Sunday, July 14, 2013

Leafy Greens

Leafy greens are a vegetable you know you should be eating but may be a little uneasy to try. Well, I'm here to show you they can be super delicious if prepared correctly. Here are four recipes to try this summer that are satisfying and may actually leave you craving more!

Kale: Excellent source of vitamins A, C and K; good source of calcium, folate and potassium


Recipe #1: Kale and Cabbage Salad with Creamy Honey Mustard Dressing



Dressing
1/2 cup cashews
3/4 cup water
Juice of 2 lemons
2 tablespoons honey  
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

3 bunches kale, cleaned, de-stemmed and torn into bite sized pieces
1/2 head red cabbage, chopped
4 green onions, sliced thin
1 cup pumpkin seeds
1 cup dried cranberries

All you do:
1.     Place all dressing ingredients in high-speed blender and blend until smooth.
2.     In large bowl, toss together all salad ingredients. Pour dressing over salad and massage salad with your hands for 3-4 minutes until kale breaks down a bit. Serve immediately or cover and keep in refrigerator for up to 2 days.


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Spinach: Rich in vitamins A and C as well as folate; concentrated in health-promoting phytonutrients such as carotenoids and flavonoids to provide you with powerful antioxidant protection; 20 calories per serving (2 cups)


Recipe #2: Spinach Walnut Pesto


2 cups baby spinach

2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup walnuts, toasted
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:

Puree ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Season with salt and pepper. Serve with cooked pasta, fish or roasted vegetables.


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Mustard Greens10 calories per serving (1/2 cup); high in vitamins A, C and K as well as calcium


Taste – peppery; give off a mustardy smell during cooking

Recipe #3: Sautéed Mustard Greens

 1/2 cup thinly sliced onions
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1 pound mustard greens, washed and torn into large pieces
2 to 3 tablespoons chicken broth or vegetable broth (vegetarian option)
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

All you do:
1.     In a large sauté pan, sauté onions in olive oil over medium heat until the onions begin to brown and caramelize, about 5 to 10 minutes. Add the minced garlic and cook a minute more, until fragrant.
2.     Add the mustard greens and broth and cook until the mustard greens are just barely wilted. Toss with sesame oil. Season with salt and pepper.


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Arugula: 8 calories per serving (2 cups); also known as salad or garden rocket; young, tender leaves feature sweet, nutty flavor and less peppery taste in contrast to the strong, spicy flavor of mature greens; great source of vitamin A, C, K and folate



Recipe #4: Pasta Salad with Arugula, Feta & Sun-Dried Tomatoes

 Kosher salt
1 /4 pound arugula, washed (stem and rip the leaves into smaller pieces if they're large)
 4 ounces feta cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup pitted kalamata olives (16 to 20), quartered
2 heaping tablespoons drained, thinly sliced oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes (or 8 sun-dried tomatoes, rehydrated in hot water and thinly sliced)
1 pound whole wheat rotini or orecchiette pasta
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper
10 fresh basil leaves, cut in a chiffonade


All you do:
1. Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil. Put the arugula, feta, olives, and sun-dried tomatoes in a large bowl. Reserve or refrigerate until needed. 
2. Cook the pasta in the boiling water until it's just tender, about 9 minutes (follow the package's instructions). 
3. Meanwhile, add the vinegar and oil to the arugula salad, season liberally with salt and pepper, and toss well. 
4. Drain the pasta, add it to the salad, and toss. Check the seasonings and serve hot, warm, or at room temperature, adding the basil just before serving.


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