Do you ever find yourself competing against people who have no idea that you are competing against them?
Take my brother for example…the man always had better grades than I did in school. He is two years older than me, and every school year began with the words “Oh, you’re Jared’s sister? I’m so happy to have you in my class!”
Only, I am not Jared. He and I are nothing alike when it comes to our study habits, interests or personalities.
Jared followed the ‘proper’ educational path, graduated high school and went on to USC with scholarship in hand. Finished his degree on time and was hired into his dream-job right away.
Since I had more than one year’s college credit under my belt before graduating high school, I opted to finish my Associate Degree first and planned on moving forward with my Bachelors shortly thereafter.
Instead, I got married and had a baby.
I didn’t start my bachelors program for another seven years. Seven years.
When I started my program, I went hard and heavy…in just 13 months I finished two years worth of schooling with a 4.0 GPA, one child in first grade, a toddler at home and several months pregnant with my youngest.
The 4.0? Something my brother never did.
Did he know that he was my inspiration for this achievement, that I maintained an intellectual competition with him the entire program? Probably not.
In fact, if he reads this post…this is perhaps the first he has heard of this.
Whatever it takes, right?
Several months ago, I introduced my family to wilted spinach. This warm dish is something I love to order when we are out, but hadn’t made for my family mainly because my husband has made it clear that cooked spinach is not his thing.
To my surprise, my 7 year old raved over the dish.
Only, she finished her praise by saying, “that was so so good, mommy, but Uncle Troy’s spinach is better.”
Yeah, he is a professionally trained chef.
The man can cook.
And apparently his wilted spinach is better than mine.
Or so it was.
I became determined to win my daughter over, to show her that mommy can cook as well as Uncle Troy, if not better.
The competition is officially on.
Not that he has any knowledge of this…but still, IT.IS.ON.
When I received the schedule for this year’s Food Network Fall Fest and realized spinach was on the list, I knew the time to perfect my wilted spinach had finally arrived.
I played with this recipe in every way I could imagine…switching the spices, trying different oils, leaving out certain ingredients altogether…then it hit me.
What is the one thing that my veggie-hating son says makes everything better?
Why hadn’t I tried bacon???
I’ll tell you why…because this is a dish that I usually enjoy in its vegan form, that’s why.
If you opt to leave the bacon out, simply replace the grease with 2TBS Olive Oil, leave out the meat all together and you are good to go. This is a great vegan dish.
But I’ll be honest, bacon seemed to push this wilted spinach over-the-top.
My veggie-hating child raved over how good this is.
My 7 year old?
“That was the best spinach EVERRR”
“Even better than Uncle Troy’s?”
“Even better than his, mommy.”
Please enjoy this most wonderful recipe often. You will be glad you did.
Bacon-Infused Wilted Spinach
4 Thick Slices of Bacon (about 6.5 oz)
1 Tbs Minced Garlic
10 oz Fresh Spinach
1 Tbs Lemon Juice
1/8 tsp Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Fresh Ground Pepper
In large fry pan, cook bacon over medium-high heat until crisp, keeping covered to ensure as much of the grease remains in the pan. Once crisp, remove bacon and lower heat to
medium. Add minced garlic directly to the bacon grease, cooking until caramelized. Remove pan from the heat, immediately add spinach to the hot grease, stirring until spinach is evenly covered and slightly wilted. Crumble the bacon and sprinkle the spinach with this and all remaining ingredients, turning to ensure even coverage.
Makes 4 Servings
Please let me know how you enjoy this praise-worthy dish! xoxo
Be sure to visit these other ah-mazing spinach dishes featured in this week’s Food Network Fall Fest.
Have a great week, xoxo.
What’s Gaby Cooking: Spinach-Artichoke Cups
From My Corner of Saratoga: Cannelloni Stuffed With Ricotta Spinach
And Love It Too: Bacon Infused Wilted Spinach
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Spinach-Pesto Tacos With Roasted Tomatillo Salsa
Virtually Homemade: Spinach Pepita (Pumpkin Seed) Pesto
Cooking With Elise: Spinach and Artichoke Fondue
Glory Foods: Creamed Spinach
The Sensitive Epicure: Catalan Spinach With Raisins, Pine Nuts and Bacon
CIA Dropout: Spinach and Cheddar Frittata
FN Dish: Stuffed Spinach Recipes