From the Garden: Greens, Greens, and More Greens

bunches of greensChard, and lettuces, and dandelions, and mustards, oh my!!! Take your pick of greens because they are popping up in abundance for the next several months. Baby versions of kale and arugula are ideal for salads. More mature collards and chard can be easily and quickly sautéed. All of these are packed with iron, calcium, Vitamin C, fiber and various other heart-healthy nutrients.

If you’re heading to a BBQ or picnic, capitalize on the seasonal freshness and throw together a quick salad because there is a good chance you will be the only one to bring something green. This is especially great if you are eating meat off the barbie because greens help break down the protein and will give you energy so you can keep the party going longer. Here is a recipe for a quick and easy salad that is packed with flavor as well as nutrients.

Quick Greens Salad
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Ingredients
  1. 1 cucumber, sliced very thin
  2. ½ cup of pumpkin seeds
  3. 4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
  4. 2 tablespoons of ume plum vinegar
  5. 5 oz (5 cups) of baby kale (whole) or mature lacinato kale (chiffonaded-- cut into very thin slices)
  6. 1 avocado
Instructions
  1. Cut the avocado in half, remove the pit and scoop each half into a large bowl.
  2. Add the kale to the bowl and massage the avocado into the kale, as if you were mixing together a hamburger or veggie burger mixture. This tenderizes the dense leaves like you would meat and helps the kale break down so it is easier to digest and the nutrients are more readily available. Really get in there and massage for a solid 3-5 minutes depending on whether you’re using baby or mature kale.
  3. Add in everything else and mix well.
  4. Taste.
Notes
  1. If you want more seasoning, add more vinegar, a small amount at a time (1/2 tsp at a time) because it can become too salty very quickly.
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