An armload of greens, my favorite dinner item! Greens are a prolific garden vegetable and a super healthy addition to any meal. They are full of vitamins and minerals and antioxidants. They even have 5 grams of protein per cup of cooked greens. Greens are shown to reduce inflammation, strengthen bones, and prevent a number of chronic diseases like cancer and diabetes.
I believe the reason why more people don't take advantage of these wonderful leaves, is they don't know the best way to prepare them.
Today I want to share with you how I prepare greens and give you the only recipe you will ever need, to make more greens a part of your diet.
When I come in from the garden with an armload of greens, the first thing I do is fill the sink with water and give them a soak. It helps any bugs to let go and rinses off any dirt. I give each leaf a little rub and then take out the center stem.
The easiest way to take out the stem is to run your thumb and pointer finger down the stem from the back side, tearing the leaf off as you go. It takes some practice at first, but once you get the hang of it, it is a quick process.
Once you get all the stems removed, pile your greens on the cutting board. (You can save the stems for another recipe, they are full of nutrients too.) I find a bread knife works the best for cutting.
Some people find it helpful to arrange the leaves on top of each other neatly, that takes too much time for me. I just bunch them up as tightly as I can and grab my knife.
The first cut is in the center of my pile to get a nice straight edge. Once you cut through, fold the pile on the right, under the left pile, lining up the cut ends.
Then start making ribbon cuts of greens, as narrow as you can. The smaller the cuts, the faster it will cook and the more tender it will be.
Continue until all the greens are cut.
Now onto cooking.
I always start with an onion, finely chopped. Put it in a large pot to sauté in some coconut or olive oil. Let it cook until it starts to caramelize and turn golden brown.
Then throw in the greens. Stir and press the greens down into the pot, get them all coated with oil and mix the onions into them. Add a dash of salt and any other spices you like. My favorite is garlic and curry powder.
Cook with the lid off so the liquid from the greens evaporates. Cook them about 5-8 minutes depending on how full the pot is. You will know when they are done because they will have greatly reduced in size and turned a darker shade of green.
Serve as a side dish with meat, eggs, beans or alone with rice. You can even incorporate them into another dish. You are only limited by your creativity.
Greens are a favorite part of my family's diet and I hope you find they become a favorite veggie for your family too!
Jessica Mutunga is passionate about good simple living that focuses on relationships, food and creating a supportive healthy environment. She is The Light Way Coach.