VeganMoFo: Leafy Greens and Tuesday Totals

11 Oct

Same as most of the foods I’ve posted about so far this month, nobody needs to tell you that you should eat your greens!  I love leafy greens so much that I actually crave them; a meal doesn’t feel complete without something green on the plate.

There are nearly one thousand species of plants with edible leaves.  Some of the more common greens are lettuce, spinach, arugula (rocket), collards, kale and swiss chard.  Less popular greens include mustard greens, turnip greens, beet greens, endive, watercress and bok choy.  Leafy greens are generally low in calories and fat, and high in iron, calcium and dietary fiber.  They are an excellent source of vitamin C, folate and vitamin K.

If you’re not used to eating the darker colored greens, it may take a few tries to find a cooking (or uncooking) method that you like.  Luckily, there are tons of ways to eat greens.

Raw!  Apart from regular lettuce and spinach salads, you can enjoy kale and even collard greens as a raw salad.  This is a Massaged Kale Salad with Red Cabbage and Carrots from Choosing Raw.  The trick to kale salad is to add some oil or ripe avocado then really get in there and work the greens with your hands.  As the cell walls break down the greens will become tender and reduce a bit in volume.  Sweet, salty and crunchy elements are great additions to a raw kale salad.

Another way to enjoy kale is as kale chips.  I’ve used this recipe in the past with good results; you can bake them or dehydrate them to keep them “raw”.  There are tons of kale chip recipes around the internet, including some flavored like nacho cheese or salt and vinegar.

Lettuce wraps are nice, but you can also use heartier greens to make a wrap.  These are Southern Style Dolmades with Tahini Sauce, which use blanched swiss chard as a wrapper.  Sturdy, raw collard greens also make a great wrap, and the leaves are usually big so they can hold lots of fillings.

One of my favorite ways to enjoy greens is by braising them.  I don’t follow a recipe, but it usually starts with cooking onion and garlic low and slow in a bit of oil to really bring out the flavor.  Add a lot of greens (they’ll cook down), a diced tomato or some tomato paste or sauce, and a little bit of vegetable broth or water.  A dash of vegetarian Worcestershire sauce would be a great addition too.  Let it all cook down until it’s delicious, and season with salt and pepper.  Braising is a great technique to use on mustard and turnip greens.

Last but certainly not least, the green smoothie.  Mild greens like spinach are usually easiest to blend (both texture- and flavor-wise), but if you have a powerful blender go for heartier greens like kale!

Source:  Wikipedia

Tuesday, 10/11/11

breakfast – 1 cup Optimum Slim cereal with sliced banana and unsweetened almond milk
AM snack – apple, pear, coffee with soy creamer
lunch – smoky split pea soup
PM snack – 1/4 cup omega trek mix
dinner – yellow rice, black beans, ropa vieja shredded seitan, wilted swiss chard

exercise – ran 2.7 miles (33 min), 10 min walking

daily points used:  29
activity points earned:  7
activity points used:  1
non-existent points used:  1

Totals for 10/5/11 – 10/11/11

Daily points used:  200/203
Weekly points used:  50/49
Activity points earned:  23
Activity points used:  23
Points left on the table:  2


2 Responses to “VeganMoFo: Leafy Greens and Tuesday Totals”

  1. Jeni Treehugger October 12, 2011 at 12:41 am #

    Those dolmades look the BOMB! What a great (and tasty) idea.


  1. VeganMoFo: 5K Report and Cruciferous Vegetables « The Vegan Weight Watcher - October 18, 2011

    […] broccoli, cabbage, bok choy, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi and other similar vegetables.  Much like leafy greens, nobody needs to tell you that cruciferous veggies are good for you!  They have been discovered to […]

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