Chareva’s Kitchen: Spinach Your Kids Will Eat

The first time we made this spinach dish, the girls snapped up their portions and then were outraged to learn they couldn’t have seconds — it was all gone.  So now we make it with two boxes of spinach.

Ingredients:

  • 2 ten-ounce boxes of frozen spinach
  • 4 TB (half a stick) of butter
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • Salt to taste

Steps:

Microwave the spinach for 10 minutes, then press out most of the liquid.


Put drained spinach in a dish and stir in the butter, then stir in the parmesan so it melts.

Stir in the remaining ingredients.

Adjust the spices to taste.  Sometimes I use a little garlic salt in place of some of the garlic powder, but you can always add salt later.  I also like extra nutmeg now and then.

Enjoy.

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82 thoughts on “Chareva’s Kitchen: Spinach Your Kids Will Eat

  1. Soul

    I’ve heard rumors of good tasting spinach dishes in the past. My sister in particular claims to have an old family recipe from her husbands family that the nephews love, and I should tolerate.

    That looks delicious. I’d give it a try but am on a milk and beef free trial at the moment and doing decent with the grumpy gut. I better stick with the trend.

    Reply
  2. Peggy Cihocki

    That looks awesome. Thanks! I love spinach anyway and this looks like a nice creamy way to have it. My kids are grown and gone and cooking their own spinach, so I will pass this recipe on to them. I’m sure they’ll love it, too.

    Reply
  3. DonkeyTattoo

    Hi Nathan! This looks like an awesome recipe, can’t wait to try it!

    One thing I will mention is that you say garlic powder, but in the photo I see you using garlic salt. In my experience, garlic salt has a milder flavor, where the same amount of garlic powder can quickly be overwhelming. Have you used both, or was the photo one just for show?

    We’ve used both. The garlic salt combined with the parmesan can be too salty for Chareva’s taste.

    Reply
  4. Tony Dickson

    Last jar of garlic salt I bought had HFCS on the label, if you can believe that. Sugar in garlic salt?

    This dish sounds great, but then again enough garlic and butter can make dang near anything taste good 🙂

    People say kids don’t like vegetables. Add butter and garlic, then check again.

    Reply
  5. Soul

    I’ve heard rumors of good tasting spinach dishes in the past. My sister in particular claims to have an old family recipe from her husbands family that the nephews love, and I should tolerate.

    That looks delicious. I’d give it a try but am on a milk and beef free trial at the moment and doing decent with the grumpy gut. I better stick with the trend.

    Reply
  6. Peggy Cihocki

    That looks awesome. Thanks! I love spinach anyway and this looks like a nice creamy way to have it. My kids are grown and gone and cooking their own spinach, so I will pass this recipe on to them. I’m sure they’ll love it, too.

    Reply
  7. DonkeyTattoo

    Hi Nathan! This looks like an awesome recipe, can’t wait to try it!

    One thing I will mention is that you say garlic powder, but in the photo I see you using garlic salt. In my experience, garlic salt has a milder flavor, where the same amount of garlic powder can quickly be overwhelming. Have you used both, or was the photo one just for show?

    We’ve used both. The garlic salt combined with the parmesan can be too salty for Chareva’s taste.

    Reply
  8. Anne Robertson

    Here’s a handy tip for those of you who like to liven up vegetables such as brussels sprouts. We keep a batch of “beurre maître d’hôtel” (butter with fresh garlic and parsley) in the fridge at all times. We use a 250 g stick of butter, plenty of parsley and around six cloves of garlic well crushed. It’s made brussels sprouts enjoyable for me.

    Reply
  9. gallier2

    What’s the reason for not using real garlic? It tastes so much better than the powdered thing that I have problem to understand. Is this an American thing?

    As for your recipe, it looks a bit like my mothers spinach (except for the garlic). In fact it’s quite easy to make good veggies (not only spinach), put enough butter and/or cream and instantly you make out of the worst childrens nightmares a deli food they ask for. My children ask regularly for spinach, brussel sprouts (that one I make with mascarpone) and cabbage (I prepare Savoy cabbage a little bit like your spinach recipe). Even the forgotten kohlrabi (German turnip) and rutabagas are quite easy to make good by putting them in a Béchamel sauce (which is easy to make more low-carby by using more cream and less flour ligant.

