I won’t debate how much wisdom may or may not be gleaned from cartoons, but this much is clear: Popeye had at least one thing right. Sure, he might have relied too heavily on his physical strength to solve problems, and he had questionable relationship skills evidenced by his inability to ever get very far with Olive Oyl. But he knew that he was “strong to the finich cause i eats me spinach,” and that’s a valuable nugget of nutritional info.
Spinach is low in calories but high in phyto-nutrients, vitamins, minerals and fiber. You can get 25 percent of the recommended daily intake of iron in just one cup. Vitamins A, C and K are found in mass quantities in spinach, and you’ll add important minerals like potassium, magnesium, copper and zinc when you add more spinach to your diet. And, oh yeah, it tastes great too. There are many, many ways to use and enjoy fresh spinach; here is one of my favorites.
White Pizza with Spinach & Prosciutto
It’s easy and fun to experiment with homemade pizzas. The flavor combinations you can create with different sauces, cheeses and toppings are almost endless. This is a tasty one, but use your imagination and add whatever ingredients you like. Maybe some caramelized onions, spicy sausage and feta with the spinach? Yum.
- 3 small prepared pizza crusts or one large (I like Mama Mia’s Thin & Crispy)
- 4 ounces of cream cheese, softened (can use light cream cheese)
- 2 tablespoons garlic, chopped fine
- juice of ½ a lemon
- 2 cups fresh spinach, leaves cut or torn into smaller pieces
- 2.5 ounces of prosciutto
- 1 cup asiago (or parmesan) cheese, shredded
- 4 - 6 ounces fresh mozzarella, divided into bite-sized chunks
Preheat oven to 425 degrees (or whatever temperature your crusts call for).
Mix the garlic and lemon juice into the cream cheese. Season with fresh-ground pepper. Wilt spinach lightly in a little olive oil in a skillet. Crisp the prosciutto in a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Cut it into bit sized pieces.
Place crusts or crust onto baking sheet. Spread thin layer of cream cheese mixture onto the crusts. Top with spinach. Add asiago cheese. Then, top with prosciutto. Top with fresh mozzarella. Place pizzas on sheet on the middle rack of the oven and cook for 10 minutes or until crust is golden brown on edges, and the cheese is melted and golden.