The worst thing about winter (for me) is the lack of beautiful summer fruits and vegetables. I live on salads, raw produce and smoothies and winter leaves me craving the variety of gorgeous local produce available “in season.” But thanks to my friends at Amber Waves Farm, I am lucky enough to have access to their greenhouse all winter that is managing to survive this brutal winter and all the cold snaps!
You all know I’ve been a kale fan for years and years, before it was oh-so-fashionable. I get three different kinds from Amber Waves, plus an assortment of other leafy green vegetables, that are rich in vitamins A, C and K – all especially important for women’s health.
My friends (and kids, truth be told) tend to avoid these winter green veggies as many of them have a strong bite – some are even downright bitter, which can be an acquired taste. I LOVE the peppery flavor of kale, collards and mustard greens, but if you’re NOT like me, try pairing them with intensely flavorful ingredients that will offset the bitterness — like feta cheese and a little walnut oil. Here’s a delicious Tuscan kale salad that incorporates dried currants and parmigiano.
Leafy greens are used frequently in Asian cooking, which I also love because Asian dishes are so quick to make. Plus, the quick-cook method keeps the colors vibrant, which makes them more palatable for children – everyone likes Chinese food! This recipe uses sesame oil plus some garlic and onion for a quick mustard greens stir-fry, and this Thai Stir-Fried Greens uses oyster and fish sauce to add a salty-garlicky glaze to whatever greens you happen to have on hand.
Since the kale craze kicked in, you can certainly find many recipes of all types to appeal to tart-lovers, pizza-eaters, and soup-slurpers. Check out a few by searching for “winter green recipes” and include your own savory ingredients and experiment! By combining dark leafy greens with some of your favorite flavors, you’ll enhance your enjoyment of these good-for-you superfoods.