1 lb organic baby spinach, rinsed, in a big bowl, with
a minuscule sprinkle of nutmeg on top
microwave for 2 minutes to reduce spinach bulk
1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
dried leaves from a 2-inch stem of rosemary
1/4 tsp coarsely-ground black pepper
pulverize herbs with mortar and pestle
sprinkle herbs over spinach
stir spinach, and watch it shrink
1 small onion, diced
1 cup chicken stock
1/3 cup garbanzo bean flour
mix in a small bowl
microwave for 2 minutes until flour thickens
mix with spinach
spread this spinach mixture in a 9x9 baking pan
1 lb chicken / 2 breasts
top spinach mixture with chicken
bake at 350°F until chicken reaches 165°F, about 20 minutes unless chicken is thick
The last time I made this, my father-in-law (I didn't even know if he liked spinach!) said he loved it, but it needed more spinach. He's from meat-and-potatoes Wisconsin, but he's always had his meat and potatoes with a salad too. So this time I doubled again* the amount of spinach, and I hope this ratio works for us. This recipe as written serves my family: Daddy and Mommy eat all of our spinach, and there's enough chicken to share with our two hungry sons who like chicken but are small enough that they don't need their own serving from this recipe. Plus the boys just think food tastes better when it comes off our plates. No, neither of them eat spinach yet. I loved spinach, even as a small girl, and even more the other dark leafy greens, so I'm not worried yet.
*Almost all meat-and-veggie recipes taste better to me if I double the amount of veggies or halve the amount of meat. I'm pretty sure this recipe has already had at least one doubling, which is why it goes in a baking pan with high sides!
Baked garbanzo flour (mixed with olive oil or chicken stock) is a surprisingly good cheese sauce substitute! It even has protein, and a lot less fat than cheese.
I almost called this recipe "Vegan Chicken Florentine" because it is dairy-free and egg-free, but then I remembered the chicken ... hehe ... oops! But it is GFCF (not that the original had gluten either, but this version is gluten-free and casein-free) so it works around Cale's allergies.
This is an easy make-ahead recipe: I do all of the steps except baking the chicken (sometimes I butterfly it and try to have the chicken breasts "hug" the spinach, but as I said, we like more spinach than you can even pretend to stuff inside the chicken, so the chicken is a topping on a bed of delicious spinach). I take it over to the in-laws, leave the boys to play (Karston said today that he doesn't get to visit Opa and Grammy often enough), go to work, and return to a yummy meal that I know is allergy-safe for me and Cale to eat. Making three dinners tonight (chicken soup for Daddy who has the cold that the boys have, chicken stir-fry for me, and chicken florentine for tomorrow) was a challenge, but at least mine was just combining and heating leftovers.
Come to think of it, I guess that chicken soup was da bomb! Daddy went back for seconds, if not thirds, and this cold has removed his appetite (not that he ever had much). Chicken soup with tiny pastina stars made by a food lover is pretty tasty ... homemade stock + chicken breast + grated carrot + sliced celery + a handful of frozen peas + a few diced onions from the florentine + a sprinkle of adobo seasoning + pastina added at the end so it doesn't get over-cooked, boiled until done. Simple, and good enough for someone who's sick and not hungry to go back for more.