It's day 10 of our #PlantPoweredProtein series and that means we've come to the end! I hope you've found this series to be as interesting as I have! We're concluding today with an oldie but goodie: Spinach.
Growing up, I hated spinach. Ha-ted. My grandma used to make homemade ravioli and I would practically throw a fit if I saw that she used spinach in the ricotta. Today, I love it. In fact, I love it so much that I think back to the times when I despised it and wonder how that even happened! Spinach is obviously included in this series because with just 1 cup of spinach, you'll benefit from over 6 grams of protein.
Spinach is also known to improve the health of our skin and hair, aid in digestion, maintain bone health as well as...
- Improving our eye sight: As a rich source of beta-carotene, spinach can prevent vitamin A deficiencies, dry eyes and itchy eyes.
- Strengthens our muscles: C0-Q10 is an antioxidant that plays an important role in strengthening muscles, especially heart muscles. C0-Q10 can be used to prevent and treat many cardiovascular diseases and spinach just happens to be an awesome source of C0-Q10.
- Vitamin K: Spinach is a good source of Vitamin K, which helps us retain calcium. With other minerals like manganese, copper, magnesium, zinc, and phosphorus also helping to build strong bones / preventing the development of osteoporosis, we also benefit from healthy teeth and nails.
- Metabolism boost: The protein found in spinach is easily broken down by enzymes into amino acids that are essential to the health of humans, which help our muscles grow, our bodies heal wounds and even give our metabolism a boost.
Spinach is one of those foods that, like many others in this series, you can use in so many different ways. Today, we're making a twice baked sweet potato with spinach, corn and black bean filling. I had one of my best friends over for lunch today and we had these - they were delicious! I served mine alongside some carrot and broccoli quinoa cakes and a cashew cream parfait with blackberries, raspberries and granola. Yum!
What You'll Need:
- 1 large organic sweet potato
- 2 TBS olive oil
- 1/2 cup of salsa
- 1 can organic black beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 can organic corn, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup (packed) organic baby spinach
Let's Make It:
- Preheat your oven to 375 degrees.
- Wash and scrub your sweet potato under cold running water.
- Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and place sweet potato onto sheet. Using a fork, poke several holes over the surface of the potato.
- Place baking sheet with potato in oven and bake until tender, about 1 hour.
- While potato is baking, in a large skillet, add olive oil, black beans, corn and salsa over medium heat. Cook until beans and corn are soft, about 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently.
- Add spinach and continue to cook until spinach reduces in size and softens, about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat, cover and set aside.
- Remove potato from oven and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- Once cooled, cut potato in half and scoop out the flesh using a large spoon, leaving enough on the base so the skin holds its shape.
- Add flesh to skillet with beans, corn and spinach, stirring to combine all ingredients.
- Scoop mixture back into potato halves, put back in the oven for another 10 minutes.
- Top with salsa or any other desired toppings (cilantro, guacamole, etc.) and serve immediately.