    This is the version you can whip together five minutes before dinner. Press your own garlic, chop your own spinach and shred your own parmesan, even better.

    Reply
  10. Tony Dickson

    Last jar of garlic salt I bought had HFCS on the label, if you can believe that. Sugar in garlic salt?

    This dish sounds great, but then again enough garlic and butter can make dang near anything taste good 🙂

    People say kids don’t like vegetables. Add butter and garlic, then check again.

    Reply
  11. Carrie

    Oh my, that looks delish! I think my husband would even eat this without skipping a beat. I’m trying it out tomorrow! Thanks for sharing!!

    Reply
  12. Anne Robertson

    Here’s a handy tip for those of you who like to liven up vegetables such as brussels sprouts. We keep a batch of “beurre maître d’hôtel” (butter with fresh garlic and parsley) in the fridge at all times. We use a 250 g stick of butter, plenty of parsley and around six cloves of garlic well crushed. It’s made brussels sprouts enjoyable for me.

    Reply
  13. Kim

    Looks great! Another tasty option: sub artichokes for the second box of spinach. Something green that I can actually get my husband to eat … that’s a winner!

    I like that idea.

    Reply
  14. LCNana

    Hi Tom. I love your blog and as you are such a great source of information, and you are so knowledgeable, that I hate criticize BUT….I see a whole whack of packages in your picture. Isn’t part of the point to eat whole foods? Chopped fresh spinach, chopped fresh garlic, grated fresh parmesan, etc. would have made a world of difference, no? Am I being too picky?

    I only comment because when DH walks the dog on early Monday mornings (garbage day) he always comments on how you can tell who eats healthy by the number of packages in the trash!! Our composting bin is filled to capacity but our package container is almost empty.

    Sure, fresh whole foods are preferable. But I don’t have a problem with minimally processed foods that happen to end up in a bag or bottle. The ingredients list on the frozen spinach, for example, reads: spinach.

    Reply
  15. timmah

    Bacon makes everything better: I will dice up 1/4-1/2lb of bacon (depending on how hungry I am), cook with onion and garlic, then add a whole bag of fresh spinach and cook until wilted and finally garnish with almond slivers.

    Reply
  16. gallier2

    What’s the reason for not using real garlic? It tastes so much better than the powdered thing that I have problem to understand. Is this an American thing?

    As for your recipe, it looks a bit like my mothers spinach (except for the garlic). In fact it’s quite easy to make good veggies (not only spinach), put enough butter and/or cream and instantly you make out of the worst childrens nightmares a deli food they ask for. My children ask regularly for spinach, brussel sprouts (that one I make with mascarpone) and cabbage (I prepare Savoy cabbage a little bit like your spinach recipe). Even the forgotten kohlrabi (German turnip) and rutabagas are quite easy to make good by putting them in a Béchamel sauce (which is easy to make more low-carby by using more cream and less flour ligant.

    This is the version you can whip together five minutes before dinner. Press your own garlic, chop your own spinach and shred your own parmesan, even better.

    Reply
  17. Firebird

    I think people get to hung up on “fresh”. It’s been harvested “fresh”, then frozen, I see no problem with it. My grandmother happened to grow some fresh fruit, picked it, then jarred it. I consider that to be “fresh”, too.

    If you buy a vegetable that’s not in season, it’s been shipped in from a long distance. Not sure how fresh it could be.

    Reply
  18. Mike

    My wife discovered a neat trick with spinach and now we put it on everything as a topper. Instead of buying the frozen kind which can be soggy, buy fresh spinach and put it into a zip-lock bag and put it into your freezer. After a day or so, take out the bag and just press the bag against your counter a few times and the frozen spinach will break up into small pieces. Whenever you need some, just scoop some out to add to a dish. No more cutting spinach into tiny pieces or dealing with soggy spinach.

    Excellent idea.

