From Chef Derrick’s Kitchen #5 – Cooking with Spinach

From Chef Derrick’s Kitchen #5 – Cooking with Spinach

Spinach is tough to grow in the Upstate, but a few farmers make a go of it. Here are some great recipes from our friends at Spartanburg Regional and Morrison Healthcare.

Cooking with Spinach

Spinach may not cause Popeye-sized muscles to spontaneously pop up, but it’s a delicious, nutritious vegetable. Fall is the perfect time for spinach; it is a cool-season crop.

These spinach recipes are enough to get even the most finicky eater to have a taste. Both have been served in the Spartanburg Medical Center cafeteria.

Sauteed Fresh Spinach

Yields: 6 Servings

Serving size: 1/2 cup

Preparation time: 10 minutes

Cooking time: 5 minutes


1-5/8 pounds fresh spinach

1/2 tsp kosher salt

1-3/8 tbsp olive/canola oil, 90/10 blend

1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1/4 cup yellow onions, pre-diced, ¼ inch


Rinse and drain spinach. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium high heat. Add onions and sauté until softened, about three minutes. Add the spinach, cook just to wilt, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 51 kcal, total fat: 3 g, saturated fat: .5 g, carbohydrate: 4 g, protein: 2 g, sodium: 277 mg

Sweet Potato and Spinach Vindaloo

Yields: 6 servings

Serving size: 1 cup

Preparation time: 20 mins

Cooking Time: 45 mins


1 tsp ground cardamom

1 tbsp roasted ground cumin

1 tbsp ground coriander

1/2 tsp ground cloves

1/4 tsp turmeric

1 tsp ground paprika

1 tsp ground cinnamon

2 tbsp canola oil

10 ounces fresh yellow onions, diced

1/2 tsp mustard seed

2 tbsp fresh ginger root, minced

2 tbsp Red Fresno chili peppers, sliced thin

1-1/2 cup canned tomatoes, diced in juice, no added salt, drained

1/4 cup cider vinegar

2 cups water

1 tbsp granulated sugar

2 cups fresh sweet potatoes, peeled, diced ¾-inch

2 cups garbanzo beans, canned, drained, rinsed

4 ounces fresh chopped spinach

1/4 tsp kosher salt

2 tbsp fresh cilantro, chopped


Combine spices and set aside. Heat oil in a heavy bottom pot and add the diced onions and mustard seeds. Sauté on medium low heat for 5 minutes, until slightly browned. Stir in spice mix, ginger and chilies and cook for 3 more minutes. Then add the tomatoes, vinegar, water and sugar and bring to a boil, then simmer, covered for 20 minutes.

Add the sweet potatoes and beans; simmer for another 20 minutes, covered. When the potatoes are tender, add the spinach and salt. Stir until spinach wilts and simmer until sauce thickens. Garnish with fresh cilantro.

Portion size: 1 cup. Hold hot for hot service.

Nutrition information (per serving)

232 kcals, total Fat 6.8 g, saturated fat .6 g, carbohydrates 37 g, protein 8 g, sodium 278 mg

Recipes courtesy of Chef Derrick Williams, Spartanburg Regional Wellness Dietitian Joan Cope, MPH, RD, LD, and Morrison Healthcare.