Sautéed Spinach with Sweet & Savory Granola

Inspired by the dish indigenous to Rome and Southern Italy, this classic sautéed spinach is reinvented with  the addition of a sweet and savory granola  including California Raisins, Fennel Seeds and Pine Nuts.IMG_0414Disclosure: By posting this recipe I am entering a recipe contest sponsored by the California Raisin Marketing Board and I am eligible to win prizes associated with the contest. I was not compensated for my time.

From blinking lights to glittery tops, life gets more  festive this time of year. For me, this excitement carries over to the kitchen with plans for holiday food favorites mixed in with new culinary traditions. Speaking of which, here’s one we should all adopt:

Festive recipes that are both delicious and include more nutrition for a less indulgent holiday.

It just so happens to be the theme of the Recipe Redux‘s holiday contest sponsored by California Raisins. But is it really possible during the holidays? Absolutely, and one way is to include wholesome ingredients, such as California raisins, in your holiday foods and baked goods. This dried-by-the-sun fruit is the all natural  way to add flavor and healthfulness, and  the ingredient label says it all: Raisins.

The nutrition label reads: zero fat, zero cholesterol and no added sugar. Plus raisins contribute 9% of your daily fiber and potassium, and 6% of your daily iron (per quarter cup).

Because raisins are both portable and convenient, I also like them as a to-go snack  (a healthier alternative to candy and chocolate). Talk about a good value, according to  the USDA, raisins are the most economical dried fruit.

So let’s talk holidays and ideas for festive food. Woot! Woot!  While I paged thru my coveted new book, Plenty, by Yotam Ottolenghi,  I  craved  to show YOU how to add sparkle and good nutrition to YOUR holiday table with vibrant vegetables. So today’s recipe begins  with these simple ingredients… IMG_0405…and it was  inspired by the classic dish found in Rome and Southern Italy, sautéed spinach with golden raisins and pine nuts.  It’s so easy to  sautée spinach. Top it with the satisfiying crunch of a ‘make ahead of time’  granola that includes fennel, pine nuts and golden California raisins, and your done.  But you won’t be done with this granola, trust me! You’ll want to sprinkle it on more vegetables, like an arugula salad ; add it to soups instead of crackers, like this California Sweetpotato Fennel Soup; use it on  soft cheese for a delightful and fun appetizer (say tuned for my next post);  and share with friends and co-workers a for wonderful DIY foodie gift. Please be sure check out the links at the bottom of this post for more ideas to add a festive, yet healthy touch, to your holidays!

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Sauteed Spinach with Sweet & Savory Granola

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

    for the granola

    • 1/2 cup old fashioned oats
    • 2 Tablespoons Red Quinoa
    • 1/4 cup pine nuts
    • 1 Tablespoon fennel seed
    • 1 teaspoon sea salt
    • 1 Tablespoon honey
    • 1 Tablespoon canola oil
    • 1 egg white
    • 1/2 cup golden California raisins

    for the sautéed spinach

    • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
    • 5 cups packed baby spinach
    • sea salt and ground pepper to taste
    • 4 tablespoons granola (recipe above)

    Instructions

    for the granola

    1 Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.

    2. In a medium bowl combine oats, quinoa, pine nuts, fennel seed, sea salt honey. Stir.

    3. In a small bowl whisk together egg white and oil. Add to oat mixture. Stir well to combine.

    4. Spread mixture on a nonstick foil lined baking sheet.

    5. Bake, stirring every 10 minutes until golden (about 20-25 minutes).

    6. Cool. Add golden raisins. Mix to combine.

    for the sauteed spinach

    1. In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Add spinach in three additions, tossing occasionally until greens are tender, 6-8 minutes. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

    2. Remove from heat. Sprinkle with 4 tablespoons  granola. Serve immediately. Serves 4.

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