    Reply
  19. LeonRover

    I had forgotten entirely about creamed spinach.

    There is a recipe in my favourite 1971 “Poor Cook” for Spinach Tart – pretty much the same.

    I shall apply the same treatment to Cabbage – sans Tart.

    Thank you, Tom & Chareva.

    Reply
  20. Kim

    Looks great! Another tasty option: sub artichokes for the second box of spinach. Something green that I can actually get my husband to eat … that’s a winner!

    I like that idea.

    Reply
  21. LCNana

    Hi Tom. I love your blog and as you are such a great source of information, and you are so knowledgeable, that I hate criticize BUT….I see a whole whack of packages in your picture. Isn’t part of the point to eat whole foods? Chopped fresh spinach, chopped fresh garlic, grated fresh parmesan, etc. would have made a world of difference, no? Am I being too picky?

    I only comment because when DH walks the dog on early Monday mornings (garbage day) he always comments on how you can tell who eats healthy by the number of packages in the trash!! Our composting bin is filled to capacity but our package container is almost empty.

    Sure, fresh whole foods are preferable. But I don’t have a problem with minimally processed foods that happen to end up in a bag or bottle. The ingredients list on the frozen spinach, for example, reads: spinach.

    Reply
  22. timmah

    Bacon makes everything better: I will dice up 1/4-1/2lb of bacon (depending on how hungry I am), cook with onion and garlic, then add a whole bag of fresh spinach and cook until wilted and finally garnish with almond slivers.

    Reply
  23. Nina

    I’ve never really got on with cauliflower rice recipes from the low carb community. After reading your post I steamed some cauli florets, wizzed up some ripe soft cheese with butter and chopped raw onion with seasoning and then added the cauliflower to be blended while hot. Delicious. Many thanks to the girls for inspiration.

    Now you’re talking. Chareva made an excellent roasted cauliflower over the weekend. I’ll get her to write that one up too.

    Reply
  24. Jess

    @LCNana: I think you might indeed be being too picky, especially where the frozen spinach is concerned. Veggies are frozen at the peak of their freshness, when the nutrients are most dense. Especially in the off season, produce in the ‘fresh’ section spends weeks being transported and stored, and by the time it reaches your table it isn’t anywhere near as healthy as the package in the freezer. Unless you eat only seasonal, locally grown produce (or have the time to freeze and store a whole winters’ worth yourself), frozen is a fantastic alternative.

    Besides, not everyone has the means to buy everything fresh and local. This lifestyle is about making the best choices within your means, and for most people, that means reaching for the can of parmesan instead of the mac and cheese box, or grabbing the tub of full-fat sour cream instead of the ‘light’ version. As long as the ingredient list is short and easy to read, you’re still miles ahead of the way most people eat.

    Reply
  25. Firebird

    I think people get to hung up on “fresh”. It’s been harvested “fresh”, then frozen, I see no problem with it. My grandmother happened to grow some fresh fruit, picked it, then jarred it. I consider that to be “fresh”, too.

    If you buy a vegetable that’s not in season, it’s been shipped in from a long distance. Not sure how fresh it could be.

    Reply
  26. Ron

    I am envious of and mystified by those who can enjoy spinach and other green veggies. I literally gag when I try to eat them, no matter how they are prepared (all I can taste is the bitterness). I hope it’s not as important to eat them as everyone says it is.

    If they make you gag, don’t eat them.

    Reply
  27. Mike

    My wife discovered a neat trick with spinach and now we put it on everything as a topper. Instead of buying the frozen kind which can be soggy, buy fresh spinach and put it into a zip-lock bag and put it into your freezer. After a day or so, take out the bag and just press the bag against your counter a few times and the frozen spinach will break up into small pieces. Whenever you need some, just scoop some out to add to a dish. No more cutting spinach into tiny pieces or dealing with soggy spinach.

    Excellent idea.

    Reply
  28. Marilyn

    @LCNana: “Chopped fresh spinach. . .”

    Chopped fresh spinach, if it’s straight from one’s garden, would be better than the frozen spinach. Otherwise, from what I’ve read, frozen produce is often fresher and nutritionally more valuable than the “fresh produce” in the grocery store.

    I hope we’re pulling fresh vegetables out of our garden next year, but for now I’m fine with frozen greens.

    Reply
  29. LeonRover

    I had forgotten entirely about creamed spinach.

    There is a recipe in my favourite 1971 “Poor Cook” for Spinach Tart – pretty much the same.

    I shall apply the same treatment to Cabbage – sans Tart.

    Thank you, Tom & Chareva.

    Reply
  30. Nina

    I’ve never really got on with cauliflower rice recipes from the low carb community. After reading your post I steamed some cauli florets, wizzed up some ripe soft cheese with butter and chopped raw onion with seasoning and then added the cauliflower to be blended while hot. Delicious. Many thanks to the girls for inspiration.

    Now you’re talking. Chareva made an excellent roasted cauliflower over the weekend. I’ll get her to write that one up too.

    Reply
  31. Jess

    @LCNana: I think you might indeed be being too picky, especially where the frozen spinach is concerned. Veggies are frozen at the peak of their freshness, when the nutrients are most dense. Especially in the off season, produce in the ‘fresh’ section spends weeks being transported and stored, and by the time it reaches your table it isn’t anywhere near as healthy as the package in the freezer. Unless you eat only seasonal, locally grown produce (or have the time to freeze and store a whole winters’ worth yourself), frozen is a fantastic alternative.

    Besides, not everyone has the means to buy everything fresh and local. This lifestyle is about making the best choices within your means, and for most people, that means reaching for the can of parmesan instead of the mac and cheese box, or grabbing the tub of full-fat sour cream instead of the ‘light’ version. As long as the ingredient list is short and easy to read, you’re still miles ahead of the way most people eat.

    Reply
  32. Ron

    I am envious of and mystified by those who can enjoy spinach and other green veggies. I literally gag when I try to eat them, no matter how they are prepared (all I can taste is the bitterness). I hope it’s not as important to eat them as everyone says it is.

    If they make you gag, don’t eat them.

    Reply
  33. Chareva

    I would also like to add that the total cost to make this side dish was under $3. Many people are on a tight budget. I’m always looking for simple meals that are nourishing AND affordable … not to mention fast and easy.

    If you weren’t fast and easy, we never would’ve gotten married.

    (No, wait, that’s not how it was ….)

    Reply
  34. Underground

    Very nice. That looks like a good host for some crushed pork rind garnish.

    Or as a dip for other veggies like broccoli or tomatoes.

    It would make a decent dip, now that you mention it.

    Reply
  35. Marilyn

    @LCNana: “Chopped fresh spinach. . .”

    Chopped fresh spinach, if it’s straight from one’s garden, would be better than the frozen spinach. Otherwise, from what I’ve read, frozen produce is often fresher and nutritionally more valuable than the “fresh produce” in the grocery store.

    I hope we’re pulling fresh vegetables out of our garden next year, but for now I’m fine with frozen greens.

    Reply
  36. Chareva

    I would also like to add that the total cost to make this side dish was under $3. Many people are on a tight budget. I’m always looking for simple meals that are nourishing AND affordable … not to mention fast and easy.

    If you weren’t fast and easy, we never would’ve gotten married.

    (No, wait, that’s not how it was ….)

    Reply
  37. Amy Dungan

    I will personally vouch that this recipe is amazing. It’s the only way my hubby and kids will eat spinach as a side dish. Thanks again Tom!

    If I remember correctly, you told me later you’d never seen your son take seconds on spinach before.

    Reply
  38. Underground

    Very nice. That looks like a good host for some crushed pork rind garnish.

    Or as a dip for other veggies like broccoli or tomatoes.

    It would make a decent dip, now that you mention it.

    Reply
  39. Monica

    Make this a little on the saucy side and toss with spaghetti squash. Add diced cooked chicken and a some bacon. Pour into a buttered casserole dish and top with a bit more cheese. Bake at 350 until cheese is melted and bubbly. This can be assembled ahead and refrigerated until needed. It’s an easy baked “pasta” dish with none of the bad stuff.

    Reply

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