Our superfood this month is leafy greens! Most people think of leafy greens like the spring mix and spinach you see at the grocery store or on the salad bar in the dining halls, but there is actually a lot of different kinds of leafy greens. Collards, kale, turnip greens, arugula, mustard greens, watercress, beet greens (the leaves from actual beets; yes, you can eat these), and dark leafy lettuces are all common leafy greens!
Leafy greens are more than just salad greens. They are actually cooked a lot of different ways like steamed, roasted, grilled or baked. Watch out for them cooked in these ways throughout the dining halls! Maybe you’ll find them cooked a way you’ve never tried before.
Leafy greens are pretty amazing once you think about how low in calories they are with the amount of vitamins and minerals they have to offer. Foods like these are called nutrient-dense (low in calories but jam packed with vitamins and minerals your body needs!!). They actually have fewer than 20 calories per cup, so they’re an easy way to fill up your plate and your body will be happy you did too. Dark leafy greens are a good source of:
- Vitamins A, K and C
Also, I have a leafy greens printable just for you. Click here to download!
I got to hang out with Chef Flint and experiment with a recipe using kale, a common leafy green. Chef Flint showed me how to make a rubbed kale salad with garlic, cashews and cranberries. It was super tasty.
We started this recipe by making a garlic oil by adding 1 head of peeled garlic to 2 cups of cooking oil (you can use any cooking oil of your choice) and heated it over medium-high until it began to simmer. Once the cloves of garlic began to show a slight color, we turned off the heat and allowed them to cool. The cloves continued to cook in the oil and turned a pretty golden color.
Chef Flint says “making this adds a rich garlic flavor to the oil and a nice touch to the garlic cloves.” You can save the rest of the unused oil in the fridge up to 7 days and add it to other various things you make during the week!
While our oil was cooling we started to wash then de-stem the kale leaves. Next, we put all the kale into a bowl and combined the garlic oil, juice from half a lemon, and a pinch of salt. Then we messaged the kale with our hands (after we washed them, of course) until it was softened and turned a bright green. Chef Flint says, doing this breaks down the cell walls of the kale and help it not be so rough to eat, also aiding in digestion!
We added a serving size to a plate and topped it with the cashews and cranberries. Ta-dah!! There you have it, a tasty salad.
The cranberries were a nice addition giving the salad a hint of sweetness and the kale added some crunch. This recipe makes two serving sizes. You can make it and share with a friend or save in your fridge up to a week and eat! I added the recipe below, for you all to try! Hope you enjoy (: