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Get to Know Greens

Everyone knows greens are healthy- from collards and kale to chard and spinach.  But many of us are baffled as to how to prepare them, so we end up skipping greens in favor of other vegetables. Today, take a moment to read through this simple recipe and commit yourself to giving greens a chance.  They’re packed with vitamins and minerals like folate, iron, vitamin A and calcium, and they’re a snap to prepare.

Pan-Fried Greens
You can use kales, chards, mustard, collards, bok choi, spinach—any or all. Don’t be shocked by the volume of green matter you’ve assembled: it will cook down dramatically.

Ingredients:

Large pot of boiling water
2–3 tsp. of sea salt
2 lbs. of greens
2 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil or unrefined peanut oil
Clove of garlic, finely chopped (optional)
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper

  • Boil several quarts of water in a large pot; add a teaspoonful of salt per quart.
  • Add greens in order of their thickness (kale and collards take longest; spinach takes but a few seconds)—and cook until tender (anywhere between a few seconds and 15 minutes).
  • Drain and dunk in cold water to stop the cooking; Drain again and pat dry.
  • Heat a heavy large skillet; when it’s hot, add olive or peanut oil; when that shimmers, add garlic and greens; cook only long enough to reheat greens and imbue them with the flavors of garlic and oil.

Leftover greens?  Re-purpose leftover greens from this recipe in 2 more dishes!

Want something a little…snackier?  Try kale chips!

Kale Chips
Go crazy! You can flavor these any way you like: simply, with only extra-virgin olive oil; with oil and grated aged cheese (Parmesan, aged Jack, or Asiago); with oil and sesame, poppy, or mustard seeds; with oil and a dusting of powdered heat (chipotle or cayenne). That’s all there is to it—and they’re scrumptious.

Ingredients:
1 bunch of kale (lacinato or curly)
2–3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
Sea salt or kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
Several Tbs. freshly grated aged cheese or several Tbs. sesame, poppy, or mustard seeds and/or dusting of chile    powder (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 300° F.
  • Wash and de-vein kale leaves; dry thoroughly (if you don’t, oil and seasonings won’t adhere to the leaves). Tear leaves into chip-sized pieces; put in a mixing bowl.
  • Add oil and seasonings; use your hands to gently coat kale pieces thoroughly.
  • Spread kale on cookie sheet on middle rack of oven; roast until chips become crisp and dry (approximately 20 minutes). Remove from oven and allow to cool.