After a number of trials and some useful input from my son and future daughter-in-law, here is my recipe.
Peel potatoes and carrots and cut into small, bite-size pieces. Place in sauce pan and just barely cover with water. Add black pepper, red pepper, parsley flakes, sage, and a bay leaf. Heat to boiling and then cook until vegetables are almost done.
Add pearl onions and/or green onions, a package of frozen corn, a quarter stick of butter, and then lay a bunch of fresh spinach over the top. (I like to cut the spinach into thirds as otherwise it is too long and stringy to digest properly.) Heat to boiling, then cover and cook gently for 5 minutes.