Creamed spinach is a classic at Steakhouses and it lends itself well to low carb or keto lifestyles. It is a great side dish to most proteins, including these fennel-seared scallops. While the cream, butter and cheese certainly doesn’t scream low calorie, this low carb side dish won’t spike blood sugar.Jump to Recipe
Tips for Making the Best Creamed Spinach
- Use heavy whipping cream or creme fraiche and reduce it by half in the skillet
- Add a touch of spice (I used smoked paprika)
- Parmesan cheese adds a lot of “umami” flavor; you could use cheddar or other cheese if you prefer
- Use fresh nutmeg and grate it with a microplane
- If cooking over high heat, opt for “refined” olive oil rather than extra virgin. Extra virgin has a low smoke point and quickly turns rancid. Refined olive oil is also known as “lite” olive oil and it has a much higher smoke point.
What to Serve Creamed Spinach with:
While this recipe is a side dish to seared scallops, it is a classic with steak and also goes well with pork chops.
A sparkling wine or a crisp white wine like Riesling or Pinot Grigio would pair nicely with the fat content of the cream in the spinach.
Tips for the best Seared Scallops
- Make sure the oil is very hot before placing the scallops in the skillet (you should see some smoke) to get a good sear
- Get the scallop as dry as possible before seasoning. Drain them and pat them dry with paper towels. The drier the better.
- Scallops cook very quickly. They only need a couple of minutes on the first side and a minute on the flip side after turning.
Low Carb Creamed Spinach with Seared Scallops
- large bowl
- 15-16 Medium scallops thawed, drained and patted dry
- 20 oz frozen spinach 1-2 bags
- 4-5 Tablespoons olive oil divided
- 1 med onion chopped
- 2 cloves garlic minced
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg grated
- ¾ cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 Tablespoon parmesan grated or flaked
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 3 teaspoons ground fennel
- Drain scallops thoroughly and lay out on paper towells to dry further
- Place frozen spinach in a bowl and microwave until slightly cooked and thoroughly thawed
- Heat 2 Tbsp oil in a skillet and saute chopped onion until golden and caramelized (about 5 min).
- Add garlic and saute for 30 seconds. Add paprika, zest, salt, and nutmeg and stir together. Add heavy cream to skillet and cook over medium heat until reduced by half and fairly thick (about 3-5 min)
- Lower heat and add spinach and heat through (about 3-5 minutes). Sprinkle with parmesan and set aside
- In another skillet, heat 2-3 Tbsp oil until smoking (very hot). Make sure scallops are as dry as possible and season with salt, pepper and ground fennel
- Place scallops in skillet in a circular pattern starting at bottom of skillet (so you know where you started). Sear for a couple of minute (peek at one of them to make sure the bottom side is brown and seared). With tongs, turn them over in the same pattern as you laid them down.
- Cook for only a minute on the flip side and remove to a platter. Serve with still-warm creamed spinach (spinach can be reheated if needed).
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