Friday, June 19, 2009

how to get a meat and potatoes person to eat something green

As you know, my carnivore hardly eats anything green. On his very short list of green things he does eat, spinach is not to be found. He is a meat and potatoes man. But, I have seen him eat minced up spinach in things that are surrounded by other things he likes, like ravioli. So, undaunted by his insistence that he does not eat spinach I decided to make this dish I found in an old Real Simple. After all, it also has meat and potatoes in it too.

For this recipe you will need:
1 package of gnocchi
1 bunch of fresh spincah leaves, cleaned, stems removed
1 vidalia onion
2 cloves of garlic
1 lb of regular breakfast style ground sausage
1 lb of vegetarian ground sausage
3/4 cup of parmesan, and more for topping
kosher salt and ground pepper
(Note - this is if you are making both a vegetarian and a carnivore version at the same time)

I started this dish by place a tablespoon or two of olive oil in two pans. I added in 1/2 of a chopped vidalia onion in my pan and let the onions soften. Since the carnivore likes the taste of onions but not the texture, I placed the other half of the onion in a food processor and minced it finely. I then put his onions in the other pan over low heat. I added a minced garlic clove to each pan. Next added vegetarian sausage to my pan and the real deal to his. I cooked the sausage thoroughly. Next I cleaned a bunch of fresh spinach leaves. I divided the bunch in half. I removed the stems from mine and threw it in my pan to wilt. I again minced his spinach in the food processor first before adding it to his pan. I knew he would never touch it otherwise. It did turn his sausage a strange green color, but it was sausage and I knew he would eat it. At the same time I was preparing these toppings I boiled a large pot of salted water and added in the gnocchi for around 3 minutes - until they popped to the top. I drained the gnocchi and added in a tablespoon of olive oil, some kosher salt, freshly ground pepper and 3/4 cup of grated parmesan cheese. I filled each bowl with some gnocchi and then topped with our respective toppings and a bit more parmesan.

It was so good, not only am I counting down the hours till I can have my leftovers, but even the carnivore cleaned his plate! That's right - my carnivore ate spinach! Which is great since it is so rich in so many wonderful nutrients, even if I did have to mince it up. Whatever, I'm not above sneaking in veggies however I can. So, whether your are a vegetarian or a meat and potatoes person, I am sure you will like this. (For those of you who are curious, all of these pics are of the vegetarian version - maybe you can even fool your carnivore into eating a vegetarian spinach dish!)


  1. I make a version of this with kale and my husband loves it!

  2. This looks very delicious and I can't imagine eating it with anything other than vegetarian sausage! ;-)

  3. The only method I've gotten to work is hiding it in his canelloni. Thanks for the new idea!

  4. Looks very yummy. Now I know what to do with that package of gnocchi I bought on a whim.
    And just let me say what a wonderful wife you are. Mincing onions and pureeing spinach... does your carnivore know how lucky he is?

  5. no - he thinks i am torturing him by making him eat spinach!

  6. Looks like a delicious dish! Thankfully my husband loves spinach. Now if I could only just get him to like eggplant and green beans! :)

  7. Oh wow these are great, looks delicious!!


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