While black-eyed peas are supposed to bring luck for the New Year, another superstition in the south is to serve greens such as cabbage, collards, greens, mustard greens, kale or spinach to bring money or prosperity in the New Year. As a Recipe Developer, I have created hundreds of spinach recipes for magazines and food companies, and I wasn’t sure which one to share with you for the New Year. I made this version two nights ago by just using what I had in my pantry and in the refrigerator, and it was an instant hit at our dinner table. It’s only 5 ingredients and is healthy, colorful and has a sweet and salty crunch along with the creaminess of goat cheese. Feel free to use what you have in your home. and I wish everyone much hope for a happy prosperous New Year!
Spinach with Dried Fruit, Nuts and Goat Cheese
Prep and cook: 3 minutes
Yield: 4 servings
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 (6-ounce) packages fresh baby spinach
Kosher salt to taste
2 tablespoons organic fruit and nut trail mix (I used “Good Sense Organic”)
2 tablespoons crumbled goat cheese
1. Heat olive oil in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add fresh spinach to skillet, and cook 2 to 3 minutes or until spinach is wilted. Sprinkle with salt, trail mix and goat cheese. Serve spinach with slotted spoon or tongs.
Some of you may know that my background and love is really in healthy and light cooking, but I know with the holidays, it’s hard to focus on that. Even in my profession of being a Recipe Developer, I deviate from my healthy schedule, especially when working on holiday recipes. Usually, most magazines work six months in advance so I am preparing heavy holiday foods in the summer (during bathing suit season), and am grilling light summery food in the winter (luckily, I live in the south). As far as healthy gift ideas, I thought I would share one of my (and my kid’s) favorites-dried fruit mixed with a touch of ground cinnamon, nutmeg and cloves. We went threw our jar in less than one day, so I hope this will be as popular as it was at our house.
Dried Fruit Mix
Prep: 10 minutes
1/2 cup dried cranberries
1/2 cup dried apples
3/4 cup pitted prunes
3/4 cup dried aprictots
1/2 cup dried blueberries
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1. Layer all ingredients in a 1-quart jar in the order given; tightly seal. Makes 1 gift jar.