Category Archives: Recipe-Greens

Lacto-fermented Chard Stems

I really must thank my friend and colleague, Abra Pappa of Abra’s Kitchen for the idea of pickling chard stems. This recipe is inspired by her, and modified by my desire for fun flavors in my pickled veg.

Save your chard stems and give this a try – given that 2 large bunches of collards cooks down to about 6 cups of greens, this can be a great use for leftover stems after Sunday batch cooking.

  • 16 oz. canning jar, leftover pickle jar or fermentation vessel
  • Stems from 2 bunches of Chard
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1/2 tsp peppercorns
  • 1-2 shakes of red pepper flakes
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 grape leaf (optional – the tannins in the grape leaf keep the stems crunchy)
  • 4 cups water
  • 3 tbsp. sea salt
  1. Trim off the tips of the stems and cut stems 3-5 inches long, so that they can be stacked in the jar yet are short enough to be covered with the brine.
  2. Crush the garlic to allow the juices to ooze out. Place peppercorns, bay leaf, and red pepper in the jar. Stack chard stems upright into the jar and then wedge the garlic in between the stems. If using a grape leaf, lay it atop the chard.
    Fill the jar with brine until the chard and grape leaf are fully submerged.
  3. Leftover brine can be stored in the fridge for 7-10 days – if you are unable to use it to pickle another vegetable (radish, cabbage, carrots, green beans) incorporate it into a brine for chicken or pork.
  4. Close the jar tightly, and set aside on a plate in a cool, dark place to ferment for 5-9 days. If you are using a canning or pickle jar, you’ll need to check on it daily to release mounting pressure as it ferments. Top off the jar with brine, if needed.
  5. When ready, these can be stored in the fridge for up to a year. Top them off with brine before storing to ensure freshness.

Want More?

Sautéed Beet Greens with Balsamic and Feta

1 tablespoon avocado oil
1 bunch of beet greens
1small sweet onion, diced
2 shakes of red pepper flakes (or two pinches)
aged balsamic vinegar, to taste
1 tbsp feta

Heat oil in skillet until just warmed. Remove stems from greens and set aside. Dice stems and place them in the pan with the diced onion. Cook until onion becomes translucent, stirring occasionally. Coarsely chop the beet greens and add them to the mix, stirring to mix. Cover greens and let them steam until wilted, about 4 minutes. Remove lid, add red pepper flakes and stir well.
Remove from heat. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar and crumble feta over greens. Mix to incorporate and serve.

Serves 2-3

 

Eating for the Seasons – Spring

It’s the first weekend of Spring, and while the Midwest and Eastern sides of the country are still bundled up Seattle is in full bloom; cherry blossoms and daffodils are bursting onto the scene in a joyous visible choir of life.
The farmer’s market is still shelling out the last of the winter produce – lots of hearty greens, tubers, and carrots, but the larger grocery stores are reminding us of what is to come with berries and asparagus flown in from Latin America. Thanks, Whole Foods, but I think I’ll pass until I can get the home grown stuff!

Spring is a season of cleansing and renewing, when both the Earth’s natural abundance and our internal desires often turn to that which is energizing, fresh, revitalizing and alive. The allure of heavy stews and mashed potatoes fall away and, I at least, start fantasizing about finally buying that juicer and stay up too late exploring all the different ways I can prepare watercress on Google. Many people start sending in email inquiries or calls regarding cleansing and detoxifying; the extra daylight hours and warmer weather wake up the populace and stir motivation to take action!

This season is very supporting of a cleanse, and definitely the best time of year to take one. It can be very helpful for digestion, seasonal allergies, and also offer a mental shift for those who crave a program to get on track with healthier eating.

If you are unable or uninterested in taking on a formal detoxification program, you can still get a gentle ‘cleansing’ effect simply by focusing on the local produce this season. Berries, tender leafy greens and sprouts (omg – have you ever had garlic scapes?!? They are the sprouts off garlic and they are quite lovely – and only available about 2 weeks out of the year!) …where was I? Oh, yes – berries, sprouts and especially the tender greens of spring have a gentle cleansing effect on the lungs and liver; according to Chinese medicine, if the liver’s energy is sluggish or burdened it can show up as seasonal allergies. One of the ‘side effects’ we see with eating spring foods in our detoxes is a lightening or absence of seasonal allergies. The foods of spring are also low in calories and high in nutrients and fiber; this is a naturally fabulous combination to have when looking to shed excess winter fat from the body.

Spring greens are a great intro as far as green leafies go; their milder taste is better suited to an American palate (which tends to turn it’s nose at heavier, bitter winter greens). They also require very little food prep and are best enjoyed raw, and thus are easy to prepare.

