I must confess that as much as I love eating greens, I find crunching through a salad to get them in my diet both tedious and boring. In the face of such finickiness, I’ve had to resort to some very creative methods for getting wholesome, nourishing greens into my menu plan.
First I came up with a list of the greens I really love–kale, Swiss chard, spinach, chicory, etc. I make sure to have some on hand every week. If I don’t have them in front of me, I just don’t think to use them.
Next I figured out the best and easiest ways to prep them for cooking. I rarely use a knife now, just dig in with my hands tearing out woody stems and ripping the leaves into whatever size I need. It’s quick, easy, and clean-up is a breeze.
Finally I experimented with all sorts of ideas and recipes until I nailed the methods that work well for me. Here are five of my tried and true ideas.
This is my favorite method for easily adding greens to dishes. Simply lightly steam whichever green you’re using, then puree it with a bit of stock or water until it is smooth. At this point you can add it immediately to a recipe (whip it into scrambled eggs, use it as the liquid in bread dough, or drizzle it over a pasta dish) or freeze it in ice cube trays for handy use down the road. The next time you’re making stew or soup or chili, just grab a few green cubes and toss them in a few minutes before serving.
It is so easy to add the goodness of greens to your daily glass of fresh juice. Just toss a few fresh leaves of silverbeet or arugula into your juicer and take pride in knowing that sheen of green in your carrot juice is flooding your system with nutrients.
Use the same method for smoothies. I freeze trays of chopped fresh fruit that I later use as the base for my smoothies. Next time add one or two of your green cubes in with it.
Steaming is a great way to get greens from counter to table in very little time. Don’t overcook them or most of the goodness disappears into the water below. When they’re done, dress them simply with a bit of garlicky olive oil and sea salt or spoil yourself with some good butter and a sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.
If the greens are tough (like mature kale) you’ll need to steam them a bit before sauteing, otherwise, just toss them in a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil adding whatever ingredients you like. With kale I like to add sun-dried tomatoes and crispy slices of garlic, but with spinach I like to take a sweeter tack with a handful of raisins and some toasted pine nuts.