May 3, 2021
I typically highlight steaks and roasts, but today we are focusing on two other amazing proteins available at Grand View Farm; bacon and eggs! No, we aren’t talking breakfast today, we are talking salad! Spinach salad that is. Spinach is at its peak quality right now in the spring, and Grand View Vegetables’ spinach is top-notch in nutrition – without any of those nasty, nasty chemicals you’ll find in your grocery store.
Conventionally grown spinach has made quite a name for itself again in 2021. It ranked 2nd on the “Dirty Dozen” list – and that’s definitely not a good thing. The Environmental Working Group (EWC) is an organization that ranks pesticide contamination in conventionally grown produce based on test results by the Department of Agriculture and the FDA. Something important to note if you are not familiar with their practices is that all of the samples were tested AFTER being thoroughly washed. Even though it came in second place to strawberries, spinach has more pesticide residues BY WEIGHT than all other produce tested. Yuck.
According to EWC; “The tests detected an average of 7.1 pesticides on every conventionally grown spinach sample collected in 2016, with a maximum of 19 different pesticides or breakdown products on a single sample. Four pesticides – one insecticide and three fungicides – were responsible for the bulk of the residues detected on spinach. Seventy-six percent of the samples contained residues of permethrin, a neurotoxic insecticide. At high doses, permethrin overwhelms the nervous system and causes tremors and seizures.”. That was 2016, and as their studies show, these shocking numbers have only continued to climb since testing began.
Please feel free to do your own research and dive down that sickening black hole. But for now, I’ll get back to the positive. Grand View Vegetables are raised in the best way possible, and you will not find any of those horrifying residues here! Just give it a quick wash and you’re set to feed yourself and loved ones vitamin-packed goodness without slowly poisoning anyone.
Here at Grand View, as you know, it's not just our vegetables that are raised by the highest-possible standards. I think many would be surprised to see how deceitful food labeling can be, especially pertaining to animal products. As that is a very passionate subject for me, I’ll definitely get into that another time. But for now, rest assured that all of the animals here are being raised and harvested in the best possible way for them, the environment and our community.
I love bacon, who doesn’t?! As a kid, of course I did! But I wasn’t a big fan of a salad for dinner. Or hardboiled eggs. However, there was one time that these “dislikes” of mine went out the window; when my Mom would make spinach salad with my Grandmom’s dressing. I’m by-far no picky eater these days, it’s hard for me to think of much I don’t care for. But this salad is still a favorite in the spring when the spinach is at its peak. You’ll see the dressing has quite a bit of sugar. If it weren’t such a nostalgic meal, I would substitute honey and stevia for the sugar – maybe even sub a tablespoon of EVOO for bacon grease!
When making this salad, I start by baking my bacon twists – the best way to get crispy, juicy hunks of bacon in any salad…mmmm. Room temperature bacon twists the easiest, but that’s not necessary. Just line a baking sheet with foil, twist your bacon, throw it in the oven and THEN turn it on to 375 degrees. Set your timer for 20 minutes as soon as you put the bacon in. When the timer ends, drain your excess fat, flip your twists, and return to the oven for another 10 minutes or so until it’s done to your liking. Remove to a cooling rack to drain.
Typically, I go for the fast and easy IP hardboiled eggs. It’s failproof! But since our house is being renovated, digging for a kitchen appliance was the last thing I wanted to do. So, I called my Mom for her also-failproof stovetop method. Place room temperature eggs into a pot and cover with at least 1” of cold water. Bring to a rolling boil, uncovered, over high heat. Once boiling, turn off the heat, with the pan still on the burner and cover for 30 minutes. Drain, plunge into cold water to immediately stop the cooking process. Viola! Perfect hardboiled eggs. (Even more perfect because they are from GVF birds!).
While the eggs are on the stovetop, I like to give my beautiful spinach a rinse and drain it well, returning it to the fridge to keep it crisp. Simply mix together the dressing ingredients, or use your own. This dressing would be most similar to store-bought Catalina.
Once your eggs have cooled to the touch, you can go ahead and peel and slice them, along with some red onion and tomatoes. I like to season my egg and tomato with salt and pepper before fixing the salad. ROUGHLY chop your bacon twists, as you’ll really want those thick nuggets to bite into! Toss all of that onto a fluffy pile of spinach, drizzle with dressing and enjoy!