"All types of greens leave other veggies behind in the nutrition competition. Greens are extremely low in calories (a one cup serving packs a mere 25 calories), but they provide substantial amounts of vitamins A and C, essential immune system boosters and smaller quantities of calcium, iron, potassium, folic acid and fiber. They may even be protective against certain types of cancer.
Kale (Brassica oleracea) is a member of the cabbage family. The leaves are blue-green in color and almost frilly in appearance. Younger leaves are tender enough to eat raw, but more mature leaves require cooking. Kale is "stemmy," but removing the stems completely does away with most of the leaf, so it is better to chop the leaves and stems well prior to cooking. The leaves should be washed well, especially if harvested from a home garden as kale is very susceptible to aphids. They can then be steamed or sauteed, as in the recipe below.
Swiss chard (Beta vulgaris) is a member of the beet family. It is known as a "beetless beet:" the greens without the bulb. The leaves are large and deep green. Chard stems come in various colors depending on variety: white for Fordhook, red for Ruby or Rhubarb and all the colors of a sunset for the Bright Lights Variety. It can be eaten raw in salads or lightly steamed. "
- 2-3 large bunches greens: kale or chard or spinach or a mixture
- 3-4 shallots, chopped
- 2-4 garlic cloves, chopped or minced
- 1/2 teaspoons olive oil or more
- 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon hot red pepper flakes
- 4 or 5 fresh strawberries, sliced
- 1/2 cup water or broth of your taste
- salt and black pepper to taste
1. Wash greens well, devein and chop roughly. Set aside in a colander to drain.
2. In a large non-stick skillet, heat oil and saute the shallots and the garlic. Add the pepper flakes. I used mostly water and just a little bit oil.
3. Add the greens and the water. Stir and cover to steam for about 10-15 minutes.
4. Add the strawberries and the balsamic vinegar. Cook, stirring occasionally, until greens are bright, dark green and tender, and heated through, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.