All-Purpose Greens

Ready for an authentic glimpse into my kitchen? Here’s the Real Talk: I bought this kale with intentions to make a big fresh kale salad, but I procrastinated too long and the poor greens lost their crunch factor. It was a bummer for about 10 seconds, until I realized the silver lining: they were still perfectly good for sauteing, so now I get to talk to you about one of my favorite tricks for jamming more greens into my diet: All-Purpose Greens, yo!

While you can also whip this up as a quick side dish, this recipe is mostly about healthy-eating logistics. We can all benefit from a trick for making it easier to eat more vegetables, and this is one that I keep up my sleeve. I like to make a full batch of All-Purpose Greens to store in my fridge and use throughout the week in meals that could benefit from an extra serving of veggies. It’s an effortless way to add color and flavor, not to mention fiber, vitamins, minerals, and all of the other disease-fighting phytochemicals that make vegetables the foundation of a healthy diet.

All-Purpose Greens
Starting a recipe by chopping up a big bunch of greens just feels right. I find that the quickest way to remove the thickest ribs from kale leaves is to strip the tender green parts off by hand.

All-Purpose Greens
Bell peppers and onions add sweetness and savory flavor (plus they’re always on hand in my crisper). I let them get a head start in the saute pan, and once they have a chance to soften, it’s go-time for the greens.

All-Purpose Greens
When you toss in the greens, it’s also time to toss in my secret weapon ingredients! I’ve mentioned this before, but whenever I cook kale I like to add just a touch of apple cider vinegar and honey. It helps cut that “earthy” flavor that some people dislike about kale, and to me just adds an extra depth of flavor. You could also try different sweeteners like maple syrup or fruit juice, or try different types of vinegar to compliment the meals or cuisines that will accompany your greens. Rice wine vinegar, malt vinegar, balsamic… have fun with it!

All-Purpose Greens
The best part about this stuff is how versatile it is. Once I have a batch stocked in my fridge, here are some of my favorite meals to punch up:

  • Eggs: toss in with scrambled eggs or fold into an omelet.
  • Burritos or Burrito Bowls: brown rice, beans, greens and whatever taco-style fixin’s you like!
  • Quesadillas: leafy greens are a perfect match for melty cheese between your tortillas.
  • Pasta: any pasta dish can benefit from some extra veggie goodness stirred in at the end!
  • Fried Rice: another good way to take advantage of leftovers, just cook a scrambled egg then add leftover brown rice, all-purpose greens, and a touch of soy sauce.
  • Pizza: these greens are a REALLY tasty pizza topping, and you can also do pita bread pizzas for a super effortless dinner!

Those are some of my go-to options, but I’m sure you smarties will blow my mind with a new one. How would you use these greens??

All-Purpose Greens

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 5 minutes

Total Time: 10 minutes

Yield: About 2.5 cups, depending on the size of your kale bunch

All-Purpose Greens

1 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1/2 red bell pepper, chopped
1 bunch kale, chopped and thick stems removed
1/2 tsp. honey
1 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
salt and pepper to taste

In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and bell pepper and cook, stirring frequently, for about 3-4 minutes until they soften. Toss in the kale, honey and vinegar, and allow to cook until the greens are wilted. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

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