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Artichoke Heart and Chickpea Salad

Committee meeting working lunch, 2/14/13

Marinated artichokes are a great addition to a salad. They also make for easy salads – the artichoke hearts come in little jars, and the liquid in the jar is all you need for salad dressing!

  • 2 jars marinated artichoke hearts
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 lb salad greens (lettuce, spinach, or spring mix)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz feta cheese, optional

In a large bowl, toss together the artichoke hearts with their liquid and the drained chickpeas. Add the lettuce and toss to coat evenly with the dressing. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, to taste. If desired, top with feta cheese.

Serves 8-10.

Meatballs with Garden Greens

Community meeting training session, 11/14/12 – served over spaghetti with tomato sauce

Meatballs are an easy place to put some healthy, vitamin-rich greens into your diet. You can use frozen greens of any kind (spinach, kale, chard, beet greens, etc), from your garden or the grocery store. Serve these meatballs with your favorite pasta sauce and spaghetti. You could also make this recipe into a meatloaf – follow cooking instructions for Italian-Style Meatloaf.

  • 10 oz stale bread
  • 1/2 cup milk (it can be more sour than you’d want to drink)
  • 2 lbs ground beef (OR use 1 lb each ground beef and pork)
  • 8 oz frozen greens (spinach, kale, etc), thawed and chopped
  • 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
  • OR substitute 1 ½ tablespoons Italian seasoning for all the herbs if fresh herbs are unavailable
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Using your hands, rip the stale bread into flaky crumbs. It’s okay if they’re uneven sizes. In a large bowl, pour the milk over the bread and allow the bread to get completely soaked.

Add all remaining ingredients. Mix thoroughly to combine (using your hands works best).

Roll mixture into balls. You can bake or pan-fry the meatballs.

OVEN METHOD: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease a baking sheet. Place meatballs on sheet and bake until cooked through with an internal temperature of 160, about 25 minutes.

STOVETOP METHOD: Heat 1 tablespoon oil in a large pan. Add meatballs and cook, turning when they become browned on the bottom, until completely browned and cooked through.

Serves 8.

**All ingredients in bold can be grown in your own garden or purchased at a farmers market.**

 

baked spaghetti and meatballsVARIATION: Baked Spaghetti and Meatballs

Community meeting dinner, 1/23/12

In a baking dish, combine meatballs, 1 lb cooked spaghetti (or other pasta), and 4-6 cups (or 1 jar) tomato sauce. Toss to coat everything evenly with sauce. Top with 1/2 cup of your favorite shredded cheese – mozzarella, parmesan, or other. Bake at 350 for 30 minutes, until cheese is browned and bubbly. Serves 8.

Kale, Sweet Potato, and Bacon Frittata

Community meeting demonstration dinner, 10/3/12

Wondering what to do with unfamiliar greens? Try them with familiar flavors in a big omelet called a frittata. Similar recipes: Broccoli, Bacon, Pasta, and Parmesan Frittata and Tortilla Española with Kale

  • 1 large bunch (8-12 ounces) kale or other greens
  • 4 slices bacon, roughly chopped
  • 3 cups cooked cubed sweet potatoes (steamed, roasted, leftover – it all works) OR use leftover cooked pasta
  • 10 eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper, to taste

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook until almost tender (keep trying pieces to see how done it is). When kale is almost tender, remove to a colander to drain. Roughly chop.

Heat a large skillet. Add bacon and cook on medium heat until bacon is crisp. Remove bacon to a large bowl and leave grease in the pan. Turn off the heat while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.

To the bowl with the bacon, add chopped kale and cooked sweet potatoes. Add eggs, cracking each into a small bowl or cup before adding it to the large bowl (this is to make sure that a bad egg or pieces of shell won’t ruin your whole mixture). Add salt and pepper.

Turn the heat back on under the skillet with the bacon grease. When the grease is very hot, add the egg mixture and allow to cook over medium heat until cooked about halfway through, about 7-10 minutes.

Flipping the frittata: using potholders or oven mitts, place a large plate over the skillet. Take the whole business over the sink (just in case) and flip the half-cooked frittata out of skillet and onto the plate. Put the skillet back on the stove, then slide the frittata back into the pan, raw side down. Continue to cook until cooked through, 5-7 minutes, then flip or slide onto plate. Serve warm, room temperature, or cold. Serves 8.

Salad with Roasted Beets

In this recipe, the beets are into bite-sized pieces before roasting. This helps them cook faster, and it also creates more delicious caramelized edges. This salad is another version of the basic “salad with roasted vegetables.”

Roasted beets:

  • 2 medium or 4 small beets*
  • 1 teaspoon olive, canola, or vegetable oil
  • 1 large pinch salt

Vinaigrette:

  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon honey
  • ½ teaspoon dijon mustard
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup olive, canola, or vegetable oil

Salad:

  • 6 ounces lettuce or mixed baby greens*, washed and dried
  • 2 ounces goat, feta, or blue cheese, crumbled (optional)
  • 2 ounces walnuts or pecans, roughly chopped (optional)
  • roasted beets
  • vinaigrette

Roasted beets: Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Wash and peel the beets. Cut into bite-sized pieces and place in a small bowl. Add oil and salt, then toss to coat. Place beets on a baking sheet and roast for 20-30 minutes, until a fork or knife inserted in the beets meets no resistance. Allow to cool.

