Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Creamed Spinach

One thing I've noticed while leafing through old-school vegetarian cookbooks is that they don't feature many side dishes; generally speaking, they tend to offer lots of casseroles, stews, and other one-pot meals. One exception to this is Laurel's Kitchen, which has short sections devoted to separate vegetables, although most of the "recipes" are fairly loosey goosey. ("Glaze just-cooked carrots lightly by stirring in a tablespoon or two of honey; remove from pan and add a handful of chopped, lightly toasted walnuts.")

Two of the more elaborate side dishes that have appeared on my table are creamed spinach and Hungarian squash; I might get to the latter as the month progresses, but today's offering is my own loosey goosey vegan adaptation of the former. The original recipe calls for butter, milk, and the option of Swiss, Parmesan, and/or cream cheese, for which my version substitutes EB, soy milk, and nooch to deliver all the creamy goodness of the prototype without any of the unhappiness or cholesterol. The result is a delicious way to eat a pile of greens, with the added virtue of being extremely kid-friendly; even my pickyish youngest son has never turned up his nose at this stuff.

Creamed Spinach
~ 2 tbsp. Earth Balance (or other vegan margarine)
~ 1 medium onion, diced
~ 1/4 cup flour
~ 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
~ 1 tsp. salt
~ 1/2 tsp. each: garlic powder, white pepper
~ Pinch nutmeg
~ 2 cups plain, unsweetened soy milk
~ 2 lbs. chopped, frozen spinach, thawed

~ In a large skillet, melt the margarine and sauté the onion over medium heat for about 10 minutes, until very soft.
~ Add the flour, nutritional yeast and seasonings and cook for a minute or two. Begin gradually adding the milk, stirring constantly, until you have a creamy sauce.
~ Add the spinach, mix well, and cook another 10-12 minutes, stirring frequently, until everything is hot and deliciously mingled.

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