Tag Archives: collard greens

Leafy Greens

LettuceLeafy greens are some of the easiest and most beneficial vegetables to incorporate into your daily routine. Densely packed with energy and nutrients, they grow upward to the sky, absorbing the sun’s light while producing oxygen. Members of this royal green family include kale, collard greens, Swiss chard, mustard greens, arugula, dandelion greens, broccoli, rabe, watercress, beet greens, bok choy, napa cabbage, green cabbage, spinach and broccoli.

How do greens benefit our bodies? They are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous and zinc, and are a powerhouse for vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed full of fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. Their color is associated with spring, which is a time to renew and refresh vital energy. In traditional Asian medicine, the color green is related to the liver, emotional stability and creativity. Greens aid in purifying the blood, strengthening the immune system, improving liver, gall bladder and kidney function, fighting depression, clearing congestion, improving circulation and keeping your skin clear and blemish free.

Leafy greens are the vegetables most missing from the American diet, and many of us never learned how to prepare them. Start with the very simple recipe below. Then each time you go to the market, pick up a new green to try. Soon you’ll find your favorite greens and wonder how you ever lived without them.

Shiitake and Kale

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Easy Beans and Greens

Prep time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 10 minutes
Yield: 2-3 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 can black beans (or pinto, red, kidney-your choice) (or approx. 2 cups cooked beans)
  • 1 bunch collard greens (or kale, spinach-your choice)
  • your favorite toppings, such as salsa, avocado or guacamole and sour cream

Directions:

  1. In a medium saucepan, heat drained beans. Add your favorite seasonings, if desired.
  2. Fill a separate medium saucepan with 1-2 inches of water and bring to a boil.
  3. Wash and chop greens (you can use the stems, too) and add to boiling water.
  4. Cook for 2-3 minutes until greens are bright green and tender. Drain off water.
  5. On a plate, arrange a portion of the greens, top with a portion of the beans and finish with toppings of your choice.
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