Delicious Winter Greens

by in Healthy Recipes, In Season, January 16, 2009

Winter Greens

Think outside the bag of lettuce! Dig into some hearty and gorgeous winter greens. Kale, collards, escarole and mustard greens — just to name a few — are at the market waiting for you.

Many of these dark leafy greens contain calcium and iron, which is rare for vegetables. A cup of delicious cooked kale has less than 40 calories and twice the recommended amount of beta-carotene (a valuable antioxidant). A cup of raw escarole has 35% of your daily folate, which helps with energy levels and nerve function, and 290% of your need for vitamin K, good for proper circulation and bone health.

Mix chopped greens into simmering soups and pasta dishes or enjoy raw in a salad drizzled with a bold vinaigrette. Collards need a little extra lovin’. They are grown in sandy soil so wash them well. Then simply rip the leaves from the stalk and chop; they are great boiled or sauteed and finished with a dash of hot sauce.

Preparing these flavorful veggies doesn’t take much, simple is best. Top with a little cheese or buttery pine nuts. Sauté with olive oil and garlic, add a splash of vegetable broth, some balsamic vinegar and they are perfection.

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