Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Identifying Your Greens

Our greens are almost gone, which means time to start experimenting with ways to put them to use! We have decided to provide you all with some recipes and nutritional facts that will motivate you to finish off your greens season strong. For those of you that enjoy experimenting with your foods, enjoy the recipes below. Here's the best part: most of the ingredients can be found at our markets. Enjoy!

Name: Swiss Chard
Nutritional Info:
- contains 13 polyphenol antioxidants
- the second most nutritious vegetable next to spinach
- boiling chard rids acidic taste, makes its sweeter
- excellent source of vitamin K, C, & E

Lentil Soup with Chard & Lemon
1 1/2 cups lentil
2 1/2 lbs fresh swiss chard
1/2 cup olive oil
3/4 cup chopped onion
3 to 4  garlic cloves
1 stalk celery, chopped
3/4 cup lemon juice
1 teaspoon flour
chopped scallions for garnish

Wash and pick over the lentils. Cover then with fresh cold water, and cook, covered, until tender. Wash the Swiss chard leaves and chop them. Add these and a cup of water to the lentils. Continue cooking until the Swiss chard is done, adding more water if necessary. Heat the olive oil on a skillet and add the chopped onion. Crush the garlic cloves with salt, and add these and the chopped celery to the onion. Continue cooking until the vegetable are tender and blended. Add to the lentil mixture. Mix the lemon juice with the flour and stir it into the soup. Cook gently, stirring occasionally, until the soup is rather thick. Taste for seasoning. Serve with chilled chopped scallions in soup bowls, and pass crusty French or Italian bread to sop up the juices.

Name: Collard Greens
Nutritional Info:
- high cholesterol-lowering abilities
- has cancer preventative properties
- excellent source of vitamin C, E, and zinc
- lowers the risk of heart attack and other heart problems
- same family that produces cabbage and broccoli

Pasta w/ greens & Tomato sauce (4 servings)
1 pound collard greens (12 cups), stripped from thick stems, washed, dried and coarsely chopped
3/4 cup sliced pancetta, or bacon, finely diced
2 teaspoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1/4 cup of water
3 cups medium pasta shells
1/4 teaspoon salt
freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano- Reggiano cheese

Bring 2 cups lightly salted water to a boil in a large wide pan. Add collards and cook until tender, 10 to 12 minutes. Drain. rinse with cold water and press out excess moisture. Set aside. Put a large pot of lightly salted water on to boil for cooking pasta. Cook pancetta (or bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until golden, 5 minutes. Drain; discard fat. Add oil to the pan and heat over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, 3 to 5 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 to 60 seconds. Add the pancetta (or bacon), tomatoes and water; bring to a simmer, mashing the tomatoes with a potato masher or the side of a wooden spoon. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, until thickened, about 20 minutes. About 10 minutes before the sauce is ready, cook pasta in the boiling water, stirring often, until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes. Reserve 1/4 cup of the cooking water and drain the pasta. Add the pasta, collards and reserved pasta-cooking water to the tomato sauce. Heat, stirring, until the pasta has absorbed some of the flavors, about 1 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon into pasta bowls, sprinkle with cheese and serve.

Name: Kale
Nutritional Info:
- cholesterol lowering benefits
- provides comprehensive support for the body's detoxification system
- good source of vitamin K, regulating body's inflammatory process

Kale Chips (6 servings)
1 bunch kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon of seasoned salt

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper. With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stem and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt. Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.

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