Garden to Kitchen ~ Ways to Get Your Greens!

Greens are growing so abundantly in my garden right now, we're eating them breakfast, lunch, dinner, and in between! I may have over planted, with 16 kale, a dozen collard, and eight each of spinach and arugula plants. Oh, and a lettuce bed too! All for a family of four... one of which will not knowingly consume a leafy green (don't worry, she has a dozen broccoli plants she calls her own!).
Kale and spinach have worked their way into our mornings in a few ways. I'm smitten with green smoothies. Specifically with my friend's dreamy, creamy kaleicious (recipe below). A mason jar full of this green goodness and I'm raring to go! For something a bit heartier, I'll throw some chopped greens into scrambled eggs or an omelet. And have you ever baked leafy greens into muffins? I haven't yet, but I'm planning to try these soon... I'll let you know!
Another favorite eggs-n-greens combo is the spinach & feta quiche from Feeding the Whole Family. A slice of this quiche, with a cup of the same cookbook's tomato-basil soup, is a go-to meal in my nest, perfect for lunch or a light dinner. And great for company (you can cook these ahead of time and reheat before serving)!
Of course there's salads... lately I've been tossing homegrown greens with seasonal fruits and a handful of raw nuts, like: kale with currants & walnuts; spinach with strawberries & almonds; or romaine & arugula with orange slices and cashews. 
I add chopped kale or collards to pretty much every soup or stew I make. And they're good stirred into rice, quinoa, and whole grain pasta too. Just saute them up a bit and stir 'em in; or cut them into ribbons and add them raw with some lemon juice and olive oil for a tasty, cold side salad. I've also been exploring turning my harvest into sauces, like this almond arugula pesto and this kale & sunflower seed pesto - yummy on pasta, or as a dip.
And when the greens are STILL piling up... I swap 'em, or share them with friends and family. At my most recent homemade food & craft swap, I traded bunches of homegrown collards with my personal recipe for southern-style greens (see below). From garden, to kitchen, to community!

What about you... how do you like to get your greens? Hop on over to the A Natural Nester Facebook page and share your favorite recipes and ideas!

Laura's Kaleicious Smoothie: Juice 1 green apple and 1 lemon. Pour the juice in a high speed blender with 1.5 frozen bananas, 3 leaves of de-stemmed and chopped kale, and about a cup of spinach.  Blend until smooth & creamy. Drink up with delight!
Liz's Southern-Style Collard Greens
Cover the bottom of a big pot with nitrate-free bacon and fry it up. Break the bacon into pieces and cook the collards right on top, in the bacon grease, for 10-15 seconds. Add about 1/4-1/2 cup of unfiltered, organic apple cider vinegar. Add water to cover greens. Add 1-2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Add approx. 2 tablespoons local honey. Shake in a little sea salt to taste. Simmer about 2 hours, until liquid reduces significantly and greens are tender. Add additional vinegar, salt, & honey to taste. Serve with hot pepper vinegar for shaking on top.


Dawn Suzette said...

I don't think you can overplant greens ;-)
I am in love with green smoothies too.
The southern-style collard greens recipe sounds yummy!

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