While our household is trying to eat more and more local and seasonal produce, it’s good every now and then to shake it up and let yourself enjoy a more varied selection of fruits and veg- especially when spring is so long in coming as it has been this year. Instead of our usual local box, this past week we treated ourselves to a combo box, which features such mouth-watering delights as oranges, kiwi, bananas (expect a recipe with these goodies soon!) and some lovely baby spinach. While I love baby spinach raw in a salad, I also love the flavor it gives when sauteed into a dish, and my wheels began turning on how I could best put these box of green gold to use.
I love Mexican food. I lived in Arizona as a kid and my palette has never been lacking in fidelity to southwestern cuisine. We often eat dishes with lots of chili powder, cumin, and cayenne. Even our little girl enjoys our Mexican food, just with lots of sour cream and cheese to mellow out the flavors.
Mexican Beans and Greens
Makes 2-3 servings
1 Large carrot
1 medium onion
2 cups firmly-packed baby spinach leaves
2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tsp minced garlic
1 cup cooked beans (any will do, I used a 6 bean medly in this version)
2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon oregano
¼ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ cayenne (or to taste)
1. Peel and shred your carrot and set aside.
2. Assemble our spices in a small dish.
3. Peel and dice your onion very fine (I like to use my food processor). In a large saucepan, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat and saute onions and minced garlic for a few minutes, stirring frequently.
4. Add spices to onions, making sure you spread them evenly over the pan so they are able to toast and become aromatic evenly.
5. Add your shredded carrot, mixing in well. Next add your spinach, and add just a tablespoon or two of water to the pan to help steam the spinach quickly and keep it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Saute the carrots and spinach until the spinach is sufficiently wilted.
6. Add your cup of cooked beans, stirring in well. Saute until heated through.
Serve with your favorite rice or other grain, with sour cream and fresh avocado to garnish. This is a great dish for little ones, I combine a scoop of the beans and greens, a scoop of rice, and a nice big dollop of sour cream in the food processor and pulse until desired consistency for baby. Enjoy!
-Nicole Marsh-Mueller loves to cook locally and seasonally for her family and blogs at The Armchair Housewife
photo credit: Nicole Marsh-Mueller