Sunday, January 20, 2008

It's not easy being green....

Last year I hired a holistic nutritionist to review what I was eating and offer some insight to help me regain my energy and skip in my step. For six months, she introduced me to a whole new world of nutrient dense food whose purpose was to "nourish" good health. All of my current cooking adventures are a result from this very transformative experience. But I have to tell you, I was kind of skeptical at first. Especially the morning I received a gift from her the first week I signed on.

It was this book:

I was pretty shocked when I looked through it. To me, even the cover picture looked foreign! Each chapter described one new dark leafy green. Swiss chard (was it a cheese?!) Kale- curly and dino! Bok choy. Dandelion greens - um, is that what's growing on my lawn? I thought, what have I gotten myself into?

Truth is, I really trusted my nutritionist. Also, I've never been afraid of trying something new. I started out slowly with something sweet like sauteed kale with pinenuts and raisins. It turned out to be darn tasty. Soon I was learning which dark leafy greens I needed to boil or steam first to make more tender and which benefited from Asian flavorings like dark sesame oil. And just like my foodie mentor promised, I actually started to crave them! To this day, though, I still haven't tried those dandelion greens.

Are you still with me, or do you already miss the post about chocolate and pumpkin?

My favorite leafy green by far is rainbow swiss chard. I'm still trying to get my hubby to like them as much as I do. Yesterday I finally won him over with a bit of a twist on an Ellie Krieger recipe. I replaced the cabbage with chard.

Sesame Stir-Fried Chinese Greens by Ellie Krieger

1 T sesame seeds
2 t canola oil
2 pounds of bok choy or napa cabbage, cut across into 1 inch wide strips
2 T low sodium soy sauce
1 T rice wine vinegar
2 t toasted sesame oil

Toast the sesame seeds in a small dry skillet over medium-high heat until golden, about two minutes, stirring frequently; set aside.

In a large skillet, heat the oil over high heat until very hot but not smoking. Add the bok choy or cabbage and stir fry until it begins to soften slightly, 1-2 minutes. Add the soy sauce, vinegar, and sesame oil and cook until just done, 1-2 minutes longer. Sprinkle with the sesame seeds and serve immediately.

  • First, I cut the chard leaves off their colorful stems and threw the stems away. I know I could of cooked them too, but I just decided to make this a leafy side dish.
  • I think that chard can be rather tough if I don't boil them for a few minutes before the stir fry. Just 5 minutes will do it. Drain them well then add them to the skillet.
  • I served this with baked turbot (white fish fillet similar to sea bass.) The whole meal, greens and all, took less than 20 minutes from prep to table!
  • If you're interested in buying "Greens, Glorious, Greens, check out this website
  • If you're at all curious about what guidance a holistic nutritionist provides, check out her website at I didn't meet in person with Heidi, but rather we held our sessions over the phone and by email. It was an extremely effective program which I recommend highly.


JennDZ - The Leftover Queen said...

You should try my swiss chard and potatoes recipe. It is a family recipe and really really good! Sure to win over those who aren't sure about this great green!

(it should still be on the first post of my blog)

Welcome to The Foodie Blogroll!

Meg Wolff said...

I have this book on greens too .. it's a gem!

I like the name of your blog. :-)