Sauteed spinach and sweet potatoes

As I’ve said many times now, I really miss being able to quickly throw together some nice healthy vegetarian meals to eat as a precursor to unhealthy baked goods.  I only had one chance to make a dinner when I was back in Australia a few weeks ago but I made it count.  I saw this simple recipe on a blog and had to try it out for myself.  I’d recommend it as a side to a meat or in conjunction with another vegetarian dish. (I ate it along with the roasted veggies and cannelini beans) I am not a huge fan of spinach salads and raw spinach, but when spinach is cooked the perfect amount so that it’s just a bit wilted, I absolutely love it.  The sweet potatoes reminded me of fall and Thanksgiving which was nicely nostalgic (there are no seasons in Southeast Asia), and I loved the simplicity of it.  I actually didn’t add the nuts but a bit of crunch may be a nice addition.

Sauteed spinach and sweet potatoes (adapted from Girl Makes Food)

Ingredients – serves 2-4 as a side dish, depending on portion sizing

3 cloves garlic, minced
2 large sweet potatoes (roughly 2 lbs) diced
½ cup water
3 cups fresh spinach – I would just get a big bag of spinach and dump it all in
¼ cup sunflower seeds (optional, I didn’t use them, but you could use those or pine nuts)
Salt and pepper (to taste)

Instructions

Spray a large pan with non-stick spray or if you wish add a teaspoon or two of olive oil.  Add the garlic, turn the heat to medium-high, and cook until it begins to brown and smell lovely.  Add the diced sweet potatoes and water and turn the heat to high.  Add a lid and cook until the potatoes are tender, about 5-10 minutes.  This technique of cooking sweet potatoes actually amazed me because I always thought it took at least 30 minutes in an oven, and this happened so fast – it was great.  Remove the lid, and if some water remains cook on high with the lid off until it evaporates.  Then add the spinach and marvel at how what looks like a massive amount rapidly shrinks as you stir it in.  As soon as the spinach looks wilted turn the heat off.  Add some salt and pepper to taste, a splash of additional olive oil if you want, and sunflower seeds / pine nuts if you are using them.  Serve immediately and enjoy your dose of healthiness.

First step, sautéing the garlic in the pan

Adding of the sweet potatoes

Adding what looks like a massive amount of spinach…

But the heat quickly wilts it and then you have a lovely colorful finished product

Just writing this has made me crave cooking again…I can’t wait to get back to Sydney in a few weeks and cook more!

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