Popeye’s Spinach Chili

I have always watched Popeye, the animated seaman, with an awed terror.  Anyone willing to engage in fisticuffs with a mammoth goon like Brutus in order to gain the favor of an uncomely shrill such as Olive Oil must be totally crackers.  Evidently Miss Olive has some redeeming trait, perhaps it just isn’t apparent outside of the boudoir.   Popeye’s forearms have also been a source of grave concern.  Whatever training regimen the Sailor Man subscribes to results in an upper-body asymmetry that is not only grotesque, but alarming.  Finally, there is Popeye’s penchant of spinach consumption.  Ah ah, I just don’t get it.


If someone could nail down a stellar spinach chili, well, maybe I could come around to Popeye and all of his eccentricity.  Maybe.




11 oz of fresh spinach (stems and leaves)

1 T cooking oil

2/3 C diced onion

1T chili powder

½ t turmeric

½ t coriander

½ C half and half

½ C diced Roma tomato



* this really could have used cumin.  I flaked it and forgot.



  1. Rinse the spinach well and sauté in a covered pan until it is wilted.
  2. Place spinach and spinach liquid in a blender.
  3. Blend on “frappé” setting (admit it, you love saying “frappe”)
  4. Set aside the blended spinach. Now smile, knowing you just frappéd the hell out of something.
  5. In a pan fry onions and seasonings in oil until the onions are soft and the spices become fragment.
  6. Add the blended spinach to the pan.
  7. Add the half and half and heat until the mixture is bubbly.
  8. Add tomatoes and heat through.
  9. Serve over rice.


Popeye’s Spinach Chili

Popeye’s Spinach Chili

Tasting Notes:


Scrolling this list of grievances has been like (low cost) therapy.  Perhaps I’d just been obfuscating my true feelings.  I now have resolved to emulate Popeye.  True to my cautious form, I have decided to wade into the salty waters cautiously.  At this point I’ve taken it slowly and begun solely with the pipe smoking.  This is going fairly well, though every time I try to blow a “toot-toot” the pipe emits nary a sound but, unexplainably, the curtains unfailingly seem to catch fire.  Once I can get a handle on my inadvertent pyromania, I’m going to work on bulking up the forearms.   I’m already contacted Balco for some human growth hormone and Nick’s Body Art for the anchor tattoo.    With regard to the spinach consumption- yeah, I think we have something here.  This chili recipe probably won’t curry any favor with any saag paneer buffs, but it gets the job done.  Chili Jr. and I probably dug this dish far more than The Pirate and Pre.  (No surprise there).    Finally, as for courting Olive Oil, there is a 10 foot pole out back that I’m in no rush to go and find.  Imitation may be the sincerest form of flattery, but even I have boundaries.

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