Eat your greens!


Yesterday morning brought a long overdue visit to the doctors. For ages I’ve not felt like I’ve been firing on all cylinders, so following some strong encouragement from my better half (or as the kids put it “Dad, you just got told!”) I made an appointment.

I’d really felt like this before doing meat from my diet, and in many ways I’ve actually felt more healthy. Nonetheless I’m also well aware of the need to ensure that protein, minerals and vitamins normally gained through eating meat are found elsewhere.

The Doctor was completely unphased about my choice to go vegetarian, but quizzed me about what I was actually eating. Amongst my pride at mastering a wide range of dishes knew I was vulnerable and it wasn’t long before the question was posed ‘and what about greens?’.

There was no escape.

I knew full well, but had avoided the fact that greens (i.e. spring greens, kale, spinach and broccoli) are very high in vitamin A and crucially Iron so are really essential components of a vegetarian diet.

My creativity in the kitchen has its limits. How to take the dark leaves of spring greens and particularly kale and make them edible, let alone enjoyable, I thought was simply beyond me. Kale was the biggest mountain to climb, since my only memory of it was as a bitter mound that had been boiled to oblivion.

I tried to dodge the question, responding weakly ‘I eat plenty of beans and lentils (which have some iron)’. The doctor was unmoved. ‘No, greens!’.

I was defeated, and knew I had to do something about it as the return visit to collect my blood test results would require a progress report. So I decided to face my fear, and went to buy a pack of kale.


4 responses to “Eat your greens!

  1. Penniless Veggie

    Sneak your greens into a pie! Spanokapita is good, and packed full of spinach. Spring greens can be treated similarly. Kale, well it’s those hard stalky bits I don’t like (yuck!) but packets of ready chopped kale don’t take that into account, hence I rarely bother with the stuff – though I do fancy growing that dark green ‘Tuscan’ kale (I can de-rib myself).

    • nickburr

      Sounds like a good plan! Actually I quite like spinach in a pie, or in a tart with a little red onion and goats cheese! I ended up using the kale with some pasta, chilli and garlic and pleased to say I actually liked it (recipe to follow). Tuscan kale does appeal, I had it as a crudite once, it’s a very strong flavour. Takes ages to grow though.

  2. Laura

    I really like greens (kale, springs etc) simply cooked in a little butter (not oil but don’t need a lot) tossing until it is wilted, and tastes cooked. I tend to do them in a wok as it’s big enough to take lots – greens reduce a lot when cooked. I also add lots of pepper when eating, but then I like lots of pepper anyway 😀

    • Penniless Veggie

      Yeah, greens really do reduce in volume once cooked, especially water dense greens like chard and spinach. I grow ‘perpetual spinach’ in my wee kitchen garden (easy peasy) and rainbow chard too and I love both, but during the winter I will resort to frozen whole leaf spinach (not the chopped stuff) rather than fresh, as I find it both cheaper and more convenient than bought packs of fresh – especially for recipes that require a lot like the spanakopita mentioned above. Spring greens are my favourite of all, lovely shredded and steamed before tossing briefly into a wok with a little hot melted garlic butter, and yes to the pepper too, yummy!

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