Cooking greens for lunch

I've been making a concerted effort to eat more healthily over the last four or five months, and it's been paying off. I'm down 13 pounds since March, and am feeling better than I have in forever.

A big part of why this has been so relatively easy is that I'm working from home. I can prep and eat food as the day goes on, and not have to have it all done in time to leave in the morning. Of course, this didn't help me all last fall and winter when I was making cookies all day and eating them, but then something clicked and I started realizing I could use my proximity to the kitchen all day long for good instead of evil.

The upshot of all of this is that I'm eating a lot more greens than I have before. I put them in green smoothies (favorite recipe: raw baby spinach, cucumber, blueberries, optional protein powder, water), but I've also been cooking with them. For some reason lunchtime is now associated with sauteed greens for me, and three days a week I make some variation of: green beans, garlic, walnuts, zucchini or bell pepper, and greens (chard, red chard, rainbow chard, kale, spinach, bok choy), and maybe a protein (chicken or sausage or shrimp). Sautee in a little olive oil, season with sea salt, then eat while watching Days Of Our Lives.

This picture is of my lunch last Friday, which consisted of green beans, walnuts, chopped garlic, sliced zucchini, and a really nice chard from Living Stones Community Farm, which sells at the farmers market I can walk to:

Sauteed greens

How can you not feel good eating this almost every day?

Who else is cooking greens this summer? What do you do with them?

34 thoughts on “Cooking greens for lunch”

  1. We have a CSA subscription and are at times, overwhelmed with greens. It’s a good kind of overwhelm, though. I like to saute a big bunch of them and then fold them into an omelette with some swiss cheese.

  2. My goal this season is to eat more (and more varied) vegetables and fruit. That goes for my husband and my 3 little boys by default, too, since I’m the cook. 🙂 we like roasted kale chips–break up kale pieces and put on a baking pan, spray with olive oil, sprinkle kosher salt and pepper (or Cajun seasoning, or Italian seasoning if you want a specific flavour), and roast at 450 for about 10 minutes. Watch that the pieces don’t burn. You want them toasty so they disintegrate in your mouth in a big crunch! Yummy!(delayed congrats on your book idea, btw! Yay!!)

  3. We are growing (and cooking/eating) greens such as Kale and broccoli in our yard. We put greens (kale, spinach, broccoli) on pizza, sauté them and mix with pasta or rice or quinoa. Yummmmmy.

  4. I like sauteing a bunch of greens on the weekend and having them for breakfast before I leave for work. I serve over some leftover rice with an over-easy egg. It takes me less than 5 minutes to prep for bfast, is way more interesting to me and more filling than cereal, and frees up precious fridge space after a huge CSA delivery.

  5. My new obsession is kale with shredded beets and sometimes carrots. It’s a great cold salad that keeps pretty well (as long as it’s lightly dressed, not swamped) for a day or two, and it always gets wows at the BBQ’s I bring it to.And I have found a new love of sauteing anything with onion and garlic. Simple pleasures for this simple mind!

  6. Adding a little (~1/8tsp) of mustard powder to my sauteed greens was a revelation. I also love them sauteed with smoky black beans (cooked with onion, bay, garlic, and bacon or smoked paprika, depending on if you want meat) and rice, peanuts, and orange slices (We call it faux-feijoada around here).

  7. I’m the only one who eats cooked greens in my house – well, the 3-year-old sometimes asks for some of my spinach. My husband, however, loves beets so I love to buy a bunch, give him the beets and then cook up the greens for myself! Steamed, with a bit of butter and parmesan is all I bother with.

  8. I make a pan full of “creamed” greens (finely chopped with onion, a little butter an chicken stock, cooked down) and then make little holes in it with a spoon. Crack an egg in each hole and top w/ a little grated cheese and pop in a hot oven for a few minutes. I serve the eggs and greens on ww english muffins. Even the kids will eat this one!

  9. I recently realized that I can make “pesto” out of almost anything. A pound or so of greens (broccoli for example, lightly cooked), blended with cheese (parmesan is really the best, but a fine cheddar would work) and nuts of your choice (cashew!), olive oil and salt and pepper.On pasta, with pitas, with carrot sticks. Slathered on top of almost anything.

  10. While I’m on break from work, my lunch is often “whatever greens I got in the CSA box, sauteed and then scrambled with a couple eggs”. I love it!

  11. Current obsession: a recipe for “creamed” kale from the cookbook Well-Fed. She uses her own Ras el Hanout spice mix, garlic, and coconut milk mixed into sauteed kale. SO good.

  12. I prefer veggies pan fried in olive oil with no added anything except some salt. I like to taste the veg itself, by itself, without it being hidden in sauces or disquised with added herbs and spices. I love flowering broccoli stir fried and thrown into a pasta, with some parmigiano cheese.

  13. When in doubt, we steam (or sautee) any fresh vegetable and drizzle with soy sauce and toasted sesame oil. Both my husband and I work long hours outside the home, so mid-week dinners need to be quick prep. One of our go-to 20 minute meals is fresh spinach or broccoli prepared this way, over cubed silken tofu with frozen brown rice. Sometimes I’ll make a bag of Trader Joes potstickers. The kids love it and eat up the veggies.

  14. This post is a good reminder to me to get better about cooking more greens. I found a to-die-for creamy kale recipe in Melissa Joulwan’s “Well Fed” Paleo cookbook. It might even be on her website, but OMG I think I ate an entire package of kale in one sitting.We also love the kale chips. What I was really excited about, is that Trader Joe’s now has prewashed, cut up kale-in-a-bag. So easy for all these things – no washing, trimming, etc.

  15. I thought I was doing a good job eating lettuce salads regularly, and then I spoke with a nutrition counselor who encouraged me to get into other greens. I am a full-on addict, and if I go more than a few days without rainbow chard or collards, I start to twitch. I usually stir-fry them with onions and garlic or cook them in a little chicken broth and vinegar. If you have not incorporated greens into your diet yet, give it a try. You may become an addict, too.

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  19. Well CheaterMan, I put on my mud boots and coat and went out to check the garden. It is not good. While the chard, kale and red sails are alive they are in no cnitodion to eat. The kale put on new growth after the December freeze only to be damaged by this last cold snap. Hopefully it will all live through this next storm and start growing again in February.I have not started any indoor seedlings yet. Yesterday I did start taking inventory of what seeds I already have, so I know what to order. I have been preoccupied with other projects and neglecting the garden.As far as soil amendments, I like leaves and/or compost.

  20. It is not good. While the chard, kale and red sails are alive they are in no cnitodion to eat. The kale put on new growth after the December freeze only to be damaged by this last cold snap. Hopefully it will all live through this next storm and start growing again in February.I have not started any indoor seedlings yet. Yesterday I did start taking inventory of what seeds I already have, so I know what to order.

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  22. (favorite recipe: raw baby spinach, cucumber, blueberries, optional protein powder, water), but I’ve also been cooking with them. For some reason lunchtime is now associated with sauteed greens for me, and three days a week I make some variation of: green beans, garlic, walnuts, zucchini or bell pepper, and greens

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