Today’s colour is green. Thursdays mark the arrival of our weekly farm share box. It is filled with greens both familiar and exotic – shell peas, collards, and lime basil. Lime basil is new for me so I’ll be searching my cookbooks. At the same time, in my mailbox this morning, was my copy of the Nutrition Action Newsletter, a very welcome gift from a power walking friend who knows I love to read as much as I love to walk.
This issue features a comprehensive article on organic food. I’ve been preparing meals from organic food for more than 18 years. I do it for several reasons. The pesticide residues on some fruits and vegetables is alarming and I did not want to be feeding that to my young children. I found much organically grown food – especially milk, cheese, and locally grown fruits and vegetables to have superior taste. Finally, it made sense to me as a more sustainable form of agriculture that is good to the planet which I hope will be left in good condition for my children and their offspring.
The article mentions these arguments and discusses them in some detail. If you have ever wanted to read a concise review of the reasons for growing and eating organically grown food and if you were ever confused by such labels as organic, free range, and hormone-free, this is a good place to start. You can probably find more information on the website for the Centre for Science in the Public Interest – publishers of the newsletter – at www.cspinet.org/canada
Also, in this issue is a fascinating article on green foods such as spinach, kale, collards, and beet greens. I did mention today’s colour is green! In my last post I talked about Vitamin D building strong bones and apparently researchers suspect that the Vitamin K found in the intense green leaves of kale, spinach, and collards also works to protect bones. Researchers believe there is still more the super greens do for us including improving our memory and reducing our risk for diabetes, colon cancer, and stroke.
So, please excuse me while I cut this short to find recipes for collards and lime basil. Actually, if you know of any, why not post them here?
I converted to organic 3 years ago and agree foods taste better, and the health benefits are a bonus! With a brother-in-law from Louisiana, I experimented with southern cooking and found the taste of collard and mustard greens and chards very enjoyable. This is my most favourite recipe for both greens and red Swiss chard.
GREENS with BACON, GARLIC AND WHITE WINE
1 lb. of Greens (or red Swiss chard), washed, drained and coarse stems removed
1 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 slices back bacon finely chopped
2 cloves garlic thinly sliced
1/3 cup white wine (or low-sodium chicken stock)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
pepper to taste
Chop the greens coarsely and reserve.
In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped back bacon and garlic and sauté until the bacon is crisp and the garlic is lightly browned. Add the greens, sea salt and white wine (or stock). Turn the heat to low, cover and cook until tender, approximately 10-12 minutes. Season with the pepper and serve.
GRILLED LIME BASIL SWORDFISH TACOS
1 1/2 pounds swordfish steak,1 inch thick
Grated zest of 1 lime
1/4 cup fresh lime juice
2 jalapeño chiles, seeded and chopped
1/4 cup packed fresh Lime Basil leaves (Thai Basil)
1/2 cup canola oil
8-10 flour tortillas
Garnishes (shredded lettuce,cabbage, sliced red onions, etc.)
Place the fish in a large dish. Combine the lime zest and juice, chiles, and basil in a blender and blend until smooth. With the motor running, slowly pour in the oil and blend until emulsified. Season to taste with salt and pepper, pour over the fish, turn to coat, and marinate for 10 minutes.
Heat your grill to high. Grill the fish until lightly browned and firm on the bottom, 3 to 4 minutes. Turn the dish over, reduce the heat to medium or move to a cooler part of the grill, and grill until just cooked all the way through, 3 to 4 minutes more. Remove the fish from the grill and slice 1/2 inch think. Transfer to a platter and serve immediately with warmed soft tortillas from the grill and garnishes.
[Serves 8 to 10]
This is a recipe my mom used. I have done it a few times but my family are ‘green’ challenged. Anyway, if you research other recipes, there is a theme of needing ham/bacon/vinegar or things of this nature for flavour. Just boiling/steaming like spinach doesnt do the trick. Some receipes create a really nice sauce.
OR Just rinse Collard and Kale in a Large bowl of Cold water/drain and cut off tough stems. cut into 1/4 ” strips. Take garlic and saute in hot oil in pan/cook greens in batchs about 30sec. each till wilted. Stir constantly about 10 min till all tender. Season with salt,pepper, lemon juice and a few drops of hot pepper sauce if desired. A nice clean way to enjoy GREENS.
1/2 pound smoked meat (ham hocks, smoked turkey wings, or smoked neck bones)
1 tablespoon House seasoning, recipe follows
1 tablespoon seasoned salt
1 tablespoon hot red pepper sauce
1 large bunch collard greens
1 tablespoon butter
In a large pot, bring 3 quarts of water to a boil and add smoked meat, house seasoning, seasoned salt and hot sauce. Reduce heat to medium and cook for 1 hour.
Wash the collard greens thoroughly. Remove the stems that run down the center by holding the leaf in your left hand and stripping the leaf down with your right hand. The tender young leaves in the heart of the collards don’t need to be stripped. Stack 6 to 8 leaves on top of one another, roll up, and slice into 1/2 to 1-ince thick slices. Place greens in pot with meat and add butter. Cook for 45 to 60 minutes, stirring occasionally. When done taste and adjust seasoning.
Serve with favorite dish as a side.
1 cup salt
1/4 cup black pepper
1/4 cup garlic powder
Mix ingredients together and store in an airtight container for up to 6 months.