Gluten-free Vegan Greek Spinach and Rice (Spanakorizo/ Σπανακόρυζο)
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'Spanakorizo' is a simple yet flavourful Greek vegetarian dish of spinach and rice. A one-pot pilaf dish perfect for healthy midweek meals.
This gluten-free recipe is a typical country dish that can be eaten hot or cold, just give a squeeze of lemon, a crumbling of feta and serve with gluen-free bread to mop up the rich sauce.
800g spinach, washed
120g arborio rice
1 red onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped or minced
1 x 400g can chopped tomatoes
4 Tbsp Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 stock cube, chicken or vegetable
1 tsp dried dill
Good grind of black pepper
400ml hot water
Sea salt, to taste
Lemon juice, to serve
Add olive oil to a large pan and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat.
Add in the spinach and cover with a lid to wilt.
Add in the chopped tomatoes, dried dill, stock cube and 200ml hot water.
Sprinkle in the rice, give it a stir and add the remaining 200ml hot water.
Let simmer with the lid covered for 25-30minutes. Keep an eye on it stirring occasionally to ensure rice doesn't stick to the bottom.
When ready, add in the lemon juice, to taste, or leave out and serve with lemon wedges for individual preference.
SERVE THIS WITH.
Feta cheese (omit for vegan)
Spinach - contains several important plant compounds linked to improving eye health, heart health, reducing inflammation and decreasing your risk of cancer and chronic diseases. (Source)
Arborio rice - is a good source of carbohydrates, which is essential for healthy brain function because glucose is its main energy source. Our bodies need these carbohydrates to function well, think clearly and have energy. (Source)
Red onion - nutrient dense, meaning they're low in calories but high in vitamins and minerals. Red onions are rich in anthocyanin, which are powerful plant pigments that may protect against heart disease, certain cancers and diabetes. (Source)
Garlic - contains antioxidants that protect against cell damage and ageing, helps improve blood pressure, cholesterol and bone health. (Source)
Greek extra virgin olive oil - specifically Greek oil, has the lowest acidity (approximately 0.5%) and is packed with essential vitamins and minerals. Benefits may include anti-inflammatory properties, lowering cholesterol and blood pressure and improves bone calcification. (Source)
Dill - Ancient Greek soldiers used dill as a medicinal herb and popular wound healer for burns and soothing digestive diseases. Dill is rich in antioxidants and a good source of vitamin C, magnesium, and vitamin A. (Source)
Lemons - high in heart-healthy vitamin C and several beneficial plant compounds that may lower cholesterol. (Source)
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Many of my recipes call for Greek products like Greek extra virgin olive oil, Greek honey or Greek oregano. It is not mandatory for it to be Greek in order to make the recipe, you are more than welcome to use a good quality alternative; just keep in mind if you are after the authentic flavours of Greece these details do make all the difference in Greek cuisine. You can shop these ingredients here.
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Disclaimer: None of the health benefits listed are intended to diagnose or treat any pre-existing health conditions. Always consult a health care practitioner before making any health decisions. The benefits listed are from my own research and personal interest, and encourage you to follow the Source and do further research.