Ever heard of Greek Spinach Rice before? It's a delicious very healthy dish, that Greek mommies just love to cook. That's because other than its nutritional value, this dish is cooked all in one pot, and on a budget.
Just by hearing the word spinach you think Yay this dish is healthy (or at least I do). Truth is, this dish is even more healthy. And here are a few reasons as to why...
- It is cooked using only whole foods. No preservatives of any kind.
- Rice and spinach is an excellent food combination that helps your body absorb protein and minerals even better.
- Spinach is cooked in this recipe, therefore, it has a higher level of iron.
Still not convinced? Okay, I'll dig a little deeper.
The Benefits Of Spinach & The Spinach Nutrition Facts
Green vegetables and especially leafy ones are of the most nutritious foods. Spinach is no exception. The benefits of eating spinach raw (or even better cooked) are numerous. From cancer prevention, asthma prevention, lowering blood pressure, to even help us have healthy bones skin and hair. And here are the Nutrition facts that promote all these benefits :
One cup of raw spinach contains:
- 27 calories
- 0.86 grams of protein
- 30 milligrams of calcium
- 0.81 grams of iron
- 24 milligrams of magnesium
- 167 milligrams of potassium
- 2,813 micrograms of Vitamin A
- 58 micrograms of folate
But what about fiber in Spinach? isn't there any?
Like every leafy green veggie Spinach also comes with a good amount of fiber. One cup of cooked spinach contains 4 grams of fiber.
And now that I'm finished talking about the Spinach nutrition, (yes I know it was about time) I'll tell you about this easy spinach recipe.
It's made with few ingredients like rice, onion, fresh dill, olive oil, and lemon juice. And they're all cooked in one pot.
What Ingredients To Use On Making Greek Spinach Rice
You can make this Greek Spinach Rice recipe, using either fresh or frozen spinach. If it's that time of the year that you can get your hands on some nice and fresh tender spinach than that would really be the best option. But if spinach is not in season you can always make this dish using frozen spinach.
Making Spinach Rice Using Fresh Spinach ⬇
Remove old leaves and then separate the leaves from the stems. Do not throw away the stems as they're a very flavorful part of the spinach and give a nice crispness to the final dish. Just wash everything really well. It's best if you let spinach soak for 5 minutes in water to help remove all the dirt and then rinse 1- 2 times.
Drain spinach in a strainer for 15 minutes. In order to use the stems make small criss-cross incisions at the bottom with a knife so they will cook more easily.
Making Spinach Rice Using Frozen Spinach ⬇
To make Spanakoryzo using frozen spinach, just let it unfreeze in your fridge overnight before cooking.
Best Type Of Rice To Use?
In Greece, half people prefer this dish made with soft short-grain rice, while the other half like it "kinda al dente", made with long-grain rice. I believe the ideal way to make it is somewhere between those two. Therefore, using both types of rice. One to give the dish a slight thickness and stickiness and the other one to give a firmer, crisper texture.
In Greece, we always eat Spanakoryzo as a main dish. Since cooked spinach is very fulfilling. You can serve it with some crumbled feta cheese on top, or simply a squeeze of fresh lemon (and eat it like a true Greek!).
OTHER GREEK RICE RECIPES TO TRY:
- Greek Tomato Rice - Ntomatorizo (Vegan, Gluten & Dairy Free)
- Greek Lentil Rice - Fakorizo (Vegan, Gluten & Dairy-Free)
- Greek Stuffed Vegetables With Rice - Yemista (Vegan, Gluten & Dairy Free)
- Greek Rice Stuffed Vine Leaves - Dolmadakia (Vegan, Gluten & Dairy Free)
Greek Spinach Rice (Spanakoryzo)
- 600 grams / 21 oz spinach fresh or frozen
- 80 ml olive oil
- ½ small red onion finely chopped
- 2 spring onions finely chopped
- 2 large garlic cloves chopped
- 100 grams / 3.5 oz long grain rice
- 60 grams / 2 oz short grain rice
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill chopped
- ½ lemon juiced
- salt and pepper
- In a medium-sized cooking pot, heat half the olive oil over high heat.
- Cook the onions and garlic until golden in color. Add the spinach and cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring with a wooden spoon until it drains and softens. Pour in 3 cups of water and reduce heat to medium. Simmer covered for 20 minutes.
- Add the short-grain rice and simmer for another 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and add the dill, remaining olive oil, and long-grain rice as well. Make sure there is enough water in the pot for the rice to cook in and then cover and simmer for another 20-30 minutes or until the rice is completely cooked.
- Stir in the fresh lemon juice. Remove from heat and serve. You may add a few extra drops of lemon juice when serving depending on your liking.
- NOTE: If using fresh spinach you may use the stems as well. Make sure you wash well to remove all the dirt and then slice the bottoms crosslike so they will cook easier.
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