6 things to do with spinach

Normally associated with muscly cartoon favourite Popeye, spinach is a great source of iron

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A favourite with cartoon character Popeye, dark, leafy spinach has a strong taste and colour, and is normally eaten cooked, but can be munched on raw in salads. Look for vibrant green leaves with no bruising or yellowing. It shrinks a lot when cooked, so you’ll need to use more than you think you need, and always store it in the fridge.

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1) Easy frittata

Put 200g spinach in a colander and pour boiling water over it until it wilts, then pour cold water over it to cool. Squeeze out the excess water and set aside. Heat the grill to high. In a frying pan, fry a chopped onion and a large, peeled, thinly sliced potato for about 10 minutes in a little oil until soft. In a bowl, beat 5 eggs together and season. Stir the spinach into the potato and onion and pour the eggs over it. Leave on the heat until set, then pop the pan until the grill to set the top. Cut into wedges and serve for an easy frittata.

2) Side dish

Serve spinach as an easy side to meat dishes. Fry a crushed garlic clove in oil until it turns brown. Add two large bunches of spinach to the pan and let it cook down for a few minutes. Then pop another glug of oil into the pan and cover for a minute. Remove from the heat, drain away excess liquid, and serve.

3) Brunch alternative

Stir-fried spinach mixed with bacon is a yummy brunch alternative. Heat a glug of olive oil in a frying pan and add a few slices of chopped bacon until cooked. Add the spinach and let it cook down for a few minutes, season, stir together, and cook for about two minutes more. Serve with crusty bread.

4) Curries

Buy a bag of ready-washed spinach, keep it in your freezer and then add large handfuls (no need to defrost first) to curries.

5) Salad

Make a tasty salad from fresh spinach leaves, chunks of fried bacon and hard-boiled eggs.

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6) Stuffings

Use a stuffing of spinach and cheese to make chicken breasts more exciting. Cut a pocket in the side of the breast, fill with wilted spinach and some grated or crumbled cheese and then secure the hole with a cocktail stick or wrap the breast with string. Cook for 20 minutes at 170ºC, until the juices from the chicken run clear when you stick a knife in.

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