People ask me: what is the healthiest food I should be eating? I say, EAT YOUR GREENS! If it has to be just one thing to add to your diet, for most people it’s leafy greens, full of fiber, B vitamins, iron, vitamins A, C, E and K, potassium, magnesium, calcium, and other nutrients you might otherwise be lacking, as well as antioxidants. Plus, they are versatile, and can be integrated into any kind of cuisine. You can eat them raw, cook them quickly, or cook them low and slow.
My older daughter, who is now a freshman at a college which has a working farm, spent part of her last semester of high school volunteering at an urban farm in San Francisco (well, until the pandemic). It’s right off a service road, 50 yards from a busy highway, but enter the gate, and you’re in an idyll. Neat rows of vegetables, all tended to by volunteers. At the end of each shift, volunteers are encouraged to bring home part of the harvest. These greens were the highlight of our meals each week- the tenderest, freshest greens you could imagine– rainbow chard, several types of kale, fava leaves, and my favorite, collard greens. The collards you get in most supermarkets are harvested later, and the center rib is kind of tough. But the ones my daughter helped grow and harvest were as delicate as spinach. Now that I don’t have access to that crop, I pick up what I can at the farmers market or supermarket. And they’re just fine– if you slice collards, stem included, as thinly as you can, then quickly saute or stir fry them, you’ll be surprised at how delicate they become. That’s the key in this stir fry. A little bit of sugar balances the bitterness, and plays off the heat of chili flakes. Peanuts add crunch, richness and protein. I enjoy this dish over a bowl of rice, with maybe some pan-fried tofu on the side. They’d also be great with my Cumin-Spiced Sweet Potato Flatbread. Enjoy in good health!
Stir-Fried Collard Greens with Peanuts
1 bunch collard greens
2 garlic cloves, smashed
2 slices of ginger
1/4 cup roasted peanuts
salt, to taste
sugar, a pinch
1 tablespoon canola or other neutral oil
red pepper flakes, to taste
- Wash collards, then slice across the leaf into thin ribbons, stem included.
- Warm oil in a saute pan or wok over high heat. When oil is hot, add garlic and ginger, and stir fry for 30 seconds. Then add collards and stir fry for a minute, until wilted. When wilted, add a pinch each of salt and sugar, and then stir in peanuts.
- Adjust salt and sugar to taste, then add desired amount of red pepper flakes.
More info on the nutrition and health benefits of leafy greens from the USDA.
Thanks for coming by! Inspired?
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