I had an idea for this post today while making dinner.
I have been experimenting with different greens. And by greens I mean lettucey type things. About 2 years ago I didn't know the difference between swiss chard, kale, and had no idea what rapini was..so now that I have had my fair share of these forgotten greens I thought I would share my knowledge.
Disclaimer: I am no food expert. This is just my general knowledge of greens from the interweb and personal experience.
Leaf vegetables are typically low in calories, low in fat, high in protein per calorie, high in dietary fiber, high in iron and calcium, and very high in phytochemicals such as vitamin C, carotenoids,lutein, folate as well as vitamin K.
To most of us, leafy greens mean lettuce (romaine, red, green) and spinach. One good tip I have heard is that the darker the leaf, the better it is. Therefore iceburg lettuce doesn't count as a leafy green..it is pretty much like water...nutritionally void. I rarely eat iceberg lettuce, and when I do I feel like I am wasting my time.
Moving on to the cooler greens.
Next up is the most versitile (in my opinion) Spinach!
I love spinach salads, and cooked spinach and even spinach in a blender hidden in a smoothie (like this from Real Food Katie's Way)!
Spinach is really good for you, and it tastes pretty good too! Spinach was as far as I got into the leafy greens until 2 years ago, when I first attempted to cook swiss chard...
I made a "diet soup" that involved swiss chard. It was disgusting. So gross that I had to beg Mike to try it again recently. I think the key with swiss chard is to not cook the stems. With most leafy greens the stems are really bitter, so they aren't the best to eat.
I finally gave swiss chard another shot, and cooked it with this Moroccan inspired meal.
I simply removed the stems and sauteed it. When in doubt with leafy greens..just saut the heck out of them with lots of EVOO and garlic. That makes anything good.
I don't really remember swiss chard, but it wasn't too bad, just not my favorite.
And then there is Kale.
Just last week I tried rapini for the first time. I had heard about it from cooking shows, and thought it looked nifty, so I picked some up:
And that brings us to tonight: Collard Greens
So there you have it, a mini summary of greens. I haven't included all of them, and some like dandelion greens I really want to try.
I got a lot of the photos from Eatrightontario.ca, which is a good site with more information! I see a few I need to add to my list of things to try!
So I dare you, expand your tastebuds away from lettuce and spinach, and see what you think!
Anyone else loving the greens? Anyone have success with Rapini??