Going green… by eating greens!

In January we had the chance to visit a wonderful vegan restaurant. It’s quite a drive from where we live so we don’t go there often, but it was definitely worth trying out. (Oh, and it’s also more expensive than most restaurants we usually go to. Another reason why we shouldn’t live closer to it… haha!) My husband ordered their lasagna and with his dish he got these incredible greens. I think the menu called them “Sautéed kale with sundried tomatoes.” I bought the restaurant’s cookbook in hopes that the greens recipe would be in there, but it wasn’t. (There are some other really great recipes in there, though.)

Ever since, I’ve been experimenting with greens. You know, I never really would consider sitting down and munching on a pile of greens and actually enjoying myself. But the way I’ve been trying them, they have really turned out very yummy!

Here’s what I’ve been trying.

1. I get a bunch of greens – so far I’ve only tried kale and Swiss chard. Chop it up. Big pieces are ok. They will kind of shrivel up a bit. (Oh, and you will not believe how much they will shrink. I’ve started out with my big skillet FULL of greens and have them wilt down so much that I wished I had more!)

2. Get out your skillet, fry pan, or whatever, and put a LITTLE bit of olive oil in the bottom. I don’t like really oily greens. I learned once that olive oil is monounsaturated fat which is better than other types of oils. (Flax oil is supposedly very good too but it oxidizes quickly. Um, but we are oxidizing the oil by heating it, so whatever.)

3. Add your greens of choice. Sprinkle with sea salt. (Sorry, I don’t have a specific amount. Just to taste.)

4. Add any (or all) of the following to the sautéeing greens:

  • dehydrated or fresh onions (both are yummy)
  • sundried tomatoes
  • pumpkin seeds – these add a really nice crunch! And they are good for men’s health… good for your hubby!
  • onion powder
  • garlic powder
  • minced garlic cloves
  • nutritional yeast flakes

I strongly suggest adding the minced garlic and the nutritional yeast flakes. Those add a wonderful, wonderful flavoring. If you haven’t discovered nutritional yeast flakes yet, they’re WON-DER-FUL on greens. I think you should be able to get them at a health food store. You can also find nutritional yeast flakes online – just google it.

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[Note: Don’t sautée the greens too long – just enough to wilt them and get sort of tender. I don’t like my greens mushy. If you do, feel free to modify my rough recipe. But the longer you cook the greens, the less nutritious they will be.]

Speaking of nutritional yeast flakes, I’ve gotta tell you a slightly-related story.

My mom makes this sauce where she melts a stick of margarine in a small pot and adds 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast flakes, stirs it up, and serves it over boiled or steamed (tender, anyway) cauliflower. Yummy.

Well, when I was much younger, I was at my younger brother’s little kids class at church with him, and the teachers asked all their kids for favorite foods. And you know… kids were piping up answers like, “PIZZA!” “ICE CREAM!” …

And my bro pipes up, “CAULIFLOWER!”

The parents all looked at my mom with the “what-kind-of-food-do-you-serve-your-kid” kind of look, and meanwhile she was trying not to laugh too hard. 

Anyway, yes. Nutritional yeast flakes make greens… and cauliflower… taste delicious. My brother is living proof of the fact.

(In the picture in this post, you can see the picture of my sautéed Swiss chard there in the corner. The rest of the food? Well, I’ll get to that some other time…)

I’m linking this recipe at Tammy’s Recipes – head over there for more great kitchen tips!

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Published in: on March 23, 2009 at 8:30 pm  Comments (4)  
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