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Step-by-Step
Spinach with Raisins and Pinenuts



This recipe is a fairly new addition to my family's favorites - and it's a good reason why I say
"there are too many good foods to eat and not enough days in the week".  I love this dish so much
I serve it as often as I can and find myself munching any leftovers the next day - right out of the refrigerator. The original recipe called for golden raisins, but I used regular raisins and it still tasted great.




Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating


Start with 1/2 cup raisins, 2-3 garlic cloves (more is always better in my kitchen), 1/2 cup pine nuts, 1 1/4 or more pounds of fresh or frozen spinach and 1 tablespoon olive oil.  (Helpful hint - store the pine nuts in the refrigerator or freezer for up to 6 months to make them last longer.)





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating


Add boiling water, just enough to cover, over the raisins and let them sit for 5 minutes.  This helps the raisins plump up ahead of time rather than stealing all the juice from the dish as you cook it.
You can let them sit while you are preparing the pine nuts and then drain them,
or let them sit and drain them ahead of time.






Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating


Add about 1 tablespon of olive oil to a nice large skillet.  If you are using fresh spinach, 1 1 /4 pounds of spinach takes up a lot of room.  Make sure to use a large enough pan that has a lid.  There's nothing worse than starting a recipe in one size pan,only to find out halfway through that you need a larger one.  I hate doing dishes so I make sure I don't have to do more than I need to.  Here I am using a large electric skillet my children gave me for Christmas.  (Yes, I still love receiving kitchen  utensils and gadgets for holidays!)





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating

Once the olive oil is heated (Remember not to overheat the olive oil and make it smoke - this ruins the taste of it.) add the 1/2 cup of pine nuts.  Notice that when the pine nuts are raw, they are fairly white or creamy.  We are going to sautee them in oil until they turn a nice golden color.  (In case you are wondering, pine nuts are truly the edible seeds  from pine trees.).  





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating

Once the pine nuts are in the pan, stir frequently to keep them from burning.





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating


This is a close up of the pine nuts as they start to cook.  They seem to froth up a little at first so don't think something is strange when  you see that happen.





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating

Now they are getting nice and golden.  My mouth is watering already!  This takes about 3 to 5 minutes.





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating

Once the pine nuts are golden brown, add the minced garlic cloves and saute for an additional minute.





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating

Time to add the spinach and raisins.  Sometimes I add the spinach first and sometimes the raisins.  I normally add the lid to the pan for a couple of minutes to help trap the heat and get the spinach wilting more quickly.





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating

As the spinach starts to wilt, thoroughly stir the ingredients.  This helps distribute the heat and helps the spinach wilt more evenly.  If you don't have time to stir it, don't worry, it will still turn out great.  It may take a few extra minutes for all of the spinach to wilt if you can't take the time to stir.





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating


After about 1-2 minutes, the spinach is all wilted and ready to eat.  





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating


Remove the spinach from the pan and serve it in a nice bowl.  





Spinach with raisins Nancy Walker Healthy Eating

Tonight, I decided to serve the spinach alongside my saucy creamer potatoes and stuffed zucchini.  
This is what my plate looked like.  My children had a lot more potatoes on their plate. They love the spinach too and I often get requests from them to serve spinach for dinner.  Looking at a plate like this, I can't understand why people can't figure out what healthy eating looks like.  






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