How to Prepare Leafy Green Vegetables
Basic Greens Recipe: Attaining Green Leafy Veggie Heaven
In spring, we salivate over the leafy greens at our farmer's market - spinach, arugula, beet greens, Chinese greens, baby lettuce, kale & chard, and more unusual items like dandelion greens and purslane - all fresh, tender, ultra-nutritious and tasty as as can be.
Wondering what to do with that bushel of spinach, arugula, mustard greens, and baby beet greens? Besides endless salad? Our basic greens recipe will get you started.
Total Prep & Cook Time: 15 min.
Nutrition Data Per Serving - 2 Cups Raw Spinach: 14 cal, 2g carb, 0g fat, 48mg sodium, 2g fiber, 2g protein, 0g sugars, 0mg Cholesterol, good source Vit A, B6, C, E, K, Thiamin, Riboflavin, Folate, Calcium, Iron, Magnesium, Phosphorous, Potassium, Copper, Manganese. Estimated glycemic load 0
- 8 cups leafy greens (2 cups per serving)
- Wash the greens in plenty of cold water, and drain well
- Remove tough stems by tearing or cutting off the leaves. Chard and spinach stems are tender, and can be cooked along with the leaves
- Stack, roll or gather the leaves, slice in thin strips, or tear into small pieces
At this point, you have several options:
- Add the raw greens to a smoothie
- Add the raw greens to almost any salad
- Add the raw greens to a sandwich, wrap or quesadilla
- Add the raw greens to another veggie dish toward the end of cooking
- Lightly stir fry or steam the greens, with or without garlic or onion
Stir Fried Green Leafy Veggies
- Heat 1 - 2 tsp oil on medium-low in a wok, large sauté pan or large frying pan - with lid
- Optional: Add 1/4 cup minced onion or 1 - 2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced. Sauté onion or garlic until soft.
- Turn up the heat to medium, add the greens, and stir until they're wilted
- A wooden spatula works great for stir frying, but use any stirring tool you have on hand
- Optional: Reduce heat, cover and steam for 1 - 2 minutes. Skip this step for tender greens such as spinach - wilting is enough for them.
- Optional: Add curry spices, lemon juice, or coconut milk, stir until heated through
- Salt and pepper to taste, but keep in mind that greens are high in sodium
More Green Leafy Options
- Before adding the greens, fry some minced garlic, fresh ginger, onion or scallions in the oil. Add some brown mustard seeds, fenugreek seeds, cumin seeds - whatever you please
- If you don't want to cook your greens in oil, stir fry in water only, then cover and steam until the greens are limp. A Tbsp or 2 of water should do it.
- Once the greens are wilted or steamed, add them to cooked beans, soups, grains, lasagna, quiche, etc
- Wilted greens also make a good salad, along with cooked grains, nuts or seeds (toasted or not), raisins or cranberries, olives, peppers, tomatoes, tofu, feta, etc
- To make a sauce for the greens: Add a Tbsp or two of tahini, cashew butter, or thick coconut milk, along with a little water and-or soy sauce