We all know the importance of eating colorful foods.  Researches regularly tell us that eating the color wheel – bright oranges, deep reds and purples, and ofcourse greens- insures we get all the phytonutrients, vitamins, and minerals we need.

In the summer, I will easily eat a salad for lunch most days, getting those greens.  Wintertime, however, I’m reluctant to eat cool moist foods.  It’s this time of year that I cherish steamed greens.

I don’t have a family experience of eating or cooking greens, so when I came to these several years I had to teach myself.  I rejected the idea of boiling these leaves for several hours – it just didn’t seem right to me.  So I learned how to make quick steamed greens that are both tasty and healthy.

Usually I pick up a package of EURO GREENS in the produce department of grocery store.  It’s already chopped chard, mustard, turnip, and kale.  Sometimes I can pick these greens up fresh at the Farmer’s Market, which I prefer.  In that case, I roughly chop the greens myself into pieces about 1″ square.

My dutch oven is placed on the stove with about 1/2″ of water and a very small amount of olive oil in the bottom.  This is then turned on medium high.  While the pot is heating up, I rinse the greens and shake them out lightly, leaving some of the moisture on the leaves.  Then I half fill the pot with some of these greens.

For the next 10 minutes I use tongs to toss and flip the greens, adding more to the pot as the they cook down.  Quickly, they are reduced to a much smaller amount of bright green deliciousness.  At this point, I remove the pot from the heat and drain off any remaining water.  I drizzle more olive oil over the lot, and continue the flipping to make sure I coat the leaves.  Many of the nutrients in these greens are not absorbed by the body except in the presence of a fat.  Then I splash the lot with a good balsamic vinegar.  There is usually enough to give me a dish for 2 or 3 days.

That’s it.  Ten minutes of steaming/stirring, some oil and vinegar and I’m set.  I may grate some cheese over the greens when I’m ready to eat or season with salt and pepper.  It’s yummy, simple and very very good for me.

How do you get your greens in the winter?


6 responses to “Greens

  1. I love greens in the winter as well – coming from the South I grew up having greens all the time (my favorite are mustard). To make mine more health conscious I also look for ways to cook them. My favorite is a lot like yours but I add garlic to mine and just simmer them down until they are ready. I love the feeling of eating healthy also of being reminded of my childhood.


  2. I am going to have to try that – I never thought of steaming greens, though I steam a lot of other vegetables – this just never occurred to me.
    Deb – I have been looking for a way to contact you and couldn’t find an email for you – I would appreciate it if you got back to me.

  3. I’m in an organic food co-op and get at least two bunches of kale and collards each week (1 of each). I do what you do but add either soy sauce or soyaki sauce and it’s equally delicious.

  4. I make a soup – using greens that you describe – plus chopped onions, zucchini, green peppers – it is literally green soup. I use low sodium veggie or chicken broth as the base.

    I still eat salads in the winter – but put HOT (cooked) chicken and HOT beans (kidney, chick, black) in them. Sometimes I heat the dressing too.

    • Vickie,

      That soup sounds good and similar to one I’ve made. Except mine added beans to mix to get some additional protein and fiber in.

      Hmm.. haven’t made that soup in a while.

      (eyes soup pot)…

  5. I steam them (in a basket-I don’t like them if they lose their shape, thus their sweetness) for a few minutes, then squeeze some lemon on them. I realize lemon juice has no fat, but everything else I eat does. I sure didn’t grow up eating these, either. I also eat lots of salads, with the mesclun mix, red cabbage, and salad veggies, pumpkin seeds, blue cheese, avocado. Yummy. I also add spinach or bok choy to an egg occasionally, and I’ll also add it to soup.

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