Storage Tip: A key to delicious greens is getting them clean. They are best stored in an open dish or bag, along with a paper towel. Wash them just before using. When washing, soak in a big bowl of cool water for a few seconds, rinse and repeat until all the dirt/sand is removed and then pat dry.
Quick Cook: There are few veggies I love more than fresh greens sautéed in a little olive oil & garlic. Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan, add greens and sauté until wilted. Add a little crushed garlic to taste. Stir until garlic is fragrant and serve.
In the 1980’s classic, Pretty in Pink, Molly Ringwald starred as Andie, a beautiful, bright and witty girl. She was also an outcast. Her peers didn’t notice her. Leafy greens are the Molly Ringwald of the vegetable world. They have so much to offer but we sometimes just pass them by. They supply hefty doses of Folate, Vitamin A and Vitamin K. They contribute Potassium, Vitamin C and Calcium to our diets. They give us so much nutrition in a fiber filled, low fat, low calorie package. So much to love but yet so unpopular…a true wallflower.
Sadly, only twenty percent of us eat the recommended serving of five fruits and vegetables a day. Given these statistics, you can see that leafy greens are a tough sell. A lot of people find them bitter. Children, in particular seem to be sensitive to their intense flavor. It is time for a leafy green makeover!
In the movie, Pretty in Pink, Andie fashioned a unique and elegant prom dress that had everyone at the prom noticing her. Dressing up leafy greens in tasty recipes has the same effect. Cooking greens will mellow their sharp taste. Cutting raw greens in small strips, chiffonade style and adding them to familiar salads or soups allows you to serendipitously get the family to give them a try.
In Southern India, greens are dressed up and mixed with rice. Try this version of
- 1 ½ cup cooked rice
- 3-4 cups raw greens
- 1-2 tbl oil
- 1 tsp mustard seeds
- 1 medium onion
- 1 medium tomato
- 1 tsp red chili powder ( I used ½ tsp chili flakes)
- ¼ tsp turmeric powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp ginger
- Salt to taste
- Cashews or peanuts for garnish
Chop and cook the greens. (I sauté them with some cooking spray). Mash/purée the cooled greens in a blender or food processor. Heat oil and cook mustard seeds until they start to pop. Add onions and sauté until golden, approximately 2 minutes. Add tomato and cook until soft. Add spices and cook a little longer. Add in cooked rice and green purée.
Stir until blended. Add salt to taste and garnish with peanuts or cashews.
LENTIL SOUP WITH GREENS AND SAFFRON YOGURT
For those looking for a savory approach to kale, try this easy lentil soup recipe: https://tinyurl.com/lively-up-yourself-lentil-soup. It works well using plain yogurt! Although great on its own, the cheesy polenta fries (you’ll find a link to them in the head notes for the soup recipe), are amazing and worth the effort to make and eat alongside the soup (I have made them just on their own on more than one occasion).