Thursday, May 24, 2012

Good-for-You Contest: win BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL

One of the banes of my existence is those deep green leafy veggies we're supposed to be eating so much of. "Yuck" sums up my feelings about them. But recently my eye doctor explained that people whose family history includes macular degeneration really need to step up and eat gobs and gobs of spinach and kale and such. Lutein's the key - you can read more about it here.

Luckily, my dad and his wife Judy are organic gardeners with an abundance of greens they are happy to share. They supply me with bags of the stuff whenever I ask, and I've started sauteeing away.

I need more ideas to make this stuff palatable, people!  I will send a signed copy of the paperback of A BAD DAY FOR SCANDAL to the best idea that comes my way. Just comment with your idea or a link or whatever you got.

So far, I've been adding Trader Joes brown rice and soy sauce. I also chopped it up and add it to canned soup. (Yeah, I know it's terrible, but I haven't had time to start cooking again since I got the go-ahead from the doc.)  Please don't suggest ruining a perfectly good lasagna...or, worst idea I heard yet, a spinach smoothie ("Add a banana and you won't even notice!" my friend claimed....).


Mike Cooper said...

Saute kale or collards with a little onion, then braise in chicken stock. Collards are nice cooked with rice, stock and pepper. Spinach & potato soup (add some crumbled sausage for extra flavor).

Chard has never worked well for me, even though it's supposed to be the mildest choice, but other family members (well, one of them) like it sauteed with garlic, soy sauce, and a dash of mirin.

Friends of ours eat greens just about every day, sauteed in VERY generous amounts of sesame oil.

No need to put me in the drawing -- I've read it already :)

M. A. Ladner said...

I tend to cook a lot of greens in veggie stock with couscous--just about any greens will work. You can serve it as a side or add chickpeas to make it more hearty. I think greens are nice cooked with lentils in stock and put over rice or quinoa. I like to saute them as a side also with a bit of white wine, olive oil, and garlic. My mom taught me how to steam them in a rice cooker with chicken and a bit of Thai fish sauce. That's one of my favorite meals. There's also a nice rice dish that I do sometimes with onion, mandarin orange, stock, and spinach. If that sounds interesting... let me know, I can email the recipe to you.

Sophie Littlefield said...

mike - i'll definitely try the sesame oil. just out of curiosity, which kid will eat greens? I think t-wa does at grammy's.

michelle, thanks! i love lentils and quinoa and cook with chickpeas a lot. will try these ideas. do you use the boxed stock? (Mike makes his own, of course - he likes to show up the rest of us!)

M. A. Ladner said...

It depends. I'm generally too lazy to make stock. But occasionally I'll freeze some and have it around. Most of the time I use boxed veggie or chicken stock.

Just about any combination of the greens, lentils, quinoa and chickpeas makes me happy. I tend to not cook by recipe -- so all the variations of those ingredients have been tried and are winners. It helps to take the sliminess of cooked greens out of the equation. Hope you find it the same.

Lisarenee said...

Sophie, When I was little I was Vitamin K deficient and they made me eat the green stuff. My mom never figured out a good way to make it so I'd eat it, but I find the best way to add them in is to hide them in things. I think someone made a cookbook for hiding veggies in food. As for the green stuff...Food Network has an awesome Broccoli and Cheese Calzone recipe by Robin Miller which I substitute spinach for the broccoli in the mix and you can't taste. Of course I top mine with spaghetti sauce so that probably masks the flavor. Here is the recipe with spinach substituted:
1 (15-ounce) container part-skim ricotta cheese
8 ounces shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
5-ounce of fozen chopped Spinach, thawed and drained. Sqeeze as much juice out as possible. (Use less if it seem like too much and gradually work up to your tolerance level.)
Black pepper
1 pound bread or pizza dough, thawed
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
In a medium bowl, combine ricotta, mozzarella and broccoli. Mix well. Season with salt and black pepper.

Roll dough out to a 12-inch circle. Spread cheese filling over 1 side of circle, to within 1-inch of the edge. Lift 1 side of dough and fold over so that it meets the other side, forming a half moon, and pinch the edges together to seal.

Sorry for any typos. i'm finding it hard to see what I've written in this little box. :)

This Blonde's Life said...

I put spinach on/in everything instead of lettuce..sandwiches, omelets, salads. I love a nice spinach salad with red onion, mandarin oranges, strawberries, toasted almonds, craisins and a light raspberry vinaigrette. Wash/clean your fresh spinach and store in the fridge so you can easily grab a handful to add to whatever you are eating.

Gaia said...

1. Cheese and spinach quesadilla
2. Cucumber sandwich with Laughing Cow Lite Garlic and Herb cheese, thinly sliced red onion, tomato and kale or spinach
3. Small pizza round topped with alfredo sauce, sliced baby portabello mushrooms, chopped fresh baby spinach, onions (carnivores can add chicken or turkey sausage), and topped with mozzarella

Anonymous said...

My 5 year old refuses to eat any vegetables. We've been trying for years. The only thing that has finally broken the green vegetable barrier are fruit smoothies . . . with spinach hidden inside. Yes, I know you think that sounds like a terrible idea but if you give it a try, I can make you a believer! You can't taste the spinach with my smoothie recipe and trust me - if you could, my five year old would spit it out.

Here is what I do: 1 cup frozen strawberries, 1 banana, big handful of spinach, cup of vanilla yogurt and maybe a cup or less of orange juice (depending on how thick you want it). Blender at high speed.

It's delish! My picky five year old loves these.

Karen C.

Reina M. Williams said...

I do a salad with baby spinach, strawberries, almonds, and balsamic dressing (or poppyseed dressing), maybe some blue cheese...delicious! :)

Maggie said...

Kale chips! My girls will even eat them. I've been making them for Rosemond to help with her magnesium levels. I've heard you can use lots of other greens too. Lightly coat the kale with olive oil, season to taste, bake in single layer at 350 degrees for 20 minutes or so. Yummy!

WestSea Kitteh said...

My Mom used to make split pea soup with lots of veggies. Now my husband has expanded on the idea: with your favorite split pea soup recipe we put a ham bone (with lots of ham still on it - left from Easter) and put broccoli, kale, carrots, spinach, etc. Once the peas are tender and the veggies cooked, we use a hand blender (right in the pot) to puree the whole thing until smooth. Then add the cubed ham from the bone back into the pot. Tastes like GREAT pea soup - and fabulous for you! My husband would never eats veggies, but loves this soup.

L.G.C. Smith said...

I'm a little late on this, but like Mike, I've already got the book so no worries. I like greens sauteed/steamed very quickly with onion, garlic, lemon, butter, salt and pepper.

Heat a pan, add a little bit of mild olive oil (really--just a little) and a sliced onion. Cook over medium high heat until onion starts to brown. Sprinkle with salt and pepper, and push the onions to one side of the pan and turn the heat up to high. Toss in any kind of washed, shaken dry (a little water helps them steam quickly) chopped greens and two cloves of finely minced garlic. For the greens I like kale, chard and beet greens best, but you can use rapini, collards, mustard greens, pea greens, fava greens, arugula, bok choy, mizuna, whatever.

When the greens have barely wilted, squeeze the juice of a lemon over them and add about 2-3 teaspoons of butter. Toss with tongs while the lemon juice reduces and the butter melts. (This isn't enough butter to hurt most people, but if you don't like it, are vegan or have dairy issues, drizzle with good olive oil.) Check seasoning. Total cooking time is usually about three minutes tops.

I used to hate greens, but I love them cooked this way. If you have really bitter greens, a few dried cranberries at the end rounds out the balance. If you like heat, add a little finely minced fresh chile, cayenne, or red pepper flakes. If you have green garlic and/or spring onions, use those instead of a regular onion. It's a flexible recipe, but the method works well with most greens.

sari said...

Actually, I agree - the spinach in the smoothie (with yougurt and strawberries and bananas and orange juice) is almost imperceptible. Though that's not a new idea for helping you eat more of it. I'll try to think. I hate vegetables also. :-P