Clearing out the house has been my main goal for the past few weeks and slowly, slowly I am getting somewhere. Emptying the house of every possible thing to get us down to close-to-bare-minimum, ready to live comfortably but not cramped on a yacht is our goal.
However, presently, food and cooking have shifted to the back burner. So I was very relieved when my dear neighbour Hatice drew my attention to a household favourite of theirs, called Creamy Spinach Roots which she said was super simple.
Her Creamy Spinach Roots (which actually include more stems than roots) took all of 7 minutes to prepare and another 13 to cook and then it was on the table. It couldn’t be beaten for speed or flavour.
I will certainly be cooking this number again and highly recommend using this recipe as a basis for other produce too, if you feel up to a bit of experimenting. The simplicity and deliciousness of this quick meal is a winner. We ate ours with a few slices of Sourdough Bread but of course, a side dish of rice would go awfully well.
- 1 dsp flour
- 1 onion finely chopped
- washed spinach roots and stems from ½ kg spinach, chopped up into small pieces
- chili flakes or powder/pul biber to taste
- 3 cloves garlic
- optional extra garlic
- Fry onion in a little oil till soft.
- Add 1 spoon of flour and stir occasionally. Wait until it changes colour.
- Add sliced spinach bits and stir around for a minute or two.
- Add red pepper to taste and cook for max 2 mins then add up to a cup of water.
- Stir then cook gently for 10 mins.
- Add 3 crushed garlic cloves and a ¾ tsp of salt, stir well.
- Turn off the heat
- As an option, it can be served with garlicky yogurt.
- Made by mixing ½ tsp salt into 2 cups yogurt and add 2 crushed cloves garlic, whip with a fork.
Each market day I still go to the market, dragging my trolley behind me and filling it up like a good girl. But actually, I have found it difficult to find the time or inspiration to use all that I buy properly when a sandwich would quickly fill us up and keep us going momentarily.
The time factor is our concern, as every minute becomes so precious and there seems so much to organise. As for the inspiration, the oven is now missing.
Now we are down to handwashing as my darling husband thought offloading the dishwasher straight away to the first buyers who came along was a wonderful trick as well!
We now have only a large garden table, no chairs. Inside we have 2 couches and no table! We still have our breakfast stools but they too will be gone shortly. Thank God we kept the camping chairs… but I am yet to find them. See my clearing and offloading is possibly not going as well as I thought.
I have desperately tried to stall collection or delivery of certain essentials but Henrik is of the opinion that we will be far more organised to empty the house right now, no matter what it is!
Thank goodness the new tenant wanted to buy the kitchen island with the stove top and gas bottle! They stay… yeah!
So back to food. On the weekend, I pulled the kilo of spinach out of the fridge that I had bought on Friday and proceeded to rip off the roots. I always pull out two large basins for my spinach washing. The biggest basin holds the leaves whilst the smaller one will contain just the roots which need longer soaking.
Tip: Do not wash spinach until you intend to use it. It stores better in the fridge unwashed until needed.
I have found that by separating the roots from the leaves before washing spinach, that the amount of time I spend with my hands in cold water is greatly reduced. (This is very necessary in winter.) Whilst roots benefit from soaking for 10 minutes or so before getting the grime out, the leaves need to be rinsed over and over without being left in the water to go transparent.
When I go to the market these days, my criteria for buying spinach is mainly, how clean it is. I don’t enjoy washing it at all and the fewer rinses, the better. Secondly, many vendors neatly line up their spinach with the roots all pointing the same way. When they bag them, same applies. This means that ripping the roots off when you get home is super easy as you don’t have to turn them around and find the root. That’s Criteria No 2.
I also like spinach that hasn’t been drowned in the water spray. The leaves can suffer sitting wet for too long and of course, they are heavier, so you won’t get as much for your money, but that is hardly an issue. At the moment we are paying 3 lira (about 95 cents) a kilo for spinach which is extremely cheap and we tend to go through 2 kilos a week between the two of us.
Generally, we will have 2 spinach dishes in a week. I will also make a large spinach and cheese borek using a half kilo of washed raw spinach leaves.
I also make a green drink every morning with spinach, carrot, apple or pear, ginger, a squeeze of lemon, a slug of flax seeds and sometimes a soaked apricot. I used to put turmeric in the drink too but it was ruining my clear blender container so that had to stop!
So back to my greens on the weekend. My colanders were overflowing with washed spinach and roots and draining nicely on my garden wall. Hatice my neighbour was surprised to see that I was using the roots as she knows most people tend to throw them out. She enquired what I did with them.
I reeled off a couple of my favourite ways which are already written up on this site Spinach Roots and Zucchini Stew along with Dinner Last Night: Autumn Mushrooms and Spinach Roots which is a yummy dish that Claudia whips up. Lastly, I told her about my Root Salad as well as a Root Stir Fry that is explained in Spinach Stems Recipes.
Then Hatice told me that her husband’s favourite was when she used flour and garlic. So I immediately decided that as it sounded easy, it could be on tonight’s menu and it was. It is not a way I have ever cooked vegetables before but I will definitely be using this tasty method again.
We found it delicious and we are very happy to know another way to eat these very healthy greens. Spinach Stems and Roots are known to give an extra boost to your digestive system, address anaemia and give aid to constipation.