Well, after all the flurry and busyness of starting up my blog, it seems like I needed a bit of time off to recuperate! Or maybe I was just too busy savoring the sweet deliciousness of those decadent yet healthy desserts I was making (if you have a sweet tooth and you don’t know what I’m talking about, check out my recipe reviews on the Beetroot & Avocado Chocolate Cake and Frosted Mint Chocolate Bars – believe me, they are worth it!). Either way, it’s time to get back in gear. To make up for all the sweets last week, I think maybe I’ll explore some darlings of the super food world: collard greens & kale. To be honest, before I started eating a plant-based diet, I wasn’t very adventurous in the kitchen. I didn’t try new vegetables, I just stayed with what was familiar. Back in the day, eating greens was never even on my radar. Oh sure sometimes I would eat a salad, that good ol’ restaurant classic: iceberg lettuce with a slice or two of tomato, cucumber, radishes and maybe some shredded purple cabbage topped with French dressing (is anyone else getting a Swiss Chalet side salad flash-back here?). If there were ever a dark leafy green gracing my plate it was in the form of a Caesar salad but that didn’t happen too often because it was “too fattening”. Then, one day several years ago I saw my sister-in-law dump a whole container of raw baby spinach into a pot and it just magically wilted down to nothing. And that was the beginning of my love affair with spinach. It’s just so dang easy to add into almost anything and even if it alters the colour, it doesn’t affect the taste. Now I add it to soups, salads, burritos, sauces, smoothies and even my nice creams. Of course it helps that Wal-Mart sells frozen spinach cubes. I just keep a bag in the freezer and pop them into whatever I’m making. Sadly though spinach is not a good source of dietary calcium. Even though spinach is rich in calcium, it is bound to oxalates (a naturally occurring substance) and the oxalates prevent our bodies from absorbing the calcium. Enter the mighty kale and collard greens and ta-da, there is calcium that our bodies can absorb. I have made the most amazing sour cream and onion kale chips imaginable thanks to an awesome recipe I found on-line and I promise to review that later this week but tonight is about collards. I confess I avoided trying them even though my sister loves to use them as a wrap for burritos. But the other day my adventurous gene must have been switched on because I finally bought a head of collards, steamed and then sautéed them with olive oil, minced fresh garlic and salt and pepper. Oh my are they ever good!! Seriously. Delicious. You really, really, really need to try them. My husband – whose idea of vegetables used to mean a side of mashed potatoes and fried mushrooms – absolutely loved them and asked when I would make them again. The only negative thing about collards is that a whole head steams down to just two small servings. You too will be sad about this once you taste how delicious they are.
Sauteed Collard Greens with Garlic
- 1 head of collard greens, rinsed, de-stemmed and torn into one-inch pieces
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 3 medium – large cloves of garlic, minced
- Sea salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
Bring approximately 2-inches of water to boil in a large pot fitted with a steamer. Add the collard greens, cover and steam for fifteen minutes. A minute or two before the collards are finished steaming, heat the olive oil in a frying pan on medium-low. Remove the greens and place in a strainer, pushing down with a spoon to ensure all liquid is removed. Add the greens and garlic to the frying pan and sautee for 5 minutes, stirring frequently. Season with salt and pepper. Serve immediately.