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Jan 22, 2018

Carrot, Spinach, and Rice Stew

This spinach with rice and carrots is so nutritious, and it's such an easy and simple weekday side dish. 

Carrot, Spinach, and Rice Stew #spinach #vegan #sidedishrecipe

The recipe for this spinach with rice and carrots illustrates how three large bunches of fresh spinach wilts down during the cooking process into a side dish for four.

I didn't discover spinach until I was an adult (unless you count watching Popeye cartoons and the sad little bowls of stewed spinach in the school cafeteria). My parents were not that adventurous with vegetables, nor did they make a big deal about us eating our vegetables (at least in my memory, my sisters and cousins may have an alternative memory).

Spinach finally came back into fashion during the 70s when wilted spinach salads with hot bacon dressing became all the rage. The salad, along with discovering Stouffer's Spinach Soufflé, convinced me that spinach might not be so bad.

Later I discovered how to make an easy Fish Florentine that I found in a community cookbook, which I added to my limited dinner repertoire. Spinach was okay!

Carrot, Spinach, and Rice Stew #spinach #vegan #sidedishrecipe
This recipe begins with one and a half pounds of fresh spinach... not the bagged kind, but the kind that comes in bunches and needs to be washed in several changes of water.

Spinach being washed

Pictured above is the amount of spinach I used that eventually produced the four servings in this dish. It's pretty amazing how fresh spinach wilts when you cook it. You pile it into the pan, thinking that your pan is way too small, but it doesn't take long for the spinach to reduce down.

If you'd like to get more spinach in your diet, I've got quite a few delicious spinach dishes here, including:
  1. Spinach and olive focaccia
  2. Pepperoni pizza spinach squares
  3. Spinach gratin
  4. Bacon and spinach quiche
  5. Muffins Florentine
  6. Assyrian Spinach Pies
I've also got a spinach and sausage pie coming soon.

I know, I know. You're asking "what the heck is this spinach dish doing here?" It's all because my friend Camilla of Culinary Adventures with Camilla is cooking her way through the book, Mark Bittman's Kitchen Matrix: More than 700 Simple Recipes and Techniques to Mix and Match for Endless Possibilitiesand she has invited her friends to cook along with her. Keep an eye on her blog every Tuesday for a new post about the book, which is a compilation of all of the recipes that he posted in his Matrix column in the New York Times. After the recipe, you might just find more recipes for spinach!

The vegetable chapter in the book include 18 different vegetables 12 ways. That's 216 variations on vegetables. And that's just one of 10 chapters.

Yield: 4 servings

Carrot, Spinach, and Rice Stew


  • 1/2 pound carrots, peeled and sliced into one inch pieces
  • 5 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup long grain white rice
  • 1 1/2 pounds raw spinach, the kind that comes in bunches (not bagged), triple washed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons butter


  1. Bring the carrots and the water to a boil. Add the rice and the spinach. Simmer, stirring until the carrots and rice are tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. 
  2. Stir in the garlic and butter, and serve. 

Carrot, Spinach, and Rice Stew #spinach #vegan #sidedishrecipe

Would you like to comment?

  1. I LOVE this dish, Karen...I could make a Meatless Monday meal of it.

  2. Same here - I watched Popeye (back in Brazil) and felt disgusted about that can of green stuff, no matter the effect on his muscles... Mom quickly gave up making me try the stuff

    now I love it, of course - and your version is wonderful, quite different from anything I've ever done with spinach.

    bookmarking it!

    1. Yes, big EW! to canned spinach! This would be a great side dish to one of your sous vide steaks or a roast.

  3. Thanks for joining us this week, Karen. I LOVE your post and all that spinach.

    1. Thanks Camilla. It's amazing how much it reduces.


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