Curious about the winter greens popping up in our meal plans lately? Dark leafy greens are packed with vitamins A and C, calcium, iron, fiber, folic acid, and magnesium. This subcategory of vegetables was called out in the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which recommend that adults consume 11/2 to 2 cups of greens every week. This category includes superfood superstar of the moment, kale, collard greens, turnip greens, and mustard greens, among others.
You can purchase many greens, including kale, collard greens and turnip greens, in bags already washed and chopped. These precut greens are perfect for reducing prep time when you’re going to cook the greens for a longer time, such as braising or in a soup. Because the precut greens often include the tough stems, they’re not the best option for quick methods, like sautéing, or for raw salads. Instead, purchase a bunch of fresh greens, and follow these simple steps to clean and cut winter greens.
1. Separate the leaves, and discard any limp or browned leaves.
2. Submerge the leaves in a large bowl of water, swirling vigorously. Drain, and refill the bowl with clean water. Repeat the cleaning process until you no longer see any dirt in the bowl.
3. Pat the greens dry with a kitchen towel, or use a salad spinner.
4. Cut away the tough stems and center veins.
5. Stack the leaves, and roll into a cylinder.
6. Thinly slice. Repeat with remaining leaves. Keep the pieces in long strips or chop, depending on what your recipe calls for. Done!
Now that you’re a slicing pro, give this quick and easy recipe from the eMeals Paleo Meal Plan a try!
- 11/2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 bunch Swiss chard, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- Heat oil in a large deep skillet or Dutch oven over medium-high heat.
- Add garlic and chard to pan; sauté 3 minutes or until wilted and tender. Cover and cook 3 to 5 minutes or until tender.
- Stir in lemon juice, salt and pepper.
Hungry for more healthy winter greens? Try these recipes:
-Text by Jessica Cox, RD