Oh, Those Gorgeous Greens!

You say “greens,” we say collards, bok choy, broccoli rabe, Swiss chard, mustards, dandelion, watercress, arugula…kale yeah!

Going “green” is groovy! Leafy greens offer a wide assortment of nutrients and they taste great. Their popularity is spreading like wildfire, so add a new green to your menu today. Here’s a list to work your way through:

  • Collards

  • Kale

  • Bok Choy

  • Broccoli Rabe

  • Napa cabbage

  • Dandelion

  • Swiss chard

  • Mustards

  • Beet greens and turnip greens

  • Spinach

  • Watercress

  • Arugula

  • Lettuce varieties

Lettuce, chard and spinach are mild in flavor while other greens — like arugula, dandelion and mustards — are sharp, peppery and bitter. Choose the flavor you desire when adding to soups, salads, sides and main dishes. Here’s how to glorify your menu with greens:

  • Steam or sauté in a little oil, broth or butter until bright green and tender; don’t boil in water as you’ll lose valuable nutrients. 

  • Add to soups, stir-fries and stews. 

  • Steam or sauté and add to whole grain side dishes. Try collards with couscous and kale with brown rice, or spinach with pasta and chard with quinoa.

  • Toss baby spinach, arugula, watercress or dandelion with hot cooked pasta. Add tomatoes, mushrooms, onions, etc.

  • Use steamed greens as a bed for other colorful veggies such as cooked butternut squash, roasted root veggies, braised carrots or sautéed bell peppers. 

  • Add a few leaves of kale or spinach to your favorite fruit or veggies when juicing.

  • Make smoothies with greens. Frozen makes this simple.

  • Slice spinach, cabbage and kale thinly. Dress with favorite salad dressing.

  • Eat sautéed greens with tofu or eggs.

Greens are often interchangeable in your recipes. If mustard greens are too bitter for you, switch to kale. Don’t like tough stems? Try chard (you can eat their stems). Mature greens often taste better and are more digestible when cooked. Others, like spinach, dandelion and kale can be eaten either cooked or raw. Micro greens and baby greens are delicious raw.  Enjoy these recipes:

This Introduction to Kale 101 video opens in a new tab showcases local farmers as well as the king of greens.

Remember, the next time someone asks you if you’re going green, all you have to say is, “kale, yeah!”

Got a favorite green you can’t go without?  Let me know.

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