Greens are a staple food in the South of the United States and part of the Soul Food tradition. In recent years they have found their way onto more tables in other parts of the United States. Around the world, many countries have traditional recipes for greens. In India, greens include spinach, kale, or collard greens. Cooks, in various countries in Africa, use collards, mustards, turnips, Swiss chards, and local favorites to make tasty greens. The Chinese love their bok choy. Wherever Chinese people have moved, the bok choy plant has followed, making it a popular green in many parts of the world. Other than taste, why are greens so well-liked?
Easy to prepare, low in calories and carbohydrates, greens are nutritional powerhouses! Members of the Brassica family, like bok choy, collards, mustards, turnips, and kale, typically have fewer than 50 calories per 100 grams of product. They are high in anti-oxidants. Both soluble and insoluble fiber are present in these greens. Why take supplements when you can eat greens? These nutritious vegetables contain high levels of Vitamins K, C, A, and folic acid. They have substantial quantities of calcium, iron, magnesium, zinc, selenium, and manganese. Eating greens daily can give your nutrition a large boost!
Sautéed Mixed Greens Recipe
1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (I used Kirkland brand.)
4 large cloves of garlic-coarsely chopped
4 cups fresh, tender mixed greens (I used collard, turnip, and kale.)
1/3 cup liquid (I used Claussen Dill Pickle juice.)
Salt and pepper to taste
Hot sauce, if desired
Thoroughly wash the greens, so that there is no sand on them. You may use any combination of tender greens that you desire. If you want to use only one type, that’s fine, too. Shake the water off of the greens, but leave some water on them. Coarsely chop the greens. I slice them into about 1/3 inch pieces across the midrib. Then, I chop them in half by slicing in a perpendicular direction. So, slice across, then up and down. Set the greens aside.
In a heavy pan, like an iron skillet, heat the olive oil over high heat and add the garlic pieces. Cook them, stirring constantly for about a minute. Add half of the greens, stirring constantly. After they wilt a bit, stir in the rest of the greens. Cook, stirring constantly, over high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, depending on how tender your greens are. Then, add 1/3 cup of liquid. Stir the greens down into the liquid. Continue cooking, stirring to keep the greens from sticking, until the liquid has evaporated. This takes about 5 minutes. I used Claussen Dill Pickle juice to give the greens a tangy taste with a dill flavor. The pickle juice eliminates the need for adding salt. You can use water or broth, depending on the flavor that you enjoy with greens.
This recipe makes about one cup of cooked greens. You may increase the amount of greens that you are cooking. Adjust the cooking time to make sure that the greens are tender.
If you can’t find fresh greens, consider using frozen ones. There are even canned greens. Their nutritional value is higher than most canned vegetables, but can’t compare to freshly cooked greens in either nutrition or taste.
Greens make a nice accompaniment to a wide variety of sandwiches. Especially when sandwiches are heavy, like the breaded and fried sandwiches, greens can provide a light, tasty, and nutritious side dish.
How do you like to prepare greens? What sandwiches do you serve with greens? Let us know in the BellaOnline Sandwiches Forum. We’ll be waiting for your post!