Glorious Greens - A Good Food Guide
Have you ever wondered about all those leafy greens in our produce department in the cold months? Grab a bunch of lacinato kale or Swiss chard and try some new recipes for an elegant taste treat that will nourish you in the chill of the season. The dark green color of these vegetables brings the freshness of summer to your insides, and they are rich in vitamins A, B complex and C, as well as fiber, iron and calcium. Steaming greens will leave most of the cancer-fighting antioxidants intact, whereas microwaving them robbed up to 97 percent!
This Chinese cabbage with ivory stalks and dark green, crinkly leaves is easy to spot. The stems have a mild cabbage flavor and the leaves with their earthy robust flavor turn very tender when cooked. Look for heads with bright green, crisp leaves and stalks
that are bright white. Bok choy is a good source of vitamin C, folate and fiber. To prepare pull or cut leaves from stalks and tear or thinly slice greens. Slice the stalks (minus the bottom inch or so) into thin strips and smf braise or stir fry for 3–5 minutes, then add the greens.
This lovely cabbage has a crisp, refreshing texture and a mild, slightly sweet flavor. Napa cabbage is a good source of vitamin C, folate and fiber. To prepare cut the cabbage in half through the stem end once the tough outer leaves have been removed. The hard core of each half can be removed and then cut crosswise into thin strips to cook with the leaves added at the last 3 minutes of cook time. The best methods of cooking are braising or adding to liquid such as soup. It can also be sliced thin for a salad.
Swiss Chard & Spinach
Chard and spinach should be a deep green color with crisp leaves and stems. Chard stems can be white, red, yellow or orange. Cooked chard is spinach-like, but slightly more fibrous and earthier in flavor. The thick, fleshy stems are a bit tougher so they are usually blanched first. The leaves can be braised, stir-fried, steamed or boiled. Spinach should have the tough stems removed before cooking. Tender baby spinach is perfect for a salad or stir fry. Chard and spinach are good sources of beta-carotene, vitamin C, and some B vitamins. They are also high in iron, potassium, sodium and magnesium
Chicory, Radicchio, Endive & Escarole
These greens are delicious raw in salads and are equally good braised, sautéed or grilled. Use in soups, gratins, stews and pastas. Radicchio is high in magnesium, potassium and beta-carotene. Endive and escarole are a good source of folic acid, beta-carotene, fiber, potassium and iron.
Kale & Collard Greens
These hearty greens have a cabbage fl avor with a hint of mustard. Because the leaves are fibrous and thick they are most often cooked. They’re excellent braised, steamed, sautéed and stir-fried and can be added to soup, stews, pastas and baked dishes. When purchasing look for crisp leaves free of discolorations. To prepare remove any heavy stems and midribs. Then hand shred or cut with a knife. Cooking times for kale will vary from 3–10 minutes depending on your taste. Kale and collards are a great source of vitamin A, iron, calcium and chlorophyll.
The mustard plant is a pungent, bright green plant with very curly leaves. They are rich in beta-carotenes and vitamin C. Mustard greens combine well with kale, collards or any other green adding a hint of spicy heat. They’re excellent braised, steamed or stir-fried and their spiciness is reduced as they cook. Try a saute with garlic or add greens to soups or stews. To prepare remove any heavy stems and midribs. Then hand shred or cut with a knife into narrow strips.
Dandelion greens are long, dark green, deeply notched leaves with a bitter flavor that lends itself well to being mixed with other spring greens. One serving has nearly a day’s requirement of Vitamin A and a third of daily Vitamin C. Dandelion greens contain more calcium than broccoli! Try them raw in a salad with vinaigrette. Stir-frying or sautéing are other great ways to enjoy the health
benefits of this green food.