Saturday, October 29, 2011

EAT YOUR GREENS...

Anyone who's been reading this blog for a long time might remember that a few years ago I studied macrobiotic cooking - it's true! That was when I was going to Paris a lot - try doing your macrobiotic cooking homework in Paris - it's like a sick joke. While I got bored with the strictness of it, felt life was too short not to have a little brioche once in a while and was frustrated with the whole needing to use eighteen different pans and thirty six ingredients from four corners of London to compose a simple meal, I must admit that it taught me certain principles and gave me skills to look after my health. This has come in handy over the past few months when I've been ill more often than well, and the only thing the doctor can do is give me repeated courses of antibiotics which even he admits probably won't have any effect and I think knocks my immune system out even more. So all I can do is eat as well as I can. I've been loading up on seasonal veg in every meal - until I was confronted with the dark leafy greens block. I know it's really good for you but I've just never known what to do with it. Kale, greens, chard - anything like that is exactly what I should be eating but I just seem to make it into a soggy mess.

I'd been looking at Ashley Helvey's blog for inspiration a lot - apart from her aesthetic, which I love, she cooks in a way I can relate to - really nourishing healthy food from good sources cooked in the unfussy way that I like. I eventually reached across the interwebs and asked her if she'd share a few ideas on what to do with greens and she was so kind to send me a load of recipes, which I'll share below. I've done the chard I already had at home with olive oil, lemon and garlic which was delicious, and now I've got masses of curly kale to play with. I thought collards were the same as chard - see the depth of my misunderstanding about dark leafy greens - they aren't at all! Collard greens are just much less available in the UK, who knows why, but I reckon all greens are interchangeable so would work with any of these recipes. Enjoy - I know I am - and feel free to leave any recipes for leafy greens of your own in the comments.

Greens with shallot and crumbled egg:



Boil two small eggs (or one large egg) in generously salted water for six minutes, add ribboned collards with stems removed, boil for an additional three minutes, strain, squeeze excess water from collards/greens with fresh dishcloth, toss with high quality extra virgin olive oil, Meyer lemon, crumbled egg yolks, and paper thin shallots. Garnish with cracked black pepper or cayenne. I added feta, but this recipe can take whatever you've got. I think it would be delicious with torn bread croutons.



More after the cut...


Greens with extra virgin olive oil, lemon, and garlic:
Boil greens in salted water for three minutes, strain, squeeze excess water out, drizzle with high-quality, cold-pressed extra virgin olive oil, juice of one lemon, and two finely minced garlic cloves, toss and serve immediately.

Creamed collards:
Caramelize sliced yellow onion in two tablespoons butter, toss in two bunches sliced collards, stir until wilted (two minutes), pour one cup fresh heavy whipping cream and reduce heat to medium-low, simmer for five minutes until cream is reduced, season with flaky sea salt and freshly grated nutmeg. 

Fried white beans and kale:
Fry large, freshly cooked white beans in spoonful of ghee until crispy on each side (six minutes), add thinly sliced kale and stir until wilted, toss in one minced garlic clove, one teaspoon lemon zest, and garnish with juice of lemon, grated parmesan, and salt and pepper to taste. Also good with red chili pepper.

Thank you so much Ashley!

{All photos © Ashley Helvey}

20 comments:

Anonymous said...

i'm drinking a smoothie with kale and spinach right now from the whole life nutrition website

lola is beauty said...

Anon - that sounds like intermediate to advanced level acceptance of greens!

Wendy said...

Oh dear - I'm off for pizza in Deptford this evening!

lola is beauty said...

Wendy - ohhh but where is there good pizza in Deptford? One must have a balanced diet after all - chard pizza?

Wendy said...

http://thebigredpizza.com/
I will ask for rocket on my pizza. That should do it!

lola is beauty said...

Thank you, oh it's the BUS! I didn't realise it was a pizza bus...

anabela / fieldguided said...

Ooh, that looks delicious, Claire! But I'm so sorry to hear you haven't been well, and I hope it's nothing too too serious (occasional seasonal flu/cold, etc.). I don't know anything about macrobiotic cooking except that it sounds awfully complicated, but I do love the good feeling that comes with paying attention to what one eats.

Ally said...

yummmmm! these look amazing - am going to make the first recipe but using kale tonight.

Ashley's blog is amazing, so many great food ideas that can easily be adapted to whatever ingredients are at hand.

Also sorry to hear you have been ill, hopefully after eating all those greens you will be on the mend!

lola is beauty said...

Anabela - Ally: thank you guys, I hadn't wanted to mention being ill, but then I thought it's my blog, I can say whatever I want! I've basically had a recurring chest infection since August and now pleurisy, which is an inflammation/infection of the lung lining/chest (I explain because so many people have said what the hell is that!)

So glad you like the post and I agree, Ashley's blog is amazing!

Sneaky Magpie said...

Italian ribollita is full of cavolo nero and you can tweak the whole recipe to be as healthy as you want it to be, and so delicious.

lola is beauty said...

Sneaky Magpie - I used to live off ribolitta as a student in Tuscany - (that sounds so weird and poncy but true) I never tried making it though - one for the pot!

lola is beauty said...

ribollita - ahem. Obviously didn't learn much there...

Sneaky Magpie said...

in Italy it is a cheap pot of food, isn't it? I grow my own cavolo nero, it's so hard to find it in shops. Good luck with getting better!

Camille said...

Those recipes sound delicious Claire, thank you for sharing them! Do you know 101cookbooks.com ? It's my favourite website for recipes, they're all very simple and easy, and can be worked around with different ingredients (I'm about to make this for dinner, and it's full of greens (!): http://www.101cookbooks.com/archives/winter-pasta-recipe.html). Hope you'll get better soon!

charlotte said...

you are my kale hero!

Kate said...

Thank you! I'm struggling with greens for a long time now and the recipes are very welcome. Will go and look up ribollita now, to complete the winter menu.

Best wishes to your health. Lot's of tea with honey but I know there comes the moment when you just can't stand tea with honey anymore. Then drink latte macchiato (more or less the same effect as long as the milk is really hot) :-) Bless you!

Chrys said...

Brazilian recipe, works with any kind of greens:

- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- greens of your choice, very thinly sliced (cavolo nero, kale, spring greens, pak choi, works with spinach too or whatever comes in your organic box)
- olive oil/ butter
- sea salt
- balsamic vinegar
- freshly ground black pepper
- dried chilly (optional)
- squeeze of lemon

Fry the garlic on the olive oil/ butter until it's starting to get brownish (it's very quick), then add bunches of greens, and the salt. They will reduce drastically, no need to add water, they will cook in their own juice. When they have reduced nicely, add the balsamic vinegar and keep stirring until they've absorbed all of it, it will smell amazing. Add the pepper and chilly if using it, and serve with a squeeze of lemon.

It's sufficiently yummy to be eaten on it's own, or use it as pizza topping, sandwich/wrap filler, with pasta, with potatoes....and so on!

(it's so good, my 3 little girls eat all of it and ask for more. no kidding.)

x

lola is beauty said...

Sneaky Magpie - thank you!

Camille - I had NOT heard of 101 cookbooks until the other day when someone mentioned it and I was like, hmnh do you mean 1001 recipes - so then I looked it up and went oohhh this is where everyone's been getting all the good recipes from!

Charlotte - I try!

Kate - thank you too, stay warm!

Chrys - that looks really good, perfect to make a batch of with the mountain of kale that keeps staring at me...

Tiffany said...

love ashley's site. defo seems to be savvy in the healthy food section. take care of yourself lady. xx

Meesh said...

This sounds so delicious!!! I am going to try it this week for sure. Thanks!