Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Simple Sides: Garlicky Spinach with Crispy Bacon

I have this vision for a new series and as you can see I am calling it "Simple Sides."

Oftentimes I feel like we all get bogged down with the main course that sometimes the hardest thing to do is pull together some delicious side dishes to round out the meal.

This happened to me this past weekend. I was cooking oven roasted chicken thighs that I wanted to have a really delicious crisp skin and juicy meat. After I popped the chicken in the oven I realized that I hadn't made any plan on what to serve alongside this chicken. Panic ensued and I went scurrying through my fridge and freezer trying to see what veggies I had on hand.

Luckily this story has a happy ending and this Garlicky Spinach with Crispy Bacon is just that. This side dish comes together in a flash and it is packed with great flavor. Anything that has bacon in it HAS to be good, so this should seem like a no-brainer. Add tasty garlic and protein-packed spinach to that equation and we are in side dish heaven.

I don't know about you, but at big holiday meals I am always loading up on extra potatoes and veggies rather than turkey or ham and if this spinach was part of that, Lord knows I'd be going back for seconds and thirds.

The recipe below is a perfect side for two, but it can easily be multiplied to serve a larger crowd.

If there are more vegetables or side dishes you'd like me to try out as a Simple Side, feel free to leave a comment below!

Here's what you need for Garlicky Spinach with Crispy Bacon* (Print Recipe!)

2 sliced bacon, diced (if you pop your bacon into the freezer 30 minutes before cooking, it makes it easier to dice the raw bacon)
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups packed fresh spinach
salt and pepper and red pepper flakes to taste

Here's what you do

In a skillet, cook the bacon over medium until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel to drain.

Pour all but 1 tablespoon of the bacon grease out of the pan and add the olive oil. Adjust the heat to medium-low. Add the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the spinach and cook until wilted and warmed through. Season with salt, pepper, and red pepper flakes. Stir in the cooked bacon.

Serve immediately with a protein of your choice.

*Gas Stove Girl original recipe

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