What Can I Possibly Do With All These Greens?
The garden is full. The fridge is full. Everywhere there are greens- kale, spinach, Swiss chard, lettuces, even dandelion greens. It’s a good season for cleansing, which is one of the things greens do very well. They are also full of numerous other super nutrients, as you probably were told by your mother. However, she may not have mentioned all of the wonderful ways you can use these mighty foods when they are overrunning every nook & cranny. I will put down a few ideas for you.
1) Salads. You know about this, I realize. The thing to do here is to try something new, or at least something you might not have had since last summer. Taco salad is a favorite at my house. I like to use a mixture of bitter and sweet flavors, like arugula with citrus or berry and nuts. Another one is mache with raspberry balsamic dressing, avocado, and walnut. This is also a good place to use some of those fresh herbs that are coming in so nicely. Oregano, basil, and chives with sun-dried tomatoes & olive oil go nicely with lettuce or spinach.
2) Green smoothies. I know this sounds gross to some of you. Please understand that these do not taste like a pile of chewed up raw lettuce or chard! They take on the flavor of the most intensely flavored ingredient, like cherry or strawberry or chocolate. There are numerous recipes on the web for these creations, and here is one from my own collection: click here.
3) Leafy greens like spinach and kale are fantastic when added to Italian-inspired dishes like lasagna. In fact, I once made a raw vegan “lasagna” that used very thin sliced zucchini in place of pasta and lots of fresh herbs. Left to sit in the fridge for a few hours, it was delicious. I did cheat a little, though, by sprinkling the dish with fresh grated Parmesan in the end.
4) Soups. Throw a few handfuls of greens into almost any soup. Tomato, bean soups, chicken or fish soups, vegetable recipes of course, even chili. You can also try putting your greens into the blender to make a creamy soup. Adding avocado and/or coconut milk can also add a nice creaminess.
5) Fresh juice. I make fresh juice about 2-3 times every week. I always make greens a big part of my juice, but even more so in the spring & early summer. I usually use some celery and cucumber, then chop up a generous helping of chard, spinach, kale, parsley, or some combination of these. I also include a bit of apple or some fruit to give a nicer flavor. Sometimes I will put in a bit of carrot or beet. I nearly always add either ginger or lemon (or lime) because these have health benefits as well as strong (delicious) flavor. For more on juicing, check out my earlier post by clicking here.
6) Cultured veggies. Greens are a welcome addition to many cultured concoctions. Sauerkraut is traditionally made from cabbage; but you don’t have to stop there. I recently made a delicious culture from Swiss chard. I plan to share the recipe in my next post.
7) Just saute, season, and eat! Here’s a really easy recipe I posted a while ago: (click here.)
So there you have it. If you have a great way to use greens that I haven’t mentioned here, I’d love to hear about it!