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Green light to tasty meals

Aug. 2012 California Bountiful magazine



A few general tips for cooking with greens:

  • As a rule of thumb, the darker the color, the more nutritious the green. However, try to eat a mix of greens so you can benefit from a variety of nutrients.
  • Beet greens and chard are examples of greens that can be eaten raw, but also take only a few minutes if you wish to cook them. Denser varieties such as kale and collard greens generally benefit from longer cooking times; you might also want to remove and discard the stems (ribs) from the leaves of these varieties.
  • When purchasing a bundle of greens from a grocery store or farmers market, be sure to wash them thoroughly. An easy way is to swirl them around in a container of water. Then dry and refrigerate in airtight containers for up to 10 days.
  • Kale is great as a salad or in your favorite slaw recipe. Also try it in soups and pastas.
  • The hearty leaves of collard greens provide more texture and flavor than spinach when included in lasagna. Blanch the leaves before adding them to the recipe.
  • Mustard greens added raw to a salad packs a mustard-radish kick.
  • Chard is not only beautiful in color, but also mild in flavor. Sauté in the sauce for pasta dishes. For a simple side dish, just a short sauté in olive oil and garlic is perfect.
  • Dau miu, or snow pea shoots, are delicate leaves from the snow pea plant. Try them sautéed in garlic, ginger and oil, or let the sweet pea flavor of the raw ingredient shine in pasta, couscous or quinoa salad.

Want more ideas? The folks at San Miguel Produce who grow, package and market greens offer meal starters and recipes on their website.

Beet Green
Chard
Collard
Kale
Mustard
Spinach
Turnip

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