Greens can be intimidating to work with if you are unfamiliar with them, but often keeping it simple is the best way to go – it eases the transition in introducing the vegetable to your palate and allows the green to retain some of it’s individual characteristics so you can get to know it better than you would were it drowning in butter or a heavy dressing (which spring veggies don’t typically do well with, anyway). Serendipitously, I came across the recipe book below while writing this post: Here are 18 lip-smackin’ recipes from our alma mater Institute of Integrative Nutrition, offered up with spring in mind!


Comment below and let me know what your favorite part of spring is! I’m excited for all the great produce heading into town; how about you?

Thank You – and Happy Thanksgiving!

As a special thank you for your support, encouragement and feedback, I want to offer all my readers a special gift:

Free Healthy Thanksgiving Recipes!! 

 

Please click here ( Thanksgiving recipes ) to download the seven page recipe booklet containing such favorites as pumpkin pie and herbed turkey, as well as an extra dessert, dairy-free whipped cream and a couple of yummy vegetable recipes (gotta get those greens in!). All recipes are gluten-free, dairy-free, and paleo-friendly. To save it to your computer, you may need to “right click” the link and “save as..”

Thank you again for your continued support! I am looking forward to growing and sharing so much more with you in 2013!

If you are not on our monthly newsletter list – full of recipes, helpful articles, and special offers, click here to join! You can also get more frequent smatterings of yummy, relevant tips, recipes and nutrition and fitness information at my Facebook page: www.facebook.com/vibrancenutrition

 

Recipe of the Moment: Orange Matcha Ginger Salad

This recipe was initially inspired by a Matcha salad dressing I saw on a smoked salmon salad at Whole Foods, and further inspired by DoMatcha, a matcha tea company whose recipe, along with Whole Foods, served as the template for this creation. The earthiness of the matcha is well paired with the acidity in the vinegar and the sweeteness in the orange slices. Walnuts may be added for crunch, and the goat cheese can easily be omitted without sacrificing flavor if you are dairy intolerant. Be sure to include a fat source so that the antioxidants present in this salad are readily absorbed.

Matcha is something I am going to be playing with in the kitchen this month. Matcha has been cultivated in such a way to provide deeper flavor and richer color than other green teas. It was its intense color that first drew me in. Matcha is made by grinding the whole, dried leaf into a powder. The process itself can take an hour to powder an ounce by hand, and this laborious procedure is reflected in price. However, the sweetness of the tea and the complex flavor profile add quite a bit of character and, in my opinion, makes the extravagant price tag worthwhile. There is also the significant health properties of matcha above and beyond other green teas. All green teas contain the coveted compound, EGEC (epigallocatechin 3-gallate), renowned for its anti-cancer properties, cardio-protective nature, and metabolic boosting ability. The EGEC present in matcha is significantly higher than traditional green teas because matcha involves drinking the leaf in its entirety, not an infusion of the leaf.

This recipe pairs well with any white fish or Asian meal. I would recommend a grilled halibut or grilled shrimp as an accompaniment. Both these protein sources have a subtle sweetness that marries well with the citrus in the dressing and the earthiness of the matcha.

Salad:

  • 1 bag triple washed greens of your choice
  • 3 baby sweet bell peppers, sliced thin
  • 1/2 navel orange, sliced thinkly, sectioned and rind removed.
  • 1-2 oz. goat cheese OR 1/3 cup walnuts OR 1/2 an avocado, cubed

Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp matcha green tea powder
  • 1 tsp. tamari or coconut aminos
  • juice of 1/2 lime
  • 1 tbsp. orange juice
  • 1/4 tsp. pureed or freshly grated ginger

 

Place matcha powder in a small cup. Add just enough vinegar to make a paste and mix until smooth. Add remaining vinegar, lime and orange juices, and ginger.

Toss peppers, orange segments in the greens. Add goat cheese, avocado or walnuts and toss gentle to mix. Add dressing to taste and serve immediately. Serves 4.

Recipe of the Moment: Gingered Spring Greens

It’s still a little chilly, but signs of spring are coming. This recipe is a wonderful choice for spring or winter – dandelion greens are a great spring green, rich in highly absorbable calcium as well as iron. To make this recipe in fall or winter, substitute a heavier green like collards or kale!

 

  • 1 bunch (about 1 pound) of dandelion greens
  • 1/2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh ginger
  • 1 tbsp. tamari or soy-free coconut aminos
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon (optional)

1) Wash greens and remove the tough, fibrous stem bottoms. Coarsely chop. Bring a pot of water to a boil, and blanch greens for about 1 min. Drain in a colander and run cold water over them to cease cooking.

