Is There Any Way to Use Wilted Spinach?
Sometimes the vegetable drawer can turn into a mystery box with groceries and produce forgotten at the bottom. When it comes time to clean it out, coming across a bag of wilted spinach lost at the bottom can be a big source of annoyance; a whole bag of spinach is forgotten and now its only destination seems to be the trash. What a waste!
Wilted spinach doesn’t need to be thrown out and is still safe to eat. The greens can even be used as an appetizing breakfast favorite.
According to The National Capital Poison Center; Lutein and its close relative, zeaxanthin, are pigments called carotenoids that are related to beta-carotene and lycopene. The name lutein comes from the Latin word, lutea, meaning yellow. At normal concentrations in food, it is a yellow pigment but can appear orange or red at high concentrations. Lutein and zeaxanthin are made only by plants, so animals normally get them by eating plants. The highest concentrations are found in dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, spinach, swiss chard, and mustard and turnip greens − although these nutrients are also found in a variety of other vegetables. Lutein added to chicken feed intensifies the yellow color of egg yolks. – 1 cup of spinach contains 20 mg of Lutein.
#WhyWasteFood Wednesday is a call to action to take those almost-in-the-trash food items and turn them into a delicious meals!
Let’s Start With This Simple Scraps Recipe
The scrappy skillet recipe can use that wilted spinach very nicely. No spinach wilting on the bottom of the fridge? Turnip greens can be used just like any sturdy greens and they might be sweeter than you’d expect.
Take wither wilted leaf and add it to a breakfast skillet that also makes use of wilting spinach you don’t know what to do with. Turnip greens and sautéed spinach make a delicious nest for baked eggs and feta. Feel free to make it your own too! You can add in any bell peppers or ham you may have, and mix in any other favorite veggies. (Go ahead–clean out that veggie drawer!)
This recipe works just as well for dinner and has such a nice protein boost. Don’t forget the toast!
Here’s a tip: Baking the single slab of feta results in a texture that’s a little chewy on the outside, and soft and creamy on the inside. If you can only find crumbled feta, wait to add it until the very end of the baking time or right before serving.
- 1 tbsp (15 ML)
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 tsp (2g) fresh thyme leaves, removed from stems
- 1/2 cup (125g) turnip greens, leaves roughly chopped, stems finely chopped (about 1 bunch)
- 91/2 cups (283g) wilted baby spinach
- to taste fine salt
- 1/2 cup (113g) feta (block, not crumbled, ideally around 1/2-inch (1cm) thick)
- 4 eggs
- splash hot sauce
- 1 small heirloom tomato, sliced
- 1 small cucumber, sliced
- 1/4 cup (45g) Kalamata olives
The Step-by-Step from Ikea Scraps Book
Preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C).
Heat the olive oil in a large skillet (ideally one that fits in your oven) over medium heat. Add the garlic and thyme leaves, cooking until the garlic is fragrant and starting to soften, about 1 minute.
Add the turnip stems and leaves, stirring occasionally until the stems start to soften and greens begin to grow tender, about 2 minutes. Add the spinach in 2 to 3 batches, stirring occasionally until softened, about 5 minutes. Lightly season to taste with the sea salt.
Make 5 indentations in the greens to create nests for the feta and eggs. Place the feta in 1, and carefully crack an egg into each of the other 4. Bake until the egg whites are set and the yolks are cooked to your liking, 5 to 10 minutes. If your skillet is too large for your oven, or isn’t ovenproof, use a smaller skillet, split the ingredients between 2 skillets, or use another ovenproof dish.
To serve, divide the eggs, greens, and feta between 2 plates. If desired, sprinkle with hot sauce and garnish each plate with half of the tomato, cucumber, and olives.
Share any pictures you have of making this or other #WhyWasteFoodWednesday meals!
Who is Food Finders?
Food Finders is a food rescue nonprofit organization with a primary focus on reducing hunger while also reducing food waste. We coordinate the daily pick-up of donated excess food from grocers, restaurants, hospitals, schools, manufacturers, and more; food is then distributed directly and immediately to nonprofit recipients, such as pantries, shelters, youth programs, and senior centers, to be used for serving hot meals or as grocery distribution for people who are struggling and food insecure.
Our Food Rescue program ensures millions of pounds of wholesome food helps feed people, not landfills. Operating from a single headquarters in Orange County, California, we serve multiple counties within Southern California. By engaging a huge network of volunteers, we’re able to quickly scale and rescue enough food for 30,000 meals per day.