Paleo Creamed Spinach
WOOHOO! I’m finally back at the box, you guys! Man does it feel good!
After I’d been on break for 5 weeks, my knee wasn’t really showing signs of improvement, so I took it upon me to see a sports physiotherapist in order to get a specialist’s opinion and prognosis. Turns out I not only have a torn Meniscus but I also suffered considerable damage to my Posterior Cruciate Ligament. Unfortunately, it looks like getting an operation will not be an option for me.
However, I was extremely relieved when he said that I could resume exercising *almost* normally while I wait for that operation. He only offered a few contra-indications, but nothing that I couldn’t live with.
I was so happy, I think I could’ve hugged and kissed him right then and there.
Still, I was kind of faced with a bit of an issue… Given that stupid knee injury, it felt like CrossFit may no longer be the optimal choice of physical activity for me. More often than not, WODs would still have to be adapted to fit my reality and I can’t have that anymore. No one wants to be “the crippled guy in the back” you know. Plus, I felt like I would impose some kind of a burden on my coach.
Soooooo… I thought maybe I could invest in a modest home gym and start lifting weights at home instead, as well as incorporate a few elements of CrossFit to my daily workouts. The thing is, if I was gonna do that, I was going to need some serious help and guidance. I went to my coach and asked if he would be willing to write me a program and coach me remotely, half expecting him to politely decline and say that as much as he would love to help me, there’s just no way he could fit me into his already overbooked schedule. Much to my surprise, however, his answer went something more like: absolutely and with great pleasure!
I was so excited, I think I could’ve hugged and French-kissed him right then and there. (What? The man happens to be very attractive…)
You know, for the longest time, I thought that I really didn’t like working out. I’m now realizing that nothing could be further from the truth. Not only do I now feel the need to be physically active every day, but I also enjoy it very much.
Especially now that I feel my energy coming back! Keto and I seem to be getting along a little better now: today’s workout was a lot easier, and I seem to be getting a little bit more inspired in the kitchen… starting with this amazing Paleo Creamed Spinach.
To make the “cream”, I once again called upon my all time favorite vegetable: the cauliflower. On top of being super nutritious and unbelievably versatile, cauliflower also happens to be, you guessed it, very low in carbohydrates! I’m seriously thinking that this veggie deserves the title of BEST EVER WONDER VEGETABLE.
To turn that wonder veggie into a thick and creamy sauce, cook it in a little bit of chicken stock along with a chopped onion and garlic. When it gets really tender, add some coconut milk, preserved lemon, ghee, Dijon mustard, fresh nutmeg and ground cinnamon.
Reduce to a puree with the help of a stick blender set on high speed until super smooth and silky in consistency, then cover and set aside. Alternatively, you could also process that sauce in a blender but you may have to work in several batches.
Now let’s turn our attention to the spinach.
I always like to chop my spinach roughly before I cook it. I find it’s easier to eat, that way.
When you start chopping your spinach and
lay mound it on your cutting board, you’re probably going to think that I’m absolutely out of my mind for making you add SO much spinach to one single dish.This will no doubt look like a real mountain and you’ll feel like your entire kitchen counter has been invaded with little bright green leaves.
But trust me on this one.
Take the biggest bowl that you can possibly find out of your cupboards (just make sure that it’s not so big that it won’t fit in your microwave) fill it with spinach and cook on high for about 4 minutes, uncovered. Like magic, the microwave will make almost all of your spinach disappear!
After your spinach is done shrinking, let it cool down until you can safely handle it, and then squeeze as much water out of it as you possibly can.
After all is said and done, you should be left with about 3-4 cups of cooked spinach.
Add that to the creamy cauliflower sauce and delicately mix it in.
Serve the Creamed Spinach immediately while it’s still piping hot, with your favorite side of protein.
I find this goes particularly good with eggs or grilled fish, but honestly, this classic side dish will make friends with just about any piece of meat that you’ll introduce it to.
Oh, and flopping a generous dollop of delicious ghee right on top of that creamy, tasty pile of greens will not only earn you additional “fat points”, it will also add tons of extra yumminess…
Try it, you’ll see!
Paleo Creamed Spinach
- 900 g 2lbs baby spinach leaves, roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp coconut oil
- 1/2 small onion, chopped
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp Himalayan salt
- 1/2 tsp freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 small head cauliflower, roughly chopped (500g | 1.1lb)
- 1 cup light chicken stock
- 1 cup full fat coconut milk
- 1 tbsp preserved lemons, finely chopped
- 1/4 cup ghee, or make your own
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp ground Ceylon cinnamon
- Add coconut oil, onion, garlic, salt and pepper to a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat for one or two minutes, until fragrant and slightly softened.
- Throw the cauliflower florets in and continue cooking for a minute or two.
- Add chicken stock, cover and bring to the boil; lower the heat and continue cooking until the cauliflower is tender, about 5-7 minutes.
- Kill the heat, then add coconut milk, preserved lemon, ghee, Dijon mustard, nutmeg and cinnamon and process with a stick blender on high speed until super smooth and silky in consistency. Set aside. (Alternatively, you could process that in a blender but you may have to work in several batches.)
- Chop the spinach roughly and then place it in a large microwave safe bowl. You will probably have to work in 2 or 3 batches, unless you own a giant sized microwave and gargantuan mixing bowls. Cook on high, uncovered, for about 4 minutes or until completely wilted and then set aside to cool.
- When the spinach is cool enough to be handled, squeeze as much water as you can out of it and delicately mix it in with the creamy cauliflower sauce.
- Serve immediately with your favorite side of protein.