Beyond Iceberg and Romaine
Okay, so green leaves have a ton of nutrients and we should all probably be eating much more of them than we are. I also know that we throw in the more commonly eaten lettuces like iceberg and romaine into our farm boxes because that's what most people tend to order. In the event that you receive a more unique item like mustard greens or chard and don't know what to do with it, don't just let it go bad in the fridge, why not put it to good use and take in all the vitamins it has to offer. Here are a few ways to prepare those less common lettuces.
"Bib Lettuce" or "Boston Lettuce" can come in red or green leaves. It has a mild flavor with big smooth, round leaves. It is often sold with the roots still attached for freshness. Butter lettuce is a great source of vitamin A, C, and K, calcium, and iron. It is also known to help fight off inflammatory diseases.
Butter Lettuce Panko Salad...
It's not anything new to make a simple salad. This one sounds yummy and could accompany any dish. To make a Butter Lettuce Panko Salad from "The Modern Proper":
Melt butter in pan, and crisp up the panko, set aside. Arrange clean lettuce, shredded cheese, chives, olives, and dressing. To make the dressing, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp honey, 2 tbsp olive oil. Sprinkle the panko just before serving to keep crispy. Enjoy!
Bored of Spinach? Move on to Chard. In just 1 cup, it is packed full of a whopping 214% of Vitamin A, 716% of Vitamin K, daily intake. Let me say that again, 716% of Vitamin K! Also, it has tons of free radical fighting antioxidants known to help fight disease. Not sure what to make or how to cook it? We carry Swiss Chard in green and read leaf. Here's a few ideas.
The raw leaves can be a little thick and chewy, so if you want to make a salad, I suggest dicing up this lettuce (sans stems) and mixing it with some other lettuce.
Sneak it in...
I am constantly trying to get my kiddos to eat more of this, so I hide it in my casseroles and soups, since the flavor is pretty normal.
Saute them down...
Always be sure to cut the leaf away from the stem, chop up the stem and cook that for a few minutes first, it can be pretty thick. Then toss in the diced leaves, sprinkle with balsamic and serve over chicken and quinoa.
Apparently this leaf has cancer-fighting properties. There is some phytochemical called Indole 3-Carbonol that is known to fight cancer. Anyhow, these days it doesn't hurt to eat something every now and again that will help our bodies fight off these nasty cancers.
Basically, anywhere you would put broccoli, you can replace with Rapini. However, it does have a more adult flavor, the kids may not enjoy it, but I always try anyways. Two ideas to try, a traditional sauteed salad with croutons and parmesan (not kid friendly), or make a rapini and mac n cheese (kid friendly). When all else fails, cover it in cheese and maybe the kids wont notice it as much.
This is something I usually eat when having more authentic Chinese food. So Bok Choy is one of the rarer vegetables that contain selenium. It's a powerful antioxidant that helps fight free radicals and cancer, defending your body against chronic conditions.
It has a light sweet flavor, it's crunchy and popular for those reasons. An added bonus, it's flavor turns nutty when roasted in the oven.
The other night I made the Mongolian Beef Bok Choy Recipe from theDefineddish.com. I dropped a few ingredients, we are avoiding garlic and ginger right now. I also choose not to use the sesame or fish sauce, instead I went more basic for the kids and added coco aminos and beef broth for the sauce. I did sprinkle a tiny bit of red pepper flakes to spice it up a little. It was a very yummy dish and the whole family enjoyed it. I will post a picture on our Instagram.
I have tried this lettuce as I ventured into nontraditional salads. I like a mixture of leaves for color and texture. For me, this has a very peppery, distinct flavor. I'm not sure I would want this as a star of a dish, but maybe hidden within. Although I haven't tried it, there's a recipe "Simple Southern Mustard Greens" on TheSpruceEats.com that actually sounds tempting to make.
Basically you cook down mustard greens with bacon, onion, salt, and let it really marinate for like 40 minutes. This is supposed to really compliment the the flavor of the greens. It also mentions that Kale and Collard Greens are interchangeable for this recipe. So if you aren't eating these, cook'em down and try them with bacon!
Venture out! Try a leaf you haven't had before, it can only do good things for your health. When it comes to leaves, the darker the green the better the nutrients.