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Spinach and Kale Risotto

Two weeks left for Easter!! I love this time of year.

Two weeks left for Easter!! I love this time of year. It’s a period of meditation, spiritual devoutness, a time of forgiveness and forgetting, fasting, purifying of body and soul. Every year I feel that I become a bit of a better person after this “detox” time. I also adore  “Greek Easter”. That is why I never like to travel abroad for the Easter holidays. I am fond of the traditional rituals just in the heart of spring!! All these bring me back to my childhood memories and my roots.

Of course, spring makes everything so magical!! The awakening of nature, flowers blossoming, the sun, a boost of energy and life, resurrection!! With the most unpredictable weather ever, you never know what the next day will bring. The sun, the clouds, and the rain alternate many times. As the days get longer, we get a high dosage of energy and a zest for life. Every day we surrender ourselves more and more to the magical healing of the sun. I am a big fan of the change of the seasons and I love them all but nothing compares to spring. It’s the joy of life!!!

It’s  Lent time now and for the last five weeks, we have been fasting, a  ritual that has taken place every year since I can remember myself. No matter whether it is for religious reasons or a “detoxing” diet or both, I believe that fasting is the healthiest thing we can do for ourselves.

As I get older this process becomes more valuable for me.  Maybe it’s because I realize the worth of lent for the human body and soul. I admire the wisdom of the people who rediscovered lent, knowing the importance that it had thousands of years ago. We acknowledge that value now - Trying to separate the vast amount of food and bad habits from the diamonds of proper nutrition and there are soooo many!

I am lucky enough to have a garden full of the greenest and freshest veggies during this season. I will never get tiered of saying how grateful I am for these amazing gifts from mother nature! Today I chose a dish that we love and make very often due to the fact that we plant a tremendous amount of spinach every year. So today’s menu has “spanakorizo”. Sounds so Greek to me because it is!! If you want it translated let it be “risotto with spinach”.

The truth is, it is not only about spinach because I have played and tickled this recipe a bit. I make the same old “spanakorizo” and lately I have added kale and cherry tomatoes. The outcome is just delicious. Kale gives unique flavor and crunchiness, unlike spinach which has a more flat taste and dissolves easier. It is the perfect combination of taste and nutrition as both of these greens belong to “super foods” with high nutritional value.

Kale and I didn’t have the best relationship! I must admit that I “freak out” every time when a new “superfood” appears. It's amazing how easily we are influenced by the media and all their new discoveries. We put aside all the nutritional values that we knew. We become total victims of all new information without being able to know the real truth behind it. Without a doubt, we buy ingredients unknown to us, wondering how we lived without them and without the certain dosage of vitamin C until now!!! This has made me a bit suspicious about various kinds of “superfoods". It all seems to me over exaggerated. So that is why I had kept my distance from Kale and I was wrong. I also have to admit that for “greens” it is very tasteful.  As for its nutritional value, I can’t give you specific answers but surveys have ranked it as one of the top “green leaves”.

I can’t think of anything better and healthier for this season than “spinachkale risotto” or the Greek “spanakorizo”! I think that Popeye would love it too!

Ingredients

½  kg of   spinach

½  kg of  kale, finely chopped

1   bunch of fresh onions, finely chopped

1   bunch of dill, finely chopped

150 gr rice (Ι use short or medium grain rice)

450 ml  warm water

100 ml  olive oil

300 gr cherry tomatoes, finely chopped

Juice of one lemon

Salt, pepper

Method

1. In a pot, put olive oil and saute the fresh onions until soft. Add finely chopped kale, rice and continue to saute. Add the cherry tomatoes, saute for a couple of minutes and then add the warm water, salt, and pepper. Cook for ten minutes with the pot covered.

2. Add the spinach and the dill and continue cooking for another ten minutes, with the pot covered. Finish by adding the lemon juice. Adjust salt and pepper.

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