Thursday, May 14, 2009

Going Green

I wanted to focus this post on Greens.  I see the plethora of leafy wonders piled in neat rows at Whole Foods and think, "What in the heck am I supposed to do with that?!"  Then I discovered this book, Greens Glorious Greens.  It is filled with some super tasty, yet quick and easy recipes.  Here are a few that I like:

Super Simple Savory Chard

1.5 lbs. Swiss or Red Chard
1 TBSP EVOO (Extra virgin Olive oil)
2 Garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 TBSP water
Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 Lemon, cut into wedges

  1. Wash the Chard leaves and strip the leaves from the stalks.  Save the stalks for another use.
  2. Coarsely chop the greens.  In a large skillet or stockpot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat.  Add garlic and saute for 2 minutes until golden.
  3. Turn heat to medium high.  Add greens and stir to coat with oil. Add 2 tbsp water, cover, and cook until greens are wilted and soft, about 5 minutes.
  4. Taste the greens to make sure there is no raw edge to the flavor. Turn off heat. Season with salt and pepper. Serve hot with lemon wedges for squeezing.
Swiss Chard is easy to grow and a hearty plant that will survive the Summer heat and still produce into the Fall. 

Quick Southern- Style Collards and Bacon

3 Bacon Strips
3/4 lb. Collard greens (6 or 7 cups chopped)
2 cups water
1 TBSP Bacon drippings
1 cup thinly sliced leeks or onions
pinch of salt to taste

  1. Heat a 10-in. cast iron skillet (or just a fry pan).  Fry bacon until golden and fat is rendered. Remove bacon from fat to paper towel to drain. Pour off rendered fat to a metal container to reserve. Wipe out pan.
  2. Wash collards, remove stalks, and stack 4 to 5 leaves. Roll like a cigar and slice into thin strips, about 1/4 in. wide. In a large skillet with a lid, bring water to a boil. Add the greens and cook on high heat, covered, for 8 to 10 min. Cooked greens should be tender but still bright green. Remove greens from cooking liquid to a bowl, using a slotted spoon.  Save the "pot likker" to drink.  (I tried it, and... gross.)
  3. In large skillet, heat 1 tbsp of the bacon drippings over medium heat. Add leeks and saute for 5 to 8 min., until softened. Stir in collards to coat with leeks and drippings.
  4. Season with salt, if desired. crumble cooked bacon over the hot greens for extra decadence.
The book calls collards a "goldmine" that outrank spinach, broccoli, and mustard greens in nutritional value.  Collards are high in fiber, rich in beta-carotene, and loaded with vitamin c, calcium, and B vitamins.
---Taken from Greens Glorious Greens by Johnna Albi & Catherine Walthers

Zone info:
1 1/4c = 1 block carbs (for both Swiss Chard and Collards)

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