Leafy green vegetables are the greatest powerhouse of nutrition we can imagine and our rich in compounds that battle cancer. They are essential to our health and well-being. Some of the varieties are cabbages, turnips, beets, mustard and lettuces. They are all so versatile and easy to prepare. You can eat most every part of the greens.
In the South, there is an entire cuisine structured around collard greens. Don’t throw out the juice produced from cooking Collards and mustard greens. It is called pot liquor, it has a garden, tangy taste which illuminates the taste buds in a good way. Pot liquor is good for the skin and digestive system and is a natural laxative. What I love to do is dip a big piece of home-made cornbread in it, makes my mouth water thinking about it!
Leafy greens enliven any dish. Its like stirring sunshine into dinner. Leafy greens can be braised, simmered, steamed, sautéed, stewed, stir fried, grilled, roasted or when young eaten raw in winter salads. Greens have played a role on the world stage of cuisine for generations. While overlooked or used as garnish by most American chefs, in other cultures, the crunchy leaves inspire classic dishes like “caldo Verde”, a Portuguese soup of potatoes, white beans, and kale. In Brazil, kale braised and served with the gloriously smoky black bean stew “Feijoada”. And there is Red Russian kale with its flat purple tipped leaves, tender stems and added magnesium to keep our nerves from getting frazzled…..and mixed into stir fried dishes or salads will change your opinion of greens for ever!
Swiss chard, beet and turnip tops are rich in iron. Asian greens with brilliant colors, amazing flavors and a variety of textures make the perfect salad with a beautiful presentation. Pak Choi, which is the same as bok choy, can be stir fried with fresh garlic and sesame oil, so easy and quick, it is my new favorite vege!
We can not forget about green smoothies! You can add any of the fall and winter greens to your smoothie for that huge boost of nutrients in one glass. Will post more information on green smoothies in the near future.
Some easy winter meals to consider. Saute a variety of greens with onion and garlic and serve over a bed of pasta. Simmer a big pot of variety of greens and serve with your favorite beans and hot cornbread. Add 1 tbsp of Miso to your cooked greens for added flavor and nutrition.
Greens Rock! Have fun trying new greens and experimenting with new recipes. Thanks to Living the well life, Christinacooks.com for some good info and ideas!