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The Easiest Garlic-Lemon Spinach Recipe

This dish will convert even the biggest spinach skeptics into fans of the leafy green.
The Easiest Garlic-Lemon Spinach RecipeMitch Mandel and Thomas MacDonald

When naming this recipe, we purposefully put the word “spinach” at the end so as not to scare you off. Even though spinach is clearly what gave Popeye the Sailor Man his extreme cartoon strength, adults and children alike tend to scrunch up their noses at the thought of consuming it at meal time. Spinach got its bad reputation among finicky eaters because most people have had to endure plates of plain boiled or steamed greens, which taste like nothing but chlorophyll. It’s exactly this experience that our recipes work to avoid. Eating healthy doesn’t have to taste bad! The problem tends to be that more often than not, our memories of eating the things that are most beneficial and nutritious for our bodies are with meals that offered little flavor. A fatty steak would taste less exciting if it wasn’t made with the right seasonings, and the same goes for low-calorie, healthy foods like spinach. In this spinach recipe, we create a version that is rich with garlic and red pepper-infused olive oil, and are confident that it will manage to convert the most closed-minded skeptics. And let’s just say, we think cartoon Popeye would approve, too.

Nutrition: 80 calories, 4 g fat (0.5 g saturated), 280 mg sodium

Serves 4

You’ll Need

1 Tbsp olive oil
3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
Pinch red pepper flakes
2 bunches spinach, stems removed, washed and dried
Juice of 1 lemon
Salt and black pepper to taste

How to Make It

  1. Heat the olive oil in a large sauté or saucepan over medium-low heat.
  2. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes and cook gently for about 3 minutes, until the garlic is lightly browned.
  3. Add the spinach and cook, moving the uncooked spinach to the bottom of the pan with tongs, for about 5 minutes, until fully wilted.
  4. Drain off any excess water from the bottom of the pan.
  5. Stir in the lemon juice and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

Eat This Tip

The key to eating healthy is to keep your food exciting, which often means keeping it varied. A great way to keep this recipe exciting (especially after you make it several times) is to switch up the kind of olive oil you’re using. This recipe calls for a red pepper-infused olive oil, but you can just as easily choose a sun-dried tomato infused version, or even basil-infused. Try a few options and see which ones you like best!

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