Vinaigrette: In a small bowl (you can use the same one as above), whisk together vinegar, honey, mustard, salt, and pepper. Add the oil in a slow stream while whisking.

Salad: To a large bowl, add the washed and dried lettuce, cheese, nut, and cooled beets. Add about ¾ of the vinaigrette (whisk it up again if it has separated) and toss to coat. If you want heavier dressing, add the rest. If not, save it for another salad.

Serves 4-6.

*Beets and lettuce can both be grown in your own garden.

Sauteed Beet (or any other) Greens
adapted from The New York Times

This is a very simple dish you can actually make with any type of green. In Italian, this preparation of greens is called “ripassata,” meaning “passed again.” This is because the greens are actually cooked twice – first blanched in boiling water, then sauteed in olive oil.

  • 1 pound beet greens* (from 2-3 bunches)
  • salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic*, minced
  • 1 large pinch red pepper flakes** (optional)
  • fresh lemon juice (optional)

Fill a large pot or saucepan with water. Bring to a boil, then add 1 tablespoon salt.

While the water is coming to a boil, break off the stems from the beet greens (discard stems). Then, wash greens thoroughly. When the water is boiling, add the beet greens and blanch for 2 minutes. Remove beets from the water and place in a strainer (or bowl of ice water, to move more quickly) until cool. When greens are cool enough to handle, squeeze out all excess water.

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add oil. When hot, add garlic and red pepper (if using) and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the squeezed-out beet greens and cook for 2-4 minutes, stirring, until greens are heated through and coated with the garlicky oil.

Add salt to taste, and a squeeze of lemon juice (if desired).

*Beets and garlic are easy to grow in the garden.

**You can also grow hot peppers and dry them to have hot pepper flakes from your own garden.

Kohlrabi Greens Salad

Community training dinner, 6/19/12

Along with the bulbs, kohlrabi greens are also edible. They are a little tough, so they are usually cooked. But they’re also very good raw as long as you treat them right. By slicing the leaves thinly and letting them sit in the dressing to wilt, the greens become tender enough to enjoy without cooking.

  • Greens from 2 kohlrabi bulbs
  • 2 tablespoons vinaigrette-type salad dressing of your choice (see lots of recipes and a guide to making vinaigrettes here)
  • 2 tablespoons crumbled feta cheese, or other cheese of your choice
  • salt, to taste

Wash and dry the kohlrabi greens. Strip the leaves off the stems and either discard the stems or save them to cook separately.

Stack the several leaves on top of each other. Roll into a cigar shape, then slice across the roll in 1/3” strips to make thin ribbons. Repeat this with all leaves, and place the ribbons into a large bowl.

Pour the salad dressing over the greens and toss to coat. Allow to sit for at least 1 hour, or in the fridge up to 2 days. Add cheese, toss, taste and add salt if needed, and serve.

Serves 4 as a side dish.

Spring Greens and Vegetables Salad with Vinaigrette

Community training dinner, 5/21/12

This salad uses the earliest spring vegetables that are easy to grow in your own garden: lettuce, turnips, radishes, and scallions. This salad is very light and bright-tasting, perfect for spring.

Vinaigrette Dressing:

  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice, white wine vinegar, or 1 tablespoon of each
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 1 large pinch salt
  • black pepper, to taste
  • 3 tablespoons olive, vegetable, or canola oil

Salad:

  • 8 oz lettuce or other salad greens, washed and dried
  • 4 radishes, thinly sliced
  • 2 turnips, thinly sliced
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup parsley leaves (optional)
  • 3 oz feta cheese (optional)

Make dressing: use a whisk or fork to mix together lemon juice/vinegar, garlic, salt, and pepper. Add oil and mix thoroughly. This will separate out as it sits because oil and vinegar do not like to mix. You can whisk or shake it again before you use it.

Toss salad: Combine lettuce, radishes, turnips, scallions, parsley (if using) and feta (if using) in a large bowl. Add dressing and toss to combine.

Serves 6.

 

VARIATION: Spring Greens and Vegetables Salad with Creamy Dressing

Community meeting training dinner, 3/20/2013

Instead of the vinaigrette, use this creamy dressing from the roasted sweet potato salad, and skip the feta cheese.

Dressing:

  • 1 clove garlic
  • large pinch salt
  • ¼ cup plain yogurt (or substitute low-fat sour cream if plain yogurt is unavailable, or omit and make changes noted below – do not use vanilla yogurt)
  • 2 teaspoons lemon or lime juice (increase to 4 teaspoons if omitting yogurt)
  • ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons vegetable, canola, or olive oil (increase to 2 tablespoons if omitting yogurt)

Dressing: Finely mince the garlic. Add a large pinch of salt to the garlic on the cutting board and continue to mince, then use the side of your knife to grind the salted garlic into a paste. Get it as smooth as you can, but don’t worry if there are still some larger pieces. Scrape the garlic paste into a small bowl. Add yogurt, lemon juice, and chili powder and mix well with a fork. Add oil and mix well.