Friday, January 24, 2014

6 Great Ways to Use All those Healthy Greens

I never get a CSA basket but it's full of greens. Kale, chard, spinach, arugula, bok choy, tat soi . . . so many greens.

It's taken a while to learn what to do with them, but I now have a few go-to recipes. Here they are:

1) Quiche. This is almost always my first choice. It's easy, and I almost always have the ingredients I need - it's pretty much eggs+milk+cheese, and then throw in any extras you want - including cooked greens. Here's a basic recipe for crustless quiche.  And you can always throw in some cooked sausage, bacon, or ham.  Serve that up with some rolls, and you've got dinner.

2) Scrambled eggs & greens. If you're not even up for assembling a quiche, scrambled eggs with greens is even simpler. Chop and sautee whatever greens you happen to have, and then pour eggs over it and scramble that baby. Add some seasonings - I like adding soy sauce, garlic-chile sauce, sesame oil, and a hint of sugar. (Sugar cuts the bitterness of the greens.) YUM.

3) Soup.  Take egg drop soup, and add in some finely chopped greens. Or your go for your basic beans-and-greens soup. Either will serve you up a bowl of health with a bit of savor and spice.

4) Toasted. This is especially good with kale. I won't lie - it's not quite a bag of potato chips - but there is a satisfying salty crunch.

5) Curries. Your basic curry has a strong enough flavor that it can handle just about any vegetable you want to throw in. Extra tip: throw your greens into the rice or pasta you'll be serving under the curry, instead of into the curry itself. Then the veggies can just cook along with the starch. Super-easy.

6) Chopped salads. Lots of young greens (think baby spinach, arugula) can be easily incorporated into green salads. But even the hearty greens (think kale) can be made into salads if you treat them right. Cut them into bite-sized or smaller pieces, and massage them with oil, vinegar, and salt. This breaks them down a bit and they're super-yummy, especially if you add some extras, like tahini or dried cranberries or walnuts.

What's your favorite ways to use up all those healthy greens?
Peace of Christ to you,
Jessica Snell


becca said...

Beans and greens - basically sauteed greens with garlic, onions, olive oil, white beans, and chicken broth. Can be served soupy with toast or drier on it's own. Love it!

Also, this version is awesome:

Emily (Laundry and Lullabies) said...

Our family loves kale salad - the way we make it is basically guacamole with crunch!

One full bunch of kale, torn or chopped
1/2 an avocado
Garlic powder, chili powder, cumin, and salt to taste
Splash of lemon juice

Massage everything together with your hands (messy, but fun!) and let sit for 5-10 minutes.

My kids almost always mention this when I ask for favorites and meal suggestions. :)

Jessica Snell said...

Becca - the beans and greens sounds really good . . . but it totally sounds like something I'd want to add a tiny bit of chopped bacon to!

Emily - that sounds cool - like guacamole kale!

Amber said...

I make a pasta dish with greens that my family likes. I sauté garlic and a sliced onion in olive oil, add a can of diced tomatoes (or cut up a tomato in the summer!), let the liquid cook off a bit, then add in chopped greens. Sometimes I add a couple links of pre-cooked sausage like Aidells. Then I pull off some for me to eat over rice (I don't eat white pasta) and mix the rest with pasta for the family. Quiches and frittatas also go over well around here w/ greens. I've been meaning to try toasted, but haven't gotten around to it.

Oh, and my mom recently gave me a recipe of sorts for a kale salad, she said it is really good. I'm supposed to be making it tomorrow. Here it is, if you're interested:

"For each bunch of torn fresh kale you use: mix the juice of one fresh lemon to an equal amt of olive oil plus a Tbls of honey. Pour the dressing on the torn kale at least an hour before serving and toss it several times during the hour. Add a bunch of parmesan cheese and whatever else you like. We added in Craisens."

Jessica Snell said...

Oooh, those sound yummy, too!