2) Heat oil in a skillet over medium heat and saute shallot until soft, then add garlic and mushrooms, cooking about 4 min. more.

3) Stir in greens, ginger, and tamari. Cook 3 additional minutes, then remove from heat.

4) Toss with optional lemon juice before serving.

 

Recipe: Penne with Chard and Ricotta

The cooler weather causes an increase in cravings for starchy, warm, heavy foots. This recipe is sure to satisfy!
Serves 4

2 tbsp olive oil
4 cloves of garlic, peeled and minced
1 bunch chard, stems removed and coarsely chopped
1/2 cup basil leaves, rolled and sliced at an angle (chiffonade style)
1 cup ricotta cheese
20 kalamata olives, halved
sea salt
freshly ground pepper
Parmesan cheese, grated
12 oz. brown rice penne pasta

Boil a pot of water for pasta
In a large skillet, heat oil and cook garlic over medium heat until soft and beginning to brown. Add chard and stir occasionally until greens are just wilted and bright green. Remove immediately from heat and liberally sprinkle with fresh pepper and salt.

Cook pasta according to package directions and drain. Toss pasta with greens, basil, olives and ricotta cheese. Sprinkle grated cheese atop each serving.

Festive Winter Pasta-vaganza!

This recipe is an adaptation of my apple gorgonzola fettuccine recipe. Now that I live in San Diego, the local produce is a little different than the pacific northwest. The result of playing with what we could find at the farmer’s market was delicioso!

10 oz. brown rice (fusilli, elbows, or fettuccine)
1 small bunch lacinato kale, veined and chopped
3 persimmons, peeled and chopped
1.5 tsp. minced garlic
2 tbsp. goat butter
1/3 cup chopped hazelnuts
1/2 pomegranate, seeded
1/3 cup crumbled gorgonzola
salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

1. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Place chopped kale in cooking water before draining pasta, and drain pasta when kale is bright green and lightly blanched.

2. Melt one Tbsp of butter in a pan, and saute the minced garlic until soft.

3. Add the rest of the butter to the pan, then the hazelnuts and persimmons and saute until the persimmons are just heated through – make certain the fruit does not become soggy!

4. Add the cooked fruit and nuts to the drained pasta and kale. Toss well. Crumble in Gorgonzola and cracked black pepper and toss again. Serve immediately, and sprinkle pomegranate seeds on top.

Holy cow, yummy!

Detox Friendly Pesto

This vegan pesto was a great hit last night! The miso is a fine substitute for cheese; most could not even tell the difference!

1 cup pinenuts (use equal parts pumpkin and sunflower seeds for nut allergies)

1/2 cup high quality extra virgin olive oil

4-5 cloves garlic

3 tbsp. chickpea miso (or mild yellow miso if you are not detoxing or soy-sensitive)

2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice (1/2 – 1 lemon)

2 bunches fresh basil

Tear basil leaves from stem. Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth. Thin with additional lemon juice, if desired.

Toss with spaghetti squash, use to flavor soups, or add onto sandwiches and pastas.

Recipe: Dandelion Salad with Anchovy Vinaigrette

This post is part of Food Renegade’s Fight Back Fridays food carnival. Click here to learn more about sustainable eating and living.

This salad is a quintessential bone-building meal! Dandelion leaves contain more calcium and iron than spinach and anchovy fillets – with the bones – are also a fantastic source of calcium. The anchovy and balsamic pair well with the bitter nature of dandelion greens rendering this salad a tasty addition to a crisp spring evening. Sweet peppers add additional texture and color.  Serves 4.

1 large bunch Dandelion Leaves, or
4 Wild Dandelion Plants *
1 small red or yellow sweet pepper
6 Anchovy Filets
3 Cloves Garlic, peeled
1/4 c extra virgin Olive Oil
3 tb Balsamic Vinegar
Ground Black Pepper
optional: 1/2 avocado, diced or 1/4 cup toasted walnuts

Instructions
Wash dandelion leaves thoroughly and remove any bits of dirt, root or damaged leaves. Dry. Trim large leaves into 2″ long slivers; leave smaller ones whole. Blend anchovy filets with garlic, olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss leaves with dressing, then divide among 4 plates. Top with black pepper and serve at room temperature, preferably al fresco in the garden.

*Note: Be sure plants gathered from the wild haven’t been sprayed or treated with chemicals. If you aren’t sure, don’t use them.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle