Asian Sesame Spinach Salad is a healthy side dish that is easy to prepare.
Remember when Popeye would open a can of spinach just before his muscles would pop out of his shirt? Well, Popeye was onto something because as it turns out, Spinach is a Power Food. Although canned spinach sounds just as unappealing to me as the spinach I remember our cafeteria serving, I do love a fresh spinach salad, or spinach that’s been lightly blanched or sauteed just until tender. I’ve even snuck spinach into ice cream to make green ice cream before, and added them to green smoothies.
This week, a group of bloggers is featuring Spinach as a Power Food. This weekly food blogging group features a different Power Food each week based on the book Power Foods: 150 delicious recipes with 38 Healthiest Ingredients from the editors of Martha Stewart’s Whole Living Magazine. Power Foods are foods that are outstanding in the amounts of vitamins, minerals, phytonutrients, essential fatty acids, fiber and more, that help fight disease and promote good health.
So, what makes Spinach a Power Food? Spinach is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is full of carotenoids and flavonoids that provide antioxidant protection. Not only is spinach exceptionally high in Vitamin K, Vitamin A, folate, and manganese, but it is also very high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, riboflavin, Vitamin B6, calcium, iron, potassium, and magnesium.
In a recent study, spinach came out on top as a vegetable that provides significant protection against the occurrence of aggressive prostate cancer. Spinach contains certain unique anti-cancer carotenoids called epoxyxanthophylls.
Due to its high concentration of oxalic acid which reduces the absorption of calcium and iron, it is recommended that spinach be cooked briefly before eating. Boiling the spinach breaks down the oxalates, making the iron more easily absorbed. However, to minimize loss of nutrients, only brief cooking is suggested (one minute).
This Asian Sesame Spinach Salad relies on briefly blanched spinach, and is one of my favorite ways to prepare spinach in the summertime.
Sesame Spinach Recipe (Power Food)
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1 teaspoon gluten-free soy sauce
- 1 teaspoon sesame oil
- toasted sesame seeds for garnish
- Japanese chili pepper Ichimi Togarashi, for garnish
Bring a pot of water to boil. Add spinach and cook until just wilted, about 30 seconds. Drain and rinse with cold water. Squeeze out excess water. Cut into bite size pieces. Toss with soy sauce and sesame oil. Chill. Sprinkle with sesame seeds and Japanese chili pepper just before serving.
The World’s Healthiest Foods: Spinach
Self Nutrition Data: Cooked Spinach
I went overboard and made spinach a few times this week. Lovely clean salad, Jeanette.
Lydia (The Perfect Pantry) says
Love the Japanese chili pepper garnish! Spinach is my favorite of all of the dark leafy greens, and one of the few that I like both raw and cooked.
Brian @ A Thought For Food says
Now doesn’t that look awesome! I’m known for just devouring whatever vegetarian side dishes are on the table and I think that this would be gone within seconds.
Alison @ Ingredients, Inc. says
i love this!
Martha@ Simple Nourished Living says
Love the Asian spin you’ve given this spinach. We eat blanched/sauteeed/wilted spinach a lot, so this will be a delicious flavor variation for us!
Alyssa (Everyday Maven) says
So simple but so delicious. That is a great side dish Jeanette!
Dylan Taylor says
Tomorrow I’m going to make the hell out of this, thanks for reminding me of this simple recipe!
Thanks you all – this is one of the easiest ways that I make spinach during the summertime. It’s great as a side dish or on top of cold noodles too.
mireya @myhealthyeatinghabits says
I do love spinach that’s simply been lightly steamed served with a squeeze of lemon. This simple Asian way also sounds very appealing too.
Magic of Spice says
I adore spinach and this is going on my menu for this week…so delicious!
Love this Asian touch to spinach salad Jeanette the photos aren’t shabby either! 🙂 Love the brightness and freshness in both!
Kiersten @ Oh My Veggies says
I wish I had seen this before going grocery shopping this weekend. I’m making tofu tomorrow and I was trying to think of a good side to go with it–this would have been perfect!
What a wonderful salad!
I love spinach!! This looks amazing, Jeanette!
EA-The Spicy RD says
I love the simplicity of this dish-imagine it tastes delicious! Spinach has always been a favorite of mine, even as a kid (although my favorite was to eat it then was in a souffle-not so healthy-or in a spinach salad with LOTS of bacon.) Your salad is so much healthier 🙂
France @ Beyond The Peel says
Love Love Love Spinach. I haven’t tried it exactly like this before but it looks delicious.
This looks so good – we have an abundance of spinach coming on in the garden right now, along with Kale and Swiss Chard – I am betting any of them would be equally yummy!
That looks really good, thanks for the recipe.
Lisa | With Style and Grace says
Use to always order something similar at sushi restaurants. Great way to get in your greens!!
Glad you all are enjoying this simple Asian Spinach Salad. I make this all summer long as it’s such a quick and easy dish to throw together!