Posts Tagged ‘chard’
So there’s my box this week. Full of everything green – more kale, lettuce, chard (red and green), bok choy and some strawberries. And yes, that IS a lot of greens! This might be the first time CSA newbies wonder just what they’ve gotten themselves into! Sure, there is a great variety – but still – this is a lot of greens. And I’ll admit – it is right about now that I start craving the juicy tomatoes I know I’ll tire of just as quickly. But, here’s the thing about CSAs: they help us to eat seasonally. Eating with the seasons is not just a feel good eco-conscious trend of the moment. Eating seasonally is more in line with how our bodies were designed to eat. As a wellness professional, I often spend quite a bit of time harping on natural and real foods. I even wrote a book on the subject. <ahem> BUT, that is only the first part. There is a good reason certain foods are available certain times of the year. Right now, had we been born into any century other than this one, we would be downright giddy at the new sprouts coming out of the ground. Because we would have just spent the winter gulping down root vegetables and other foods that had been “put up” for the winter. We would be worn out from fighting off winter bugs and excited to enter this new season. Our bodies would be sluggish from our mini hibernation and these cleansing greens are the perfect remedy. There are many things all of these green have in common. Primarily – they are fantastic detox foods! Spring veggies have a short shelf life – unlike squash or potatoes of the fall – and they are filled with water, micronutrients and fiber to flush our bodies clean.
While we may not have existed primarily on stored foods and root veggies all winter, we did just finish up a string of indulgent holidays from Thanksgiving to Valentine’s Day. We spent months with our windows tightly shut (which keeps our air filthy), fighting off H1N1 and numerous other concerns and our kids are wrapping up another stressful year of schooling. Our bodies are just as in need of a detox as our ancestors, and a great way to gently detoxify the body – something I’m a HUGE fan of – is to add some greens to the diet daily.
So, there you have it. Want to really spring clean inside and out? Eat your CSA greens – all of them! And here’s how:
The kale, bok choy and chard can often be used interchangeably in recipes. If you have a favorite that calls for one, you can always sub another. Or, you can do what I like to do and use a blend of them.
While they are all great when cooked, I felt like something a little more simple tonight, so I went with this recipe – one of my favorites – with a few alterations.
I used my lettuce, chard and kale this time – just a few pieces of each. Then I added the green apple and celery – both of which are also great liver boosting, cleansing foods.
I whisked my vinaigrette – using whole grain mustard instead of the ground for a deeper flavor. Again – purifying vinegar, healthy and fresh olive oil and natural maple syrup – which is definitely a superfood.
And of course, I glazed my pecans with maple syrup – one of my favorite treats.
I tossed it all together, topped with some artisan croutons from a local bakery and added the bleu cheese on top just for fun. Start to finish = 12 minutes. And I’ve got a fun and surprisingly filling meal that is packed full of nutrients! Lots of iron, fiber, B vitamins, calcium, chromium, vitamin A, potassium, zinc, vitamin K, protein, magnesium, chlorophyll and amazing phytonutrients that help increase eyesight, cleanse the body, support heart health, balance the blood sugar, and yes, prevent many forms of cancer.
Still wondering what to do with the rest of your greens? Try making green smoothies by tossing them in a blender with some berries and a little juice. You could also saute them and toss into just about any favorite pasta. Or, combine with sun dried tomatoes, feta and some basil for a fun and unique pizza topping. The combination of flavors and textures is amazing.