Greens and More Greens – 10 Easy Ways to Prepare


Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie, probably the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium, and magnesium) and vitamins, including vitamins K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of phytonutrients including beta-carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin, which protect our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of omega- 3 fatty acids.
Swiss Chard Fritatta–  Chop up some chard and saute lightly in olive oil or butter.  Add a little chopped garlic about half way through cooking.  Remove the cooked greens to a plate.  Scramble up some eggs and add a bit more fat to the bottom and sides of pan.  On low heat add the eggs a little salt and pepper and your cooked chard.  Let cook until you see the sides start to peel off the pan.  Finish under a medium broiler to capture a golden top.  Serve hot, at room temperature or cold.
Beet Greens Salad– Boil up some beets and let cool.  Slice beet greens and steam.  Cool these too.  Slice up some red onions and soak them in some vinegar (I like Champagne vinegar), a little salt and honey for 15 minutes.  Discard this liquid.  Layer the greens, the beets and the onions on a plate or in a bowl and top with good olive oil and balsamic.  Best garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.  Goat cheese works well in addition to the seeds.

Grilled Romaine– Slice heads of romaine in half, rub with olive oil and set on hot grill until lightly marked.  Top with black olives, feta and fresh herbs.  Oregano, Italian parsley, thyme and dill work.

Wilted Dandelion Greens-   In medium-hot saute pan add olive oil and shaved garlic and cook until golden.  Add some young, tender dandelion greens and continue cooking until wilted but not overcooked.  Remove from heat to plate and top with shaved Parmesan or Manchego cheese.  You can use dandelion greens as a counterpart to any dish or served as a salad.

Collard Green Thai Styled Wrap–  Steam big leaves of collard greens and stuff with cooked noodles or brown rice, left over vegetables and smoked salmon, shrimp or chicken.  Serve with warm peanut or pumpkin seed sauce made from equal parts peanut butter and coconut milk, a little curry paste if you have some, optional fish sauce, lemon grass, lime leaf, cilantro and a hint of sweetness from coconut sugar or honey.

Escarole and White Beans–  Saute some escarole in olive oil until wilted.  Add garlic, chile and then some cooked white beans, fresh chopped thyme, rosemary or parsley.  Heat through and top with a little more herb. Serve on grainy bruschetta or as a side dish.

Asian-Style Baby Bok Choy–  Quarter and steam bok choy.  Whisk together equal parts soy and rice wine vinegar, chopped garlic,  ginger and scallions, toasted sesame oil and honey.  Gently ladle on bok choy and garnish with a few toasted sesame seeds.  Elegant to serve the little stalks one draped over the next in a criss-cross fashion.

Mustard Greens Agrodolce (sweet and sour)– Soak raisins in hot water for 15 minutes or longer.  In a large saute pan heat olive oil, add garlic and saute till golden.  Add greens and toss occasionally.  After about 3 minutes, or after they have cooked down, add drained raisins, a splash of red wine vinegar and a touch of hot sauce. Transfer greens to a plate.  Excellent with flank steak, or on top of polenta or crostini.

Ultra Green Smoothie- Blend at high speed a couple cups of coconut water, a frozen banana, a green pear,  a large handful of spinach, romaine, mint leaves, a few ice cubes and ginger juice to taste (just grate and squeeze). What a way to start your day.

Tuscan Kale Caesar Salad (otherwise known as lacinato or dinasaur kale)-  Cut kale into ribbons.  Make dressing from fresh squeezed lemon juice, mashed anchovies, garlic, Parmesan and a stream of olive oil.  Toss the salad with a large crouton sauteed in olive oil until crispy on the outside and chewy in the middle. Unlike most leafy greens, raw kale benefits from wilting slightly in the dressing, which tenderizes it. The salad is low-maintenance and healthy.

Cat Dillon

This blog is my journal, where I share everything wellness. From tips on healthy lifestyle to creating as much deliciousness in your life as possible.

Cat Dillon is the Cat in Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness is a unique combo of nutrition, fitness and cooking coaching all in one pretty package. Read more about Caterpillar Nutrition and Wellness.

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