Simply Spinach

Simple Spinach

There was a time when I did not like spinach even with Popeye singing to me how good it was for me.  I didn’t care for it.  As I got older and started cooking for my parents and siblings, I started experimenting with it.  Spinach has been my friend now for many years.  All that potassium, iron, Vitamins A, K, E, C, B2, B6, folate, zinc, magnesium, calcium, folic acid, protein, copper, phosphorus, niacin, manganese, selenium, and omega-3 fatty acids.  No wonder why it’s my go-to green for my smoothies. I use other greens like kale, mustard greens, chard, and dandelion greens, too.  Spinach just happens to be the one I use most often.  I can use it fresh or frozen.

I decided to make gluten-free kal-bi for Memorial Day (since I had the day off) while making my menu for the week.  I started thinking up sides for the kal-bi and decided on Korean style cabbage & watercress, and my take on the Japanese-style spinach that Chaz used to make but a more toned down version.  Not to mention gluten-free version.

This is fairly easy to make and while I was using some frozen spinach for another dish tonight, I realized that if you really wanted to, you could use frozen spinach at room temperature for this.  You can even prep the spinach ahead of time and keep it in the fridge until you are ready to put it all together.

Simple Spinach (serves 6)

1 bag fresh spinach leaves (about 5-6 ounces)


Wheat-free tamari

Sesame seeds

Bonito flakes

Boil water in a large pot and add spinach for about 2 minutes, until all the leaves are wilted and bright green in color.  Drain in a colander and let cool.  Wring out the rest of the water once it is cool.  Take the spinach to a cutting board and shape into a long roll.  Cut into 6 pieces.  Place pieces on one of the cut ends.  Add (in order) a few drops of wheat-free tamari (you can add more depending on how salty you want it), 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon sesame seeds, and 1 teaspoon of bonito flakes (I had to crush mine up some since ours are large flakes) to the tops of each piece of spinach.  Serve cold or at room temperature.

This post is linked to The GFE Virtual Gluten-free Support Group for April at gluten-free easily.


  1. I used to only eat spinach in spinach pasta (LOL, but true) or heavily covered with cheese in baked dishes. So silly. Now I absolutely love it. This looks so good and so pretty, too. 🙂


    • Thanks, Shirley! The only time I actually liked it was in lau lau. But it’s got pork fat cooking it in the leaves with the meat. Pork fat makes everything taste better! LOL So, I never really knew what the greens were in the lau lau, I just ate them. 😀

  2. The only spinach I ever had as a kid was the commercially canned variety…I remember sitting at the dinner table for hours staring at the pile of slimy green goo before me (not allowed to be excused until I had cleaned my plate!). Popeye got me through those traumatic meals…I used to pick up a handful of spinach, make a fist (so the spinach would squeeze out the top) and pretend to be Popeye as I ate it, LOL!

    I probably should not have shared that little tidbit… 😉

    Fresh spinach is a completely different character though and I love it. Your presentation is simply stunning Debi, and I bet even the pickiest little eaters would have fun eating their greens!

    • LOL Heidi! I can SO see you doing that! I think my problem was my mother rarely fixed spinach I can’t even remember if she used canned or frozen. My bet is canned since I recall a lot of canned veggies being used in the house.

      You are totally right on fresh spinach being totally different. I think fresh veggies are totally different period. I know frozen and canned are done so at the height of freshness, but they just don’t taste the same. And thanks. 😀

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