A very dear friend of mine, who doesn’t always fully embrace the breadth of vegetable options available in this world as I do, went out on a limb at my suggestion and tried wilted greens. She followed the instructions noted at the bottom of my Sweet Potato Tacos recipe. I was so excited to hear the news! She followed up to let me know she tried them AND that she enjoyed them (the specific quote was “Yum!”). She also asked a few questions about greens. I thought the answers were worth sharing with the masses.
Her questions were:
1) What other types of greens can be wilted?
2) What can you add for more flavor?
First, green leafy vegetables are one of the most missing in our modern diets. Nutritionally, greens are very high in calcium, magnesium, iron, potassium, phosphorous, zinc and vitamins A, C, E and K. They are crammed with fiber, folic acid, chlorophyll and many other micronutrients and phytochemicals. They are so easy to include in our diets by simply tossing them into soups, smoothies, salads and yes, wilting them as a side.
Other than spinach, what other types of greens can you wilt? You can also try bok choy, kale, collards, mustard greens, swiss chard and beet greens. Spinach is definitely the most mild in flavor to start with. You can buy these different varieties of greens individually or some stores also sell boxes of “saute greens” that includes an assortment.
I often put things I have made for dinner right on top of the greens rather than grains or pasta. In that case, there is flavoring offered from whatever the main course is. For example, the sweet potato taco mix. If you are eating them on the side, a simple sprinkle of lemon is great.
Fancier options can include one of these options:
*adding carmelized onions, golden raisins and garam masala (an indian spice)
*minced garlic, lemon and fresh shavings of parmesan cheese
*minced garlic, balsamic vinegar and pine nuts
Something to note when wilting greens… You will be shocked by the shrinkage factor. Two heaping cups of greens shrinks down to about a 1/2 – 3/4 of a cup. Be overly generous with the portions and heap them into the pan. The calories are negligible. 2 cups of pre-wilted spinach is 20 only calories!
Give it a try! You know what Popeye always said, “I’m tough to the finish, cause I eat my spinach!”