Tuesday, February 25, 2003
posted by Julie |
Leafy greens. Leafy greens.
When all the nutritionists tell you, as all the nutritionists will, that you really need to eat your leafy greens, they aren’t kidding around. Aim for arugula. Bolt the beet greens and bok choy. Cherish the chard. I won’t go on, because the list of greens is long and I’m annoying even myself.
Oh, okay one more: Wolf the watercress.
Eat all your veggies, yes, but get in as many greens as you can. Why is everyone from your hairdresser to your mom and even the surgeon general so nutty about this foodstuff?
Oooh, so many phytonutrients, I can’t count. And calcium. Bone builders, those leafy greens. PMS slayers. Cancer beaters. Eat them to live, people.
Of course the way to do that is to prepare them as many ways as you can so you will never be bored by them. Look to European, Indian, and Pacific Rim cuisines especially for help learning and understanding many types of leafies and many ways to serve them.
Consider the pedestrian spinach leaf. I eat loads of spinach, but could burn out on it quickly if I didn’t have different ways to enjoy it. Here’s a recipe, inspired by that fab Indian dinner I had at my friend’s house recently (Eating: Great Meals).
(Note to friends and readers outside the U.S.: If I tried to convert recipes to metrics, my brain would throw a rod, as it does whenever it encounters numbers in any form. I’ll apologize now and forever for not being more accommodating.)
(I cook lo-carb. Lo-fat people and calorie counters, try knocking out the cream, use half the olive oil to roast the spices in a non-stick skillet. Or consider switching your diet. Wink.)
2 T. olive oil
1 tsp. cumin seed
2 tsp. coriander seed
1 stick cinnamon
5 cloves, crushed
¼ C. water
6 cups washed, stemmed spinach
1 c. cherry tomatoes, sliced in half (I’ll try blueberries instead, when they’re in season…)
¼ C. half&half (light cream)
Heat olive oil in a non-stick skillet over medium heat and add the spices. Let them stir and roast them in the oil while you swoon over their scent.
Add the tomatoes, water, and spinach, and cover for 1 minute. The spinach will wilt considerably. Gather youngsters to watch this, because it’s simply amazing. Before it’s completely wilted, stir the mixture, and add the cream. Serve.
Fast Spinach Lunch
If you’re not sensitive to fermented sauces, try this one. My mom learned this one from a buddy of hers who lived in Japan for many years…
Thaw out a block of frozen spinach
Squeeze it until it’s mostly dry
Arrange it on a plate
Sprinkle with 10-12 pine nuts
Season it with soy sauce (Sensitive to MSG? Try olive oil, lemon juice, and plain salt.)
Eat it cold.
No really. It’s good.
Global Gourmet Measurement Converter
So, what’s a phytonutrient?
Why to Eat Them
A Leafy Greens Cookbook