My culinary day revolves around greens. Morning, noon and night. If I don't eat (or drink) my greens, my planetary alignment is all fucked up. So here are my thoughts on greens, and what I do with them.
A smattering of my green meals
1. Lunch in my tiffin box: romaine
with cherry tomatoes and zucchini
dressing, spinach with gingered carrots
and massaged kale with white balsamic.
(Plus leftover green breakfast smoothie)
2. Mixed greens with cucumbers, bean
sprouts, avocado, roasted pumpkin seed
and tahini dressing.
3. Green juice (romaine, spinach, cucumber,
apple, lemon, parsley, celery) and an almond
Kale: This gem is hands-down the queen of greens. I put it in my smoothies for the morning and I massage it at night. (Side note--on Sundays my Vita-mix goes on overdrive as I prep 5-8 smoothies for the week and stash them away in the freezer...failure to plan is a plan to fail!) This stuff is good not to be part of your daily routine. Red, green, lacinato, red Russian, it doesn't matter. My standard is to put lacinato and/or green in my smoothies in the morning (with other greens I will mention) and massage green or red for dinner, and make some extra for lunch the next day. I find it so versatile that I can't imagine my life without it. Plus, it's hella good for you.
Sorrel: My favorite garden memories from my childhood involve climbing the fence and munching on this underappreciated green. If you've never had it, it is incredible. It has a lemony flavor that just packs a punch. My mother's favorite recipe for sorrel is an amazing soup, but I need to give it a major overhaul to eliminate all of the butter and heavy cream. I have also used sorrel to make a sauce that I used to put on salmon, but would love to try it with tempeh or perhaps even tofu. And of course it's pure heaven in a juice.
Spinach: This is not actually one of my go-to greens. I know people sing its praises all the time, but sometimes it doesn't always do it for me. I will, however, make it the focus of my green juices. It is also the base for N's smoothies, since she often hase a funky reaction when she has blended kale (her throat starts to close up and itch...it's weird, even massaging it is fine for her, but she can't handle it in a smoothie or juice). Spinach is also wonderful sautéed with a variety of ingredients: white wine, lemon and garlic; sesame oil and gomasio; EVOO and red pepper flakes. But I must admit, I feel like my palate shifted away from spinach when I discovered kale.
Lettuce: I love salad. It is my lunch staple. When choosing lettuce, I most frequently grab Romaine--so much more than just for Ceasar salad. In addition to being a super salad staple, it is phenomenal for green juices. It's the second ingredient after spinach in all of my juices. It is simple, yet I was amazed at how many vitamins it contains: over 30% of A, K, C and folate! Then there's some fiber, potassium, iron....When I want to mix things up, I will choose green leaf or, on the rare occasion, red leaf. I find that red leaf does not last long in the fridge, so I tend not to buy it that often.
Arugula: When I went out to birthday dinner with my parents this summer, my mother and I ordered the same salad: arugula with grilled peaches and pancetta (yeah, hold the pancetta). My mother noted she can't stand arugula and requested a substitution of mixed greens. When I ordered the salad, she asked if I wanted the arugula. Yes, mother, just because you despise it doesn't mean that I have to as well. Arugula is a fabulous green for a light summer salad. A splash of EVOO, lemon juice, freshly ground black pepper and a sprinkle of pink Himalayan salt and you have simple elegance at its finest.
The Rest: Chard, collards, beet greens...they all end up in my smoothies at one point or another. I had some random greens growing in my garden this year, and some were spicy and some more mild. I play around with greens, but here are the main characters in this shit show I call my life.
Next up: what do I do with my greens? More details about my favorite green recipes and recipes for greens.