Here in the Thrivorship Kitchen, we get excited when September comes. That’s when one of our favorite veggies—Spinach—is at its peak.
Whether eaten raw in salads, steamed, lightly sautéed, or even in a hearty soup, Spinach is versatile, flavorful, and full of cancer-fighting punch. It’s an excellent source of fiber, folate, and powerful antioxidants called carotenoids. This nutritional combo is known to prevent the growth of certain breast cancer cells, as well as colorectal and lung cancer. Is there any wonder why we love “mean green?”
Searching for a recipe to tantalize your taste buds with a little different flair, we drew on our West Indian travels to recreate an island favorite called Callaloo. The word “Callaloo” names both dark, leafy greens also known as Dasheen, and recipes made from this hearty plant. Virtually every island has its version of Callaloo, from a creamy stew with coconut milk, to a spicy side dish with okra, saltfish, or crab.
To bring the bold flavors of the Caribbean to your table, the Thrivorship Kitchen has combined several different recipes collected from the islands into this Callaloo made with spinach.
8 cups spinach leaves, washed and dried with larger stems removed
5 cups fish stock (may substitute chicken or vegetable stock)
1 1/2 cups yellow onion, chopped
1/2 cup green bell pepper, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp avocado oil
1 tbsp cider vinegar
1/2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
1 whole scotch bonnet pepper or 1/4 tsp red chili flakes
1 cup fresh okra, cut into bite-sized pieces (may substitute frozen)
1 green onion finely chopped for garnish
Optional, 1/2 cup cooked crabmeat
- Heat avocado oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper, cooking until just softened. Add garlic and whole pepper (or chili flakes) and cook lightly, just enough to warm and release their flavorful oils. Stir often so they won’t burn, and BE GENTLE, MAKING SURE YOU DO NOT BREAK OPEN THE WHOLE PEPPER–THE DISH WILL BE FLAMING HOT IF YOU DO!!!
- Add spinach, stock, vinegar, Old Bay Seasoning and okra, stirring to blend all ingredients. When the stock begins to boil, reduce heat to low, cover saucepan with tight-fitting lid, and simmer until veggies are tender—about 20 minutes. You may need to add a little more stock if liquid reduces too much. But don’t drown the spinach! The final consistency should be moist, not runny. REMOVE AND DISCARD WHOLE PEPPER.
- If you are adding crabmeat, do so now, stirring it in just to warm with the veggies. Remove from heat and garnish with green onion. Enjoy!