Eight years ago…
I was an impressionable dietetics student, ready to set the world on fire for nutrition. I figured everyone would probably want to hear what I would have to say to them. Why not? I’m only trying to help them be better!
Certain things should have clued me off – things will not be as simple as you think, Sarah.
One of our requirements in school was to have a food service internship. I was interning at the campus dining hall and sorting through the walk in refrigerator inventory when I spotted a large box of “Kale.”
I had recently read an article that claimed kale and his dark green leafy friends were the most nutrient dense of all the vegetables. I applauded the chef at the dining hall for purchasing such a large box! Good for him – making sure all the students got their vitamins and phytonutrients!
He gave me a funny look.
I gave him a puzzled look in return.
He explained that “Kale is not for eating. Kale is for decorating the salad bar. The green leafy stuff around the containers full of vegetables – that is kale’s job.”
I could see that I had some work cut out for me.
He’s not the only one not eating kale, most of Americans don’t even know what it is or where to buy it!
This is Kale. He’s good for you. There. You’re properly introduced. Now, eat him.
The main reason I hear from people not eating this super veggie is that they don’t know how to cook it. It’s INTIMIDATING (see what I did there – writing the word in big scary letters..).
Several different foods fit into this category. I will list a few: kale, swiss chard, beet greens, arugula, spring mix, spinach, collard greens, and mustard greens.
This is an easy recipe for you to try. Don’t be scared. We started with the nicest ones first.
Recipe: Raspberry Arugula Beet Greens
- 3 C fresh Arugula
- 1-2 C Chopped Beet Greens (these are the tops of the beets you should be buying for other recipes. Don’t throw them away! Eat them!)
- 1/2 tsp Olive Oil
- 3 Tbsp Raspberry Blush Vinegar
- 1 C cooked frozen raspberries
- Add oil to a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add arugula to skillet and wilt slightly – this should take 1-2 minutes. Add vinegar while pan is still hot.
- Remove from heat, and add to a serving bowl.
- Add beet greens and hot raspberries. Toss together and serve.
A Note to the Diabetics: This would probably be considered a non-starchy vegetable even though we added raspberries. The reason being: 1 C raspberries has 17g carbohydrate with 6g of fiber. This ends up being about 11g to count after subtraction. That 11g of carbohydrate is going to be spread out over 4 servings. This equates to about 3-4g carbohydrate per serving – which is not much. Might as well not worry about it.
I paired these greens with scrambled eggs (no carbs), smoked pork chop (no carbs), and fried cinnamon apples (30g carbs). I also had a side of hot raspberries (15g carb) which I did not show in the picture above. All together – 45g of carbohydrate. Perfect.