With a garden containing an over-abundance of greens, as a kid I grew up eating a lot of spinach, kale, collards, swiss chard, and pretty much any green leafy vegetable you could name. While I wasn’t always a fan of the daily plates of greens served at dinner, looking back at it, I definitely appreciate my parents persistent attempts at getting those nutritious platefuls into my little body. If I hadn’t had greens forced upon me from such a young age, I may not have the same love for them that I hold today.
Now, I try to incorporate some type of greens into at least one meal per day. (When I say this, I’m going to include broccoli simply because if I don’t have greens one day, I’m almost sure to have some green broccoli). While I thoroughly enjoy greens, the simple steamed leaves with oil and vinegar, S&P, the way in which I was brought up eating greens, can get a tad boring. With that being said, I’ve since done my fare share of experimenting with what to do with greens. (See my earlier post on how to add greens into your diet).
I’ve gone through smoothie crazes where I would start every morning off with a green smoothie. This enabled me to occasionally get greens into my day twice, maybe even three times! However, after awhile I started to crave simple banana and strawberry smoothies minus the greens. While I still enjoy an occasional green smoothie, I can’t say I’m gulping one down every morning. However, this is a sure way to immediately make sure you get that green consumption into your day!
Lately, I’ve switched over from drinking daily smoothies to making a ton of green sautes. As a busy college student, simplicity is often my friend when it comes to getting in the kitchen. While I love to cook, I find myself with less and less time, and a smaller and smaller stocked spice cabinet/ingredient closet than I previously had at home. Hopefully acquiring a stocked cabinet is something I will soon invest my money into! In the meantime, I try to cook almost everyday by making a lot of quick and easy dishes. Cooking my own food ensures that my diet stays healthy, meaning my health stays healthy (say that 10 times fast).
Greens are the perfect ingredient for jazzing up in a jiff. While simply seasoning them and adding olive oil and vinegar is quite easy, I’ve found a few other sautes that are practically as effortless. Give one of the following quick and easy saute recipes a try if you’re looking for a simple, yet tasty ways to liven up your greens.
Sauteed Collards with Raisins
-1 pound of kale
-1 ½ tablespoons of olive oil
-1/3 cup of raisins
-1/2 of a medium onion, sliced
-1 teaspoon of apple cider vinegar
-S&P, to taste
Bring some water to a boil beneath a steamer basket, and then steam the kale for 6 minutes. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a saute pan and add the onions. Cook until the onions are translucent and then add the raisins, salt and pepper. Once the kale is finished cooking, transfer it to the saute pan. Mix all of the ingredients together, and cook for an additional two minutes, or until tender. Enjoy!
Swiss Chard with a Kick
1 large bunch of Swiss chard, chopped into strips
-1 small clove garlic, minced
-2 Tbsp olive oil
-1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dried crushed red pepper (depending on your desire for spicyness)
-Salt and pepper, to taste
Add olive oil to a saute pan and saute the garlic for about a minute. Add the crushed red pepper, followed by the swiss chard. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. If the chard and garlic start to stick to the bottom of the pan/ burn, add a few tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper.
Simple Spinach Saute
For a real quick and cheap side dish, simply saute some spinach in a little bit of olive oil until tender, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan. Drizzle with soy sauce and generously sprinkle garlic powder on top. Voila- Easy-peasy, cheap, and tasty!