My dad loved turnip greens and my mom loved spinach and they argued over which was best. If they had ever bothered to ask me, I would have told them neither one was particularly good. Do you know why? Think limp and lifeless with a touch of slime thrown in. Ewww.
Greens do NOT have to arrive at the table that way - ever!
There are so many delicious ways to prepare them. Did you know that we need at least 3 cups of dark green vegetables per week? Why you ask? Because they are considered nutritional powerhouses. That's right! This is an excerpt from About.com.
on the nutritional value of greens. It will make you feel a whole lot better about eating them, besides the facts that they are delicious.
"Dark green leafy vegetables are, calorie for calorie perhaps the most concentrated source of nutrition of any food. They are a rich source of minerals (including iron, calcium, potassium and magnesium) and vitamins including K, C, E, and many of the B vitamins. They also provide a variety of photo nutrients including Beta carotene, lutein and zeaxanthin which protects our cells from damage and our eyes from age-related problems, among many other effects. Dark green leaves even contain small amounts of Omega-3 fats."
Greens are also known to help reduce cholesterol, especially when steamed or sauteed.
There is a restaurant here in Nashville called Taco Mamacita and they do updated versions of Tex/Mex cuisine. They serve chipotle greens and they are dynamite! You know me - my first thought was I can replicate these! Since greens are more than plentiful at the Farmer's Market right now, I stepped right up to the plate (no pun intended) and created my own version of this dish. I used collard greens. Do you know about collard greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, and the many other varieties of greens? Here's a little lesson.
Turnip greens are delicious, but are slightly bitter. Collard greens are a little chewier, they have a thicker leaf, but no bitter taste. Mustard greens have a slightly peppery taste and then there is my favorite, baby spinach! Turnip greens, collards, mustard greens and kale have a thick stem which needs to be removed before cooking. Here is what a collard green leaf looks like and how I remove the stems.
|Front of a collard green leaf. They are about 12 inches long.|