I realize that I get a little sugar/butter/chocolate heavy sometimes and that not everybody appreciates it (Dad). Also, Zack may have been complaining lately that I am making him fat. So, being a kind and understanding wife, I accommodate and try to cook something delicious and nutritious at the same time.
I had a pretty intense craving for creamed spinach the other day, but there were a few problems standing in my way:
1. I don't want to gain any more weight and eating a side dish that is almost entirely made of cream seemed like a step in the wrong direction.
2. I was out of cream.
So I searched the Internet and devised a low-fat version of creamed spinach that was not exactly the same (you can't really replace cream, no matter what anyone says) but fairly satisfying nonetheless.
Fake Out Creamed Spinach
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1/4 cup chopped onion or shallot
10 ounces baby spinach
1 tablespoon butter (yeah, you still need a little bit)
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1/2 cup milk (I used skim because that's all I have)
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Pecorino Romano cheese
Heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and saute until softened (a few minutes). Add the spinach and wilt (another few minutes). Turn off heat and set aside.
In a small pot, melt one tablespoon of butter.
A little butter is okay. You can't beat the flavor and only a small bit of butter won't kill you. This is for the whole dish! Not just you. The healthiness of the spinach will counteract it for you. No worries.
Add the flour and stir it into the butter. Let it cook over medium heat until it turns golden. You want the flour to cook and not taste raw anymore. Ick.
Pour in the milk and stir rapidly or whisk so that all the flour mixture melds into the milk. Add the salt, pepper and nutmeg. Now you've got a little "bechamel" sauce, which is French for white sauce.
Stir in the spinach and cheese (again, just a little bit of cheese to boost flavor. It's okay. Just think about the cup and a half of heavy cream you didn't use).
That's it! Eat and feel virtuous.