twenty minutes for my family. I had to go to bartending class, so I ate it later on. Gnocchi are small italian dumplings made with potatoes; some people don’t even classify it as pasta. Catherine De Medici brought spinach to France and, to honor her italian heritage, decided to call any pasta dish containing spinach, Florentine. Don’t let its difficult pronunciation stop you from ordering the dish. It can be pronounced Nah-kee and Nyah-kee (Don’t worry, I’ve been pronouncing it wrong too!)


  • 2 17.5 oz gnocchi
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (depending on size)
  • Extra-virgin olive oil (maybe two tablespoons)
  • 1/2 bag of spinach (baby spinach is a good substitute)
  • 1/2 large white onion
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • white wine
  • 1/2 jar of tomato sauce (I just poured until it looked good)
  • 1/4 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon tomato paste (comes in a tube or can)
  • Some type of cream (I used half and half)
  • 2 teaspoons parmesan
  • fresh basil
  • 1/2 large tomato
  • garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper

1. Sauté minced or pressed garlic and diced onion in the oil over medium-high heat. Season with salt and pepper.

2. When the onions finish sweating (become translucent), add the spinach (roughly chop if the leaves are large). S and P.

3. Add the butter for richness and a couple “glugs” of white wine. After fully incorporating the tomato paste, add the tomato sauce and the chopped tomatoes.

4. Simmer and season with garlic powder and oregano. Add at least two splashes of cream. The color should be a little lighter, yet should still look like a marinara sauce.

5. Squeeze the lemon, sprinkle with parmesan, and add a generous handful of basil leaves, chopped.

2. Boil the gnocchi for about 2 minutes, strain well, and mix with the sauce.

7. Top with shredded mozzarella cheese and bake. My parents just melted the cheese in the microwave. I have no problem with that. If you choose to bake it, all you have to do is melt the cheese.

I love this dish because one of my favorite things is spinach. Gnocchi have a luxurious, soft texture and the sauce is a little more than your average marinara, yet is not to heavy.

P.S. There’s no mozzarella cheese added in the picture.

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Yes, you can grill pizza.


  • store-bought pizza dough.
  • fresh basil
  • 1 small mozzarella
  • grape tomatoes
  • fresh baby spinach

most pre-shredded mozzarella is dehydrated to increase shelf-life. However, this type of cheese barely melts on a pizza. Its certainly not ooey-gooey goodness.

  • tomato sauce or marinara (the former is usually plain, whereas the latter has herbs or garlic)
  • olive oil

How you do it:

1. Flour the ball of dough and the counter-top. Spin the dough with one hand while you stretch with the palm of your other hand. Begin using your fingers to shape the dough into a long oval shape. Finish with a rolling pin to create a thin, even crust. This is always best, but you will have to transport it without it ripping.

2. Turn the grill on high. Use a brush to coat one side with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and fresh pepper and place, oil-down, on the hot grill. Oil and season the other side. Take half an onion and slice (see photo). Oil, season, and grill. After three minutes, use a spatula to pick up the end (it should easily lift). I just flipped it with my hands (because I’m that tough).

3. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Lightly spoon sauce on the pie and spread around. In olive oil, Sauté spinach and grape tomatoes and grilled onions with salt and pepper. Evenly disperse the veggies over the pizza and generously sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Top with hand-ripped fresh basil leaves.

4. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the cheese melts. Finish with a drizzle of garlic-infused olive oil. I strained out the garlic. Use a pizza cutter or a chef’s knife to cut. Thanks for helping Ashley!

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