This year, I am going to start an Eat Your Vegetables! series of posts to share what our family does with the overload of veggies we get from the farm during the summer, and to help make eating veggies fun, especially for Josh, as we enter the "I only eat bananas and spaghetti" phase of toddlerhood.
No, we don't own a farm, and we aren't farmers. I'm not even a fan of dirt, really. But we are members at a local farm cooperative, where we pay to receive a share of the farm's produce. This way, we are supporting local agriculture, learning about where our food comes from and the importance of sustainable farming, and eating food that was grown without pesticides. And of course, the food is fresh and delicious. There's nothing like picking a fresh strawberry right off the plant, warmed by the sun!
(Yes, I'm a lot bigger in this next picture. The strawberries at my friend's farm were beckoning, so I crawled under the fence to get at them...while 6 months pregnant.)
But it's winter right now, so what am I doing talking about farms and summer strawberries and vegetable overloads? Well, we still need to eat, and there's only so much meat and potatoes I can have before I'm cravings my greens. Vegetables are more expensive in the winter, obviously, but there's still good eats to be found!
So my first recipe is going to be about Collard Greens! (see my Recipe Disclaimer to learn why my recipes are really nothing more than a rough draft of a Pick Your Own Adventure story)
I'm not from the South, and I don't really like cooking my greens to a big brown mess, even if it is with a hunk of ham bone. Plus, collards are CHEAP, even in the winter, and they're hearty and full of things that are good for you. I don't know what all the good things are, I just know they're good.
Ok, here we go:
1 bunch of collard greens
2 bulbs garlic ( I looooove garlic. Like bacon, it makes everything taste good)
... do you see a stir fry coming? You bet!
My trick with these collards is to cut them into little shreds, like confetti. The leaves are tough and hard to cook down, hence the boil-until-dead method, but by chopping the leaves into itty bitty shreds, cooking takes no time at all!
1. First, fold each leaf in half and cut out the spine. Set that leaf aside and attack the rest of the bunch.
2. Pile a bunch of the leaves (still folded in half) on top of each other, and roll into a cylinder.
3. Chop the cylinder o' collards into thin strips. I try for 1/8th to 1/4th of an inch wide.
4. Peel and slice up the garlic.
5. Throw a couple of tablespoons of olive oil into a pan or wok, on medium high heat.
6. Add the garlic, stir for a minute, and let the aroma take you away.
7. Now add the "collard confetti". Toss and stir for a couple of minutes (somewhere between 5 and 10 minutes). The collards should turn a bright green and will soften.
8. Add salt and/or pepper to taste.
That's it! C'mon, how easy was that? I love stir frys. Now go Eat Your Vegetables!
Are there any vegetables you'd like me to feature?