Monday, May 23, 2011

Greens Week, Part I

Welcome to Greens Week! I talk about this a lot, how important it is to eat a wide variety of leafy green vegetables on a daily basis. Eating greens two or three times a day has been the single greatest change I have made to my diet in the last year. Most of the time, my greens appear as a side dish, gently sautéed with olive oil, lemon, and salt. But they can also be the star of the show, seamlessly integrated into stir-frys, risottos, and more. 

You’ve been hearing it your whole life, Eat your greens! And it’s true; they’re so good for you! Calorie for calorie, leafy green vegetables are absolutely loaded with minerals and nutrients: calcium for your bones, iron, complex carbohydrates for energy, fiber, and tons of antioxidants. Green vegetables give your body everything it needs to be healthy, energetic, and strong, in the most efficient and delicious way possible.

So, what do you actually eat? Over the next week, I will provide a few recipes highlighting specific greens, but these recipes can be adapted to suit any of the wide variety of tender, bitter, and fresh leafy greens you can find in your grocery store, or at the farmer’s market. Kale, collard greens, dandelion greens, spinach, broccoli rabe, arugula, dinosaur kale, broccoli, and bok choy are some of the dark green vegetables you will soon love!

Bok Choy Skillet Supper
adapted from Vegetarian Times

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
8 oz. crimini mushrooms, sliced
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
2 shallots, diced finely
1 cup bulgur
1 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cup water
1 sprig fresh thyme
4 heads baby bok choy, halved
Salt and pepper to taste

Heat the olive oil in a large sauté pan over medium high heat. Add the garlic, and sauté until fragrant, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and brown for 5 to7 minutes. Set the mushrooms aside, and add the tomatoes to the pan, face down. Cook the tomatoes until browned, about 10 minutes. Set aside with the mushrooms. Add the shallots to the pan, and sauté until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the bulgur, vegetable broth, water, and thyme to the pan. Cover, and simmer for 10 minutes.

Arrange the bok choy on top of the bulgur radiating out from the center of the pan. Sprinkle the tomatoes and mushrooms on top of the bok choy. Cover, and simmer for 10 more minutes. Remove from heat, and let sit for 10 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.

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