So here’s why I love the internet. A few years back, I found a recipe in some magazine for this awesome garlic-orange spinach. I made it a couple times, lost the recipe, thought of it fondly on occasion, but never bothered trying again, because I couldn’t remember exactly how to make it.
Now, you could argue I didn’t really need a recipe, considering the ingredients are seriously oil, garlic, orange juice, and spinach, period (okay, salt, pepper, and orange zest, too, if you’re feeling fancy), but I am such a lousy cook I didn’t trust myself to use the right amounts or put them in the pan in the right order without the recipe. So yesterday, when I suddenly decided I HAD to have that garlic-orange spinach again, I Googled those three words in hopes of finding something similar, and the number one result was exactly the recipe I wanted — turns out it was from O. That is why I love the internet.
And this recipe is so good, fast, and unfuckupable even for a cook like me, I decided I had to blog it. Here’s what you do.
1. Slice up some garlic.
2. Put some oil in a pan over medium high heat.
3. Cook the garlic for 30 seconds-ish.
4. Add 3 tbsp. orange juice and cook for another 30 seconds.
5. Throw in a bunch of spinach (and a little orange zest if you’re a keener) and cook for like a minute
That’s it. For more specific directions, check out the real recipe, but there’s a whole lot of leeway on the amounts, actually. (Because I can fuck up even unfuckupable recipes, I failed to adjust the amount of juice relative to the amount of spinach I used tonight, so I ended up pulling the soaking wet spinach and garlic out with a slotted spoon. Still yummy.) Oh, and the issue it came from was, iirc, all about “superfoods,” which is why they say to use grapeseed oil. Fuck that. Whatever oil you have on hand will do.
I can’t say for sure if this is the kind of recipe that would have made me like spinach as a kid, but it’s definitely the kind that makes me want to eat a truckload of spinach now, just as much as I want to eat a truckload of fries at other times. Which makes me sad once again to think of how long it took me to fully appreciate that bitter vegetables + tasty extras = nom. I mean, I actually could have gotten away with this recipe while dieting (though I probably would have used a single spray of olive-oil flavored PAM and halved the O.J., and I definitely wouldn’t have followed it up with ice cream as I did tonight), but it didn’t fit with my image of what veggies were supposed to represent: virtue, purity, nutritional overachieving. I wasn’t some wuss who needed a pat of butter on my broccoli — give it to me steamed and unadulterated! Let nothing come in contact with my veggies that might detract from their Goodness! Thin people don’t enjoy food, for Christ’s sake!
Feh. Allow me to quote myself:
This is bullshit, people. Once again, the conflation of “fattening” with “unhealthy” has completely warped our concept of reasonable eating. I know it took me forever after I stopped dieting to realize that yes, I could eat a salad with full-fat dressing, cheese, croutons, and even — gasp! — bacon, and I would still be getting a nice big dose of greens, peppers, broccoli, carrots, whatever. And, miracle of miracles, I would not secretly feel deprived — like choosing to eat salad was a moral victory but a practical disappointment — and subsequently crave a burger and fries more strongly than ever.
…I am not, of course, a health care professional or nutritionist, but from one ex-dieter to another, I hereby give you permission to drink fruit juice and eat your veggies with fat. You will not cancel out their nutritional value. (Well, you’ll lose fiber drinking juice instead of eating fruit, but since you’ll still eat fruit at other times and get fiber from other sources, it’s still okay.) You will not go to hell. You will not even get any fatter, if you’re already at your set point. You’ll just be eating and drinking stuff that tastes good and contains lots of nutrients your body needs.
Shapelings, tell me about your favorite veggie recipes that involve butter, oil, sugar, cheese, bacon, Hollandaise, chocolate cake, whatever. Bonus points if they have less than five ingredients.