6 Ways to Eat Leafy Greens

Each week you, as a farm member, take home 5-8 different types of leafy greens:

  • Baby salad greens
  • Baby spinach
  • Mesclun mix
  • Beet greens
  • Radish greens
  • Carrot tops
  • Kale
  • Swiss chard

Fall Share You’re receiving enough leafy greens by now that you could probably eat them for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, and I want to help you do just that.  Here are six ways you can eat your greens this week.

1. In a Sandwich

The boys and I had lunch at the park last week, and I brought the fixing for bologna sandwiches.  I made mine by lightly spreading mayonnaise over Wasa rye crisps, then adding two pieces of bologna and a generous layer of mustard greens.  If I’d thought to bring them along, I would have added green onions.  So delicious I had to make another.

2. As a Base

Tender baby salad greens, mesclun mix, and/or baby spinach work wonderfully as a base for fried rice.  I make Indonesian fried rice (Nasi Goreng) and place it directly from the hot wok onto a plate of greens, where the heat from the rice gently wilts the greens.  You can also use salad greens as a base for re-heated leftovers or stir-fry.

3. Sautéed or Steamed

This is the perfect option for cooking greens like Swiss chard, kale, and large spinach.  One of Dan’s favorite side dishes is lightly steamed Swiss chard sprinkled with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.

4. As a Salad

This option almost goes without saying.  Try a savory salad with fresh herbs, green onions, peanuts, and a touch of sesame oil one day, and a sweet salad with apples, toasted walnuts, and gorgonzola the next.  By varying your toppings (cheese, nuts, beans, fruits, veggies, meat, dressing), the possibilities are endless.

5. In a Soup

You can add chopped cooking greens to many soups.  One of our favorites is Spicy Potato Sausage and Greens Soup (From Asparagus to Zucchini cookbook), a delicious soup made with chicken broth and topped with a spoonful of cream.  You can also make soups where greens star as the main ingredient.  This past summer I tried a new recipe, Kale Potato Soup, from the cookbook Simply in Season (one of our beloved cookbooks!).  The kale—cooked and pureed—turned the soup completely green.  Before I showed it to my boys, I told them we were having a very special dish for dinner: HULK SOUP.  Dinner that night was full of loud outbursts as we all morphed into Hulk over and over again, but Harper and Asher cleaned out their bowls with no problem.

6. In a Smoothie

Every day Dan and I drink a quart of green smoothie, a beverage made up of 1/2 to 2/3 greens, and 1/2 to 1/3 fruit.  I started drinking green smoothies about a year ago, after Dan’s parents introduced me to Victoria Boutenko’s Greens for Life and Green Smoothie Revolution.  Since then I’ve experienced an increase in energy and a significant decrease in allergic reactions—I think of green smoothies as my daily dose of a super-vitamin.

If you’ve never made a green smoothie before, here are two important considerations:

  • Use a high-speed blender like a Vitamix or Nutribullet. You can use a standard blender, but the greens may not blend well, resulting in an unpalatable drink.  Also, Boutenko describes how greens, which are high in cellulose, are more easily assimilated into the body when broken-down in a high-speed blender.
  • Rotate your greens for maximum nutritive benefits. Boutenko recommends rotating a variety of at least 7 greens.

For more information, read Boutenko’s “Guidelines for Green Smoothie Consumption for Optimal Health Benefits.” 

As I said at the beginning of this post, you’re getting enough greens to eat them for three meals a day—including breakfast.  This week I made a frittata with radish greens and beet greens, green onions, herbs, and potatoes.  Pair the frittata with a green smoothie, and you’re off to a great start to your day.

Potato Garlic Herbs

Begin by prepping the vegetables: chop the green onions, leafy greens of your choice, and herbs, and slice the potatoes.  I used fingerling potatoes in this recipe, sliced thinly so I didn’t have to cook them ahead of time.  If you don’t have fingerlings, use baby red or baby Yukon gold potatoes.

Once your veggies are ready, heat your skillet over medium heat and add about a tablespoon of olive oil.  I used my cast iron skillet—if you don’t have cast iron make sure your frying pan is flameproof as this dish requires broiling for its finishing touch.

Green Onions

Add the chopped green onions and sauté for about three minutes, until they’re just browning around the edges.  Push the onions to the side of the skillet, then add the potatoes and spread them evenly over the base of the pan.  Let the potatoes sit for about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, lightly beat 6 eggs.  Add ¼ cup milk (I used whole milk) and add a touch of salt and pepper.  Set aside.

Potatoes in Skillet

Flip the potatoes and let the other side sit for about four minutes.  The first side should be golden brown.  Once the potatoes are done, add the greens, garlic, and herbs and cook for another two minutes, stirring often to prevent sticking.

Preheat the broiler to high.  Spread the greens/potato/herb mixture evenly over the base of the skillet, then pour the eggs over the potato mixture.  Press the veggies under the eggs, then evenly sprinkle the cheese on top.

Frittata in Skillet

Cook over medium heat for 5-6 minutes, until the eggs are just beginning to set.  Then place the skillet under the broiler for 1-2 minutes (do not overbroil!) until the frittata is set and golden.

DSC06251 - Copy

You can serve the frittata hot, warm, or cold and cut into wedges.  If you’d like, serve with pancakes (I made gluten-free oatmeal pancakes) and a green smoothie made of spinach, beet greens, banana, and tropical frozen fruit mix.

Scroll down for the printables of the Potato, Green Onions, and Greens Frittata and the Every Day Green Smoothie.

How do you eat your greens?  I’d love to hear your ideas–leave me a comment and let me know!

Photographs and Food Styling: Anne Kingma

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  1. That frittata looks great! How large of a skillet would you say to use?

  2. Michelle Vargas

    October 14, 2014 at 9:20 pm

    Interesting article! As a non-farmer, I only know what I see at the the store, and that consists is collard greens. I’m curious about the green smoothie. Might have to try that. Is it only the greens in the smoothie or can you add fruit to make it sweeter?

    • Julie Oudman Perkins

      October 14, 2014 at 9:28 pm

      Michelle, I use about 2/3 greens and 1/3 fruit. When I first started making green smoothies, however, I used 2/3 fruit and 1/3 fruit, so it may take some time for your taste buds to adjust to the greens. At the very bottom of the post is a recipe for an Every Day Green Smoothie.

  3. This was awesome! I didn’t have feta so I used sharp cheddar and a little swiss. Looking forward to eating leftovers for breakfast. 🙂 Elizabeth the toddler loved it too.

  4. I made this tonight and it was SO good! This is the first time that I have used radish greens in anything, and with the beet greens, spinach and collard greens it was fabulous! I didn’t have feta, but cheddar was also good! Thanks for the yummy recipe! I wish I wasn’t full so that I could eat more right now!

  5. My frittata didn’t look quite as good as the picture, but it tasted sublime! I love the green smoothies, but am having trouble getting my crappy blender to blend the carrot tops and kale smooth enough.

    • Julie Oudman Perkins

      October 29, 2014 at 1:58 pm

      I’m sure your frittata was lovely, Amber! If you can manage it, a good blender is worth every penny–maybe you can add it to your Christmas list? 